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Ian Potter Foundation Announces New CEO

1 October 2015 at 12:15 pm
Ellie Cooper
One of Australia’s oldest philanthropic foundations, the Ian Potter Foundation, has announced that it has appointed a new CEO.

Ellie Cooper | 1 October 2015 at 12:15 pm


Ian Potter Foundation Announces New CEO
1 October 2015 at 12:15 pm

One of Australia’s oldest philanthropic foundations, the Ian Potter Foundation, has announced that it has appointed a new CEO.

Following the resignation of long-time CEO Janet Hirst, Craig Connelly will take the reigns at the foundation from December 15.

        Craig Connelly

The Ian Potter Foundation is one of Australia’s largest philanthropic organisations, managing a corpus of over $550 million and distributing over $24 million in grants per annum to charitable organisations around Australia.

Connelly has spent 25 years working in a variety of roles in the Australian financial services sector, initially with chartered accounting firm, Price Waterhouse, followed by 11 years as a leading Australian equities analyst and partner with JBWere.

In 2004 Connelly established his own Australian Equities long/short fund before selling his interest in the fund in late 2011.

Over the past 15 years, Connelly has spent time supporting personal philanthropic pursuits, including his Swim For Life campaign, raising funds for the Royal Melbourne Hospital 5 West cancer day ward, and more recently, devoting his efforts to the advancement of a large community club in the north west region of metropolitan Melbourne.

Chairman of The Ian Potter Foundation, Charles Goode AC, said he was “delighted” to welcome Connelly to the organisation.

“His expertise and experience in finance, analysis and business management will be great assets to the Foundation and combined with his personal commitment to the community, positions Craig as an excellent leader for our organisation,” Goode said.

Connelly said he was both honoured and excited to have been named CEO.

“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to the wonderful work of The Ian Potter Foundation,” Connelly said.

“Over the past 50 years, the foundation has made an enormous contribution to this country and I am looking forward to working with the Board, the staff and the grant recipients to maximise the impact of the grant funds. For me personally, this is an amazing opportunity to combine my years of experience in business management and finance with my commitment to the community, and to help the Foundation continue its excellent work.”

Connelly succeeds Janet Hirst who leaves the Foundation after 10 years as CEO.

Goode said Hirst had overseen a decade of significant growth and development at the Foundation, implementing improvements to staff structures, grant-making, reporting and evaluation processes, and communications.

“The Board of Governors thank Janet for her leadership over the last 10 years. She has represented the Foundation with poise and style, clearly articulated our vision and values, strengthened the competence of our team, and improved our grant-making processes. Janet has also made a significant contribution to the broader philanthropic community. She leaves with our thanks and best wishes,” he said.

Hirst said in June that she was stepping down in order to instigate change at the foundation.

"It is with some sadness that I have announced that I will leave the Foundation at the end of this year," Hirst said.

"By then I will have been in my role for ten years, and I remain passionate about the Foundation and what we do and the team I work with, however I am a firm believer that for senior management roles, this is the right time for a change."

I have a very busy six months ahead as I want to see more of the concepts I have put forward to Board bedded down before I leave."

Connelly will also assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust and The George Alexander Foundation.

Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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