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CEFC appoints new chief executive

Ian Learmonth, a former Macquarie director, will take the helm when the green bank’s inaugural chief leaves in May.

Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation has appointed Ian Learmonth, a former Macquarie director who now works for Social Ventures Australia, as its new chief executive.

Learmonth will take over on 15 May, with inaugural chief executive Oliver Yates stepping down after four-and-a-half years . Learmonth, who has worked for SVA since 2011, has served on CEFC’s executive investment committee for the past nine months.

Learmonth worked for Macquarie from 1989 to 1996 and again from 1998 to 2011, spending 12 years as an executive director for the company. He leads the Impact Investing team at SVA, a venture philanthropy group launched in 2002.

Learmonth said he will look to help the CEFC “fulfil its role in increasing the flows of finance into the clean energy sector and contributing to efforts to meet Australia’s targeted reductions in CO2 emissions”. CEFC chair Jillian Broadbent praised the incoming chief executive for his “diverse experience, demonstrated leadership and strategic thinking”.

Yates, also a Macquarie veteran, announced in October that he would be leaving Australia’s green bank. Yates had led the organisation since 2013, as the CEFC has committed more than A$3.3 billion in renewable project despite nearly being scrapped by former prime minister Tony Abbott.

Last month, the CEFC contributed financing to a grid-scale battery storage project as well as several solar farms.