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Mr Ferris was appointed as Chair of the Innovation and Science Australia Board in November 2015. He was the Co-Founder of CHAMP Private Equity since its formation in 2000, and of its predecessor, Australian Mezzanine Investments Pty Ltd (AMIL), which he co-founded in 1987 with Joseph Skrzynski. Mr Ferris is a 47-year veteran of private equity in Australasia, founding Australia’s first venture capital firm in 1970.
Mr Ferris’ current directorships include Co-Chairman; CHAMP Private Equity group and Member of the Harvard Business School Asia Pacific Advisory Council.
Former recent directorships include: Chairman; Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Chair of the of the Federal Government’s Health and Hospitals Fund Advisory Board. Other former directorships include: Chairman; Accolade Wines Australia and UK, Austar United Communications, Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), Macquarie University Asia Pacific Council, and Director; Garvan Research Foundation, Austal Ltd and Australian Institute of Management (NSW) Ltd. Mr Ferris joined the expert panel for the Federal Government’s Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research in October 2011.
Mr Ferris was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1990 for services to the export industry and in 2008 was made Companion in the Order of Australia for his philanthropic activities, as a leader in support of medical research and his role in the establishment of the private equity sector in Australia.
Awards honouring Bill’s contribution to the private equity sector include the most recent award: Leader of the Year, Asia-Pacific, in the Private Equity International Awards 2013 announced on 1 March, 2014. Past awards include: the first Asian Venture Capital Journal Lifetime Achievement Award (November 2008), the first AVCAL Lifetime Contribution Award (September 2008) and Entrepreneur Champion in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2005.
Mr Ferris holds an Honours degree in Economics from the University of Sydney and a Master of
Business Administration from Harvard Business School where he graduated as a Baker Scholar in 1970.
Mr Ferris is the author of three books: “Really Making a Difference” published December 1993, “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained” published March 2000, and “Inside Private Equity”, published January 2013.