Our people

Board of Directors

Murray Gribben

Murray Gribben

Chairman

Murray Gribben's professional background is in corporate finance and investment management. A former investment banker, he has broad knowledge of, and experience in, both the public and private investment markets. He is currently chief executive of Crown Irrigation Investments Limited and was previously executive director at Willis Bond & Co, a property development and investment business. Prior to that, he was the Managing Director at AMP Capital Investors. Murray holds several governance positions.

Debbie Birch

Debbie Birch

Director

Debbie Birch has significant financial, commercial and strategic investment experience gained in Asia, Australia and New Zealand with more than 30 years working in global capital markets. She is currently Chair of Taupo Moana Investments Ltd, Raukawa ki te Tonga AHC Ltd and holds directorships on Tourism Holdings Ltd, White island Tours Ltd, Ngati Awa Group Holdings Ltd, LGNZ Independent Assessment Board, Portfolio Management Services Ltd, Te Puia Tapapa GP Ltd, Waste Transformation Ltd and is a Trustee of Wellington Free Ambulance.

Emma Loisel

Emma Loisel

Director

Emma Loisel has been a C-Suite business leader and Board member of blue chips, start-ups and high growth tech companies. Much of her career was spent in the UK where she built and sold three digital media and ad-tech companies. As an angel investor she invested a number of companies and remains Chair of her lead investment which she co-foundered, Volcano Coffee Works. She holds a Masters in Criminology.

Independent Members

Danny Lee

Danny Lee

Investment Committee Member: Elevate

Danny runs the global private investments at Blue Pool, and joins the NZGCP team as an independent committee member.
Previously with Bain Capital Asia and Investor AB, he has over 20 years of investment experience spanning venture, growth capital and buyout transactions globally. Danny is an Aspen Finance Fellow, Edmund Hillary Fellow and a Chartered Financial Analyst. He serves the community as an independent director at the Hong Kong Chinese Women Club College, guest lecturer for Columbia Business School and Lingnan University, and through his scholarship supporting international students at Columbia University.

Matt Ocko

Matt Ocko

Investment Committee Member: Elevate

Matt is an experienced technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist in the US and globally, is co-Managing Partner and co-founder of DCVC (Data Collective), and joins the NZGCP team as an independent committee member.

Matt’s investments on behalf of DCVC span from computational drug discovery and synthetic biology to geospatial and space access platforms, robotics, applied AI, anti-terror systems, and large-scale enterprise platforms including quantum computers. In addition to large IPO outcomes, many of Matt’s prior investments were acquired to become core capabilities of companies like Illumina, Cisco, Google, IBM, Amazon/AWS and Salesforce. His venture investments prior to DCVC include Zoom (ZM), Fortinet (FTNT), D-Wave Systems, Uber (UBER), AngelList, Xensource (CTRX), and Facebook (FB). Matt founded and was VP of R&D of Da Vinci Systems, actively helps development of China’s venture capital and technology regulatory framework, holds a degree in Physics from Yale University, and is an inventor on over 50 granted or in-process patents in areas as diverse as computer systems virtualisation, fraud detection, and AR.

Dana Settle

Dana Settle

Investment Committee Member: Elevate

Dana is a Founding Partner with Greycroft, and she heads the firm’s west coast office out of Los Angeles. Dana joins the NZGCP team as an independent committee member.

Prior to Greycroft, Dana spent several years as a venture capitalist and advisor to startup companies in the Bay Area, including six years at Mayfield, where she focused on early stage companies in the mobile communications and consumer Internet markets. Dana currently manages Greycroft’s investments in Anine Bing, AppAnnie, Bird, Clique, Comparably, Goop, Happiest Baby, Seed, Thrive Market, Versed and WideOrbit. She also managed the firm’s investments in numerous brands including; Awesomeness TV (acquired by Dreamworks), Maker Studios (acquired by Disney), and Sometrics (acquired by American Express).

Dana also serves as a Board of Director to IMAX Corporation. Her additional experience includes business development at Truveo (AOL), investment banking at Lehman Brothers and international business development at McCaw Cellular Communications (AT&T). Dana holds a BA in Finance and International Studies from the University of Washington and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Randy Komisar

Randy Komisar

Strategic Adviser: Elevate

Randy is an entrepreneur, investor, lecturer and author, and joins the NZGCP team as a Strategic Advisor to the Elevate fund.

Randy was a co-founder of Claris Corp. and served as CEO for LucasArts Entertainment and Crystal Dynamics, a founding director of Tivo, acted as “virtual CEO” for such companies as WebTV and GlobalGiving, and served as CFO of GO Corp., as senior counsel for Apple Computer, and a private practice in technology law. He joined the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins in 2005 to focus on investing in early stage startups. Randy serves on the Roadtrip Nation Advisory Board and Orrick’s Women’s Leadership Board, and serves as a director and advisor to several other organisations. Randy is the author of The Monk and the Riddle, co-author of Straight Talk for Startups.

Randy has been collaborating closely with investors, entrepreneurs, accelerators and policy makers in New Zealand for several years to help build a vigorous innovation hub based upon Kiwi values and objectives. Randy holds a B.A. degree in economics from Brown University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Team

James Pinner

James Pinner

Investment Director

James is an Investment Director who leads the Elevate NZ Venture Fund and provides support to the Aspire NZ Seed Fund. James has over 20 years of corporate finance experience covering venture capital, private equity, corporate M&A and equity capital markets. James’ experience includes 15 years in London, working across North America, Europe, Africa and South-East Asia and more recently working in corporate development in New Zealand for a large family-owned conglomerate. James is a Fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, holds a BSc (Hons) from Leeds University and is a member of the NZ Institute of Directors.

Marcus Henderson

Marcus Henderson

Investment Director

Marcus is an Investment Director who leads the Aspire NZ Seed Fund. Marcus began his VC career in the UK working for Par Equity and Mercia Asset Management PLC. His core focus areas are software and life-sciences investments and he has extensive experience of investing in and successfully scaling numerous high growth ventures from start-up through to exit. Prior to working in seed and venture investment he spent a number of years working for Deloitte advising on M&A and strategic consultancy projects in the UK, Europe and North America. Marcus is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, holds a BCom and a BAppSc (1st Hons) from Otago University and is a member of the NZ Institute of Directors.

Jacques Richter

Jacques Richter

Associate Investment Director

Jacques is an Associate Investment Director supporting both the Aspire NZ Seed Fund and the Elevate NZ Venture Fund. Jacques obtained experience in consulting engineering in the UK and South Africa before joining a development finance institution. He spent five years in venture capital and industry development roles, pursuing the economic growth and industrial development objectives of the bank. Jacques holds a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Pretoria, an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town and is a CFA charterholder.

Molly Yang

Molly Yang

Investment Manager

Molly Yang is an Investment Manager assisting with key market and analytical information relevant to the Aspire NZ Seed Fund activity. Molly has over 10 years investment and portfolio management experience. She previously worked for US and Chinese venture capital funds in Shanghai, and for Cure Kids Ventures after moving to New Zealand. Molly has a Master of Applied Finance degree from Macquaire University in Sydney.

Jason Roche

Jason Roche

Investment Manager

Jason is an Investment Manager supporting both the Aspire NZ Seed Fund and Elevate NZ Venture Fund.. Prior to joining NZGCP, Jason spent six years working in the M&A team at Todd Corporation where he was involved in transactions spanning Energy, Minerals, Property, Agriculture and Technology. Most recently Jason led the acquisition of a Fiji based solar generation company and completed a secondment to Todd Corporation’s Sydney office, where he advised on project finance. Prior to working at Todd, Jason worked as an Energy Market Analyst at NZX Limited and in Corporate Finance at Summerset Group. Jason holds a BCA (HONS) in Finance and Economics from Victoria University in Wellington and is a CFA Charterholder.

James Palmer

James Palmer

Investment Manager

James is an Investment Manager supporting both the Aspire NZ Seed Fund and Elevate NZ Venture Fund. Prior to joining NZGCP James worked in the mergers and acquisitions team at Todd Corporation. He has a Masters in Applied Finance and a Bachelor of Commerce from Victoria University, Wellington.

Hursh Shah

Hursh Shah

Investment Manager

Hursh is an Investment Manager looking after the Aspire Fund. Hursh joined NZGCP from the PwC Corporate Finance team in Auckland, having spent three years focussing on M&A and strategic advisory. Prior to this, he worked at PwC UK, mainly advising on distressed debt transactions across Europe. Hursh has also spent a number of years working with start-up and greenfield ventures in East Africa. He holds a BSc in Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics & Economics from the University of Warwick and is a Chartered Accountant.

Ritaban Banerjee

Ritaban Banerjee

Investment Analyst

Ritaban is an Investment Analyst supporting investments made though the Aspire NZ Seed Fund. Prior to joining NZGCP, Ritaban worked in corporate finance, strategy consulting and economic policy. He has an undergraduate and a Masters degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Imperial College London. Ritaban has passed the Level III examination of the CFA programme.

