OUR PEOPLE: ADVISERS
BILL FERRIS AC
Bill Ferris, together with Joseph Skrzynski, are co-founders of the group now known as CPE Capital. He is a 48-year veteran of private equity in Australasia, having founded Australia's first venture capital firm in 1970.
In November 2015, Bill was appointed by the Australian Government as Chair of the Innovation and Science Australia Board. He is also currently a member of the Harvard Business School Asia Pacific Advisory Council. Some of his former recent directorships include Chair of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Chair of the of the Federal Government’s Health and Hospitals Fund Advisory Board.
Bill was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1990 for services to the export industry. In 2008, he 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 Private Equity International 2013 "Leader of the Year, Asia-Pacific", the Asian Venture Capital Journal Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and an AVCAL Lifetime Contribution Award in 2008.
He 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.
Bill 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.
JOSEPH SKRZYNSKI, AO
Joseph Skrzynski, together with Bill Ferris, are co-founders of the group now known as CPE Capital. Joe first became involved with private equity in 1970 when he was appointed to manage a pool of private investments for a wealthy industrialist. This pool included successful investments across all stages of private equity, including seed capital, expansion capital and a management buy-in privatisation of a public company.
He has held numerous portfolio company directorships since 1987, including publicly listed company directorships in Australia and Asia, on behalf of both the AMIL and CHAMP Funds.
Joe has been active in the Australian industry association AVCAL, including time as its President. His contribution to the industry has been honoured with the AVCJ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and the AVCAL Lifetime Contribution Award in 2008, both awards being shared jointly with Bill Ferris as the managerial recipient of those awards.
He has also been active in community affairs for more than 40 years. He has held several governmental senior appointments, including Chairmanships of The National Capital Development Authority, the Sydney Opera House Trust and broadcaster SBS.
Joe is currently a member of the international boards of Human Rights Watch and The Conversation Media Group and is a director of Philanthropy Australia and The Observership Program.
He graduated with honours from the Faculty of Economics, University of Sydney in 1969, was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1993, and in 2008 became an Officer in the Order of Australia for services to the industry and philanthropy.