Capp off to spend time with family

THE battle to get a board seat on listed pharmaceutical company VRI Biomedical was not a factor in Sally Capp’s recent decision to relocate to Melbourne, a point she wants to stress as she serves out her last four months as managing director of Australian Heritage Group.

Ms Capp has achieved a lot since her arrival in Perth in 1996. She has enjoyed commercial success, was named an inaugural WA Business News 40under40 winner, become an ambassador for the Perth CBD and has given birth to two sons.

Her husband, Andrew, has also been able to build a successful computer business.

Ms Capp told WA Business News that her decision to move back to Melbourne was based solely on a need for her and her husband to be closer to their families.

“We love Perth but the call of family is too great,” she said.

“I’ve loved all of the things that happened with VRI even though, as an experience, it was not a very pleasant one.”

Ms Capp said she was amazed with the fascination some parts of Perth’s media had with the VRI boardroom battles given the small market capitalisations of the companies involved.

AHG’s move to spill the VRI board earlier this year resulted in very personal and public attacks on some AHG directors, including Ms Capp.

She said the move would not change her non-executive director position with VRI.

“What people lose sight of is that the requisition process [that gained her a seat on the board] was only the start of the process,” Ms Capp said. “We’re in the process of doing a fund raising for that company and the funds will be used to pay for clinical trials.”

VRI also would focus on Australian markets as opposed to those overseas, she said.

Besides her role with VRI and AHG, Ms Capp is also on the boards of Mineral Securities, Avon Resources, Adelaide-based fund manager MMC Asset Management and DJ Carmichael.

She said she would maintain those positions, however her role with Avon could soon end if the company picks up a contract to supply electricity to the Kimberley region.

If Avon wins the power contract AHG’s involvement with it will end. 

There has also been much speculation about AHG’s plans to sell listed stockbroker DJ Carmichael.

While Ms Capp was non-committal about whether the broker was for sale, she said AHG was reviewing its operations and trying to work out the best way to move forward.

She said she was mindful of criticism that the company has invested too widely, particularly in the financial services sector with DJs, MMC and a holding in a superannuation fund.

“I personally would like to see the company return to its venture capital approach,” Ms Capp said.

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