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Seek launches investments arm

Seek's founder and long-time chief executive Andrew Bassat is transitioning into a new role within the company as the chief executive of its new venture, Seek Investments.

Seek said Seek Investments will focus on being an investor and business builder that partners with emerging leaders to support their aspirations and deliver long-term returns.

It said the board was reviewing various options that will allow Seek to retain significant economic exposure to Seek Investments while having the ability to access third party capital for Seek Investments as it continues to grow.

An independent board committee, which has retained unnamed external advisers, has been established to oversee the process of the review.

Seek said it is expected that the review will lead to two independent and focused businesses. The first being Seek and the second being Seek Investments which will own and manage early-stage ventures and online education services.

It said its key to success will include the ability to operate independently and access third party capital.

Seek chair Graham Goldsmith thanked Bassat for his 23 years in leading the Seek APAC and Australia business and said this transition has been a long-time priority.

"Andrew decided now is the time to transition away from the Seek chief executive role and focus his expertise and passion on growing Investments," Goldsmith said.

"We are fortunate that he has chosen to take on the new challenge in addition to continuing to support Seek as a director."

Bassat said it has been an incredible privilege to serve as the chief executive of Seek and he is excited about the new endeavour.

"The Seek journey is just starting and my passion for the company and its people is as strong as ever.  But now is the right time for a new leader for the next stage," Bassat said.

"I am also excited to focus more of my energy assisting the businesses in the Investments portfolio reach their full potential."

The board said Investments will need substantial additional capital and a willingness to support further sustained periods of larger losses.

"An independent Investments will be better placed to make aggressive long-term investment decisions and access external capital," Seek said.

"Online education services stands to benefit from ongoing investment and a close cooperation with early stage ventures education portfolio to continue to deliver a world-class experience for partners and students."

The transition will see Ian Narev, former Commonwealth Bank boss, take over as chief executive of Seek, effective 1 July 2021.

"I am honoured that Andrew and the board have chosen me to become Seek's chief executive.  I am not going to try to fill Andrew's shoes," Narev said.

"It is impossible to overstate the value of his strategic insight, and the esteem in which he is help by Seek's people."

Narev said he is committed to do whatever he can to help Seek to continue its record of pursuing its vision and purpose.

"I have been tremendