Four NZGCP Board members appointed

/ Press Announcements / 20 Jan 2021 / Katie Hickmer



MBIE media release:

Strong industry experience appointed to New Zealand Growth Capital Partners Board


Four new members with strong capital and business experience have been appointed to the New Zealand Growth Capital Partners Board, the Ministry of Business, Employment, and Innovation announced today.

Michael Bird, MBIE General Manager, Entity Performance, and Investment, said, “Announcing the new members to the New Zealand Growth Capital Partners Board is exciting as they bring a wealth of governance expertise and industry knowledge to the table.  This will ensure that the organisation is well positioned for the future”

The new Board members are:

The new members complement the recent appointment of David Smol as Chair of the Board.


Ends -

Media contact: 027 442 2141 or email



Ms Annabel Cotton

Ms Cotton is an experienced governor, with knowledge of working on public sector boards. Her skills and experience include: governance, investor relations, risk and assurance, finance, and accounting. She has strong knowledge of the financial services industry, and good connections with angel investors, fund managers and funding entities. Ms Cotton has a genuine interest in seeing small business succeed, and a firm understanding of the stakeholder perspective and the challenges faced by start-up companies.

She is Owner and Managing Director of Merlin Consulting Limited (1998 – present), and has worked alongside many of New Zealand’s leading listed companies providing the Board and senior executives with advice on a wide range of matters associated with their investor communications and governance programmes. Ms Cotton has ‘front line’ experience as a listed company director having served on the Board and chaired the audit committees of three NZX listed companies.


Mr Guy Royal

Mr Royal is a corporate commercial lawyer with over 20 years’ experience and who has advised many public and private sector organisations in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom. He specialises in joint venture arrangements and mergers and acquisitions, particularly with indigenous groups, and has experience advising government and public sector bodies on economic and regulatory issues.

Mr Royal brings specific experience in Iwi and indigenous development models and engagement relationships and networks to the Board. Mr Royal has strong networks in the Māori community, cares about the success of the Māori economy, and would add value on the Board through his considerable experience in advising Māori entities, particularly on investment. He sits on a number of private sector companies including an Iwi commercial holdings Board.


Mr Marcel van den Assum

Marcel van den Assum has a background in digital, software development and information technology. He is an active early stage investor and has led several successful start–up companies. He has well established connections and extensive networks in the angel investment market, where he is highly respected and seen as a leader.  He was previously Chair of the Angel Association (2012 – 2018) and a Director of AngelHQ.

Mr van den Assum has extensive governance experience spanning over 15 years, including experience working with start-ups and supporting entrepreneurs. Mr van den Assum's current governance roles include Chairman of Flick Electric, and he has a genuine desire to grow companies and New Zealand’s economy, and an interest in NZGCP’s leadership role in market. He has a strong level of understanding of the work of NZGCP, the environment it operates in, the relationship between its stakeholders, and the challenges surrounding its investment and stakeholder relations.


Mr Mel Firmin

Mr Firmin is an experienced member of the investment community. He has good governance experience and a sound understanding of public sector environment and the nature of the relationships between its stakeholders. He has strong experience in investment and funds management, and good knowledge of markets and private funds. He has a strong interest in mentoring young players in the industry, and expressed a desire to enable disadvantaged groups.

His current roles include Audit, Risk & Compliance Chairman of Investment Services Group Limited, Advisory and Board Member at Thinkladder. He recently project managed the establishment of a KiwiSaver Scheme for a leading financial services firm. Mr Firmin was Interim Chief Executive of Investment Services Group Limited (2017 – 2018), Managing Director of Devon Funds Management Limited (2012 – 2017), and Chief Operating Officer of Brook Asset Management Limited (2002 – 2010).

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