New leaders for Angel Association

Last updated 13:48 30/07/2012

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The Angel Association of New Zealand has appointed a new leadership lineup, including Auckland company director and angel investor Ray Thomson as chair, Wellington angel investor Marcel van den Assum as deputy chair and Angel HQ co-founder Suse Reynolds as executive director.

Thomson replaces Phil McCaw, who was chair for two years. Already a council member, Thomson is chairman of Manuka Health New Zealand, a director of Wellington Drive Technologies and a director of Industrial Research. He is also a member of the Auckland Ice Angels Advisory Board.

Thompson said he will focus on building the number of angel investors in New Zealand.

"Angel investing has seen a lot of growth over the past five years but we now need to refocus efforts on recruiting new angels. At present there are some 300 angel investors spread across the various angel networks," he said.

"Last year's aggregate investment by angels was well down on the previous year, due to the uncertain financial environment overseas, particularly in Europe, and the fact that experienced angels are becoming more discerning in their investment behaviour.

"If we want to fuel a vibrant and globally competitive innovation sector, then angels need to be investing significantly more than this. This will only happen with more angels involved and with better deal flow."

The Angel Association says this year's summit, being held in early November in Wellington, will aim to raise its profile. It will include an investment showcase where 15 early stage companies will pitch for investment.

Thomson intends for the Angel Association to take a higher profile. To that end, Marcel van den Assum becomes AANZ's first deputy chairman and this year's Angel Summit, being held in Wellington on 1 and 2 November, will look to raise the profile of the association and angel investors by including an investment showcase where 15 early stage companies will pitch for angel investment.

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