Byron van Vugt

Byron van Vugt

Investment Analyst

Byron is an Investment Analyst supporting investments made though the Aspire NZ Seed Fund. After studying Mechanical Engineering, Finance and Marketing at The University of Auckland he then spent four years in a product development role supporting systems engineering, project management and process improvements before joining NZGCP.

Maria Jose Alvarez

Maria Jose Alvarez

Investment Analyst

Maria Jose is an Investment Analyst providing technical and operational support throughout the Aspire NZ Seed Fund portfolio. Prior to joining NZGCP, Maria Jose worked for three years as a Commercialisation Manager for the Inventors Fund at Auckland UniServices, investing in early-stage technology and start-up companies. She has also worked in venture capital in Auckland and was a founder of an Agritech start-up in Chile. Maria Jose is a Biotechnology Engineer from Universidad Andres Bello in Chile and holds a Masters in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Auckland.

Emil Schroder

Emil Schroder

Investment Analyst (Intern)

Emil has joined NZGCP as an Investment Analyst Intern supporting the Aspire and Elevate funds. Since studying Physics at the University of Canterbury Emil has gone into the education and government IT sectors, working in coordination and lead roles across a range of Agile software delivery teams.

Ben Seto

Ben Seto

Investment Analyst

Ben is an Investment Analyst supporting the Aspire NZ Seed Fund. Prior to joining NZGCP, Ben worked as an Investment Analyst at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise undertaking financial modelling and venture capital. He has also worked in various offshore Asset Management, Law and M&A roles in Tokyo, Melbourne and Auckland. Ben studied a BCom/LLB in Law & Finance from the University of Auckland.

Aria Hart

Aria Hart

Investment Analyst

Aria Hart is an Investment Analyst supporting the Aspire NZ Seed Fund. Prior to joining NZGCP Aria has completed internships with BNZ Markets and RBNZ Financial Markets. Aria studied a BCom/BSc at The University of Auckland. She majored in Finance, Accounting and Mathematics, with a focus on mathematical analysis.

Sarah Hamilton

Sarah Hamilton

Financial Controller

Sarah is responsible for all financial and statutory reporting for the company and the funds. She has extensive accounting experience with large fund management companies in New Zealand. Sarah has a Bcom from Otago University and is a CA with the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Zoe Hoult

Zoe Hoult

Accountant

Zoe qualified with Deloitte and worked in their Wellington, Boston and London offices, focusing on audit and transaction services. More recently Zoe worked at PwC in the tax pooling team and as an Accountant for a retail company. Zoe has a BCom, DipGrad from the University of Otago and is a CA with the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Cameron McPherson

Cameron McPherson

Reporting & Compliance Officer

Cameron is a Reporting and Compliance Officer responsible for investment reporting and analysis. He previously worked for a pan-European private equity manager based in London. In New Zealand, Cameron worked in the Financial Assurance team for PwC with a focus on Investment Management and Banking industries. He has a Bachelor of Commerce and Post Graduate Diploma from the University of Auckland and is a CA with the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Ruth Malo

Ruth Malo

Operations & IT Manager

Ruth is a senior Operations & IT Manager with over 15 years’ experience in operations, IT management and project management. Ruth oversees the day to day operations for NZGCP including Board Secretary & Privacy Officer. Prior to NZGCP, Ruth has experience in public health workforce development, disability, tertiary education and research. Ruth has a PGDipBus(Admin) from Auckland University.

Danielle Tait

Danielle Tait

Human Resources Manager

Danielle is responsible for developing and implementing HR strategies and initiatives aligned with the NZGCP business strategy and enhancing the employee experience. She is a qualified HR practitioner with over 15 years of HR experience in New Zealand. She’s worked with some of New Zealand’s largest organisations as an HR professional and has spent the last few years supporting CEOs and executive teams to drive strategic change to achieve business outcomes. Danielle holds a Bachelors degree in Human Resource Management and Economics from the University of Cape Town.

Katie Hickmer

Katie Hickmer

Marketing Manager

Katie is a senior marketing, brand and comms specialist with 15+ years of both international and national experience. Katie has worked in a diverse range of industries (media, travel, tourism, retail, gaming, construction) with both B2B and B2C focus. Working with leading brands such as Disney, BBC, Heathrow Airport, Lotto NZ and JUCY, Katie has led and delivered cross-platform marketing solutions to achieve results. Katie is commercially astute and joined NZGCP to refine our brand, and to develop and implement our marketing and communication initiatives aligned with our strategic business objectives.