Mr Ferris is a 45-year veteran of private equity in Australasia, founding Australia’s first venture capital firm in 1970, He has been the Executive Chairman of CHAMP Private Equity since its formation in 2000, and of its predecessor, Australian Mezzanine Investments Pty Ltd, which he co-founded in 1987.
Mr Ferris was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1990 for services to the export industry and in 2008 was made a Companion of 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.
Mr Ferris is the Chair of Innovation and Science Australia (ISA), announced under the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda in December 2015. ISA is an independent statutory board advising the Australian Government on all science, research and innovation matters.
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 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’ current directorships include Chairman; CHAMP Private Equity group, and Member of the Harvard Business School Asia Pacific Advisory Council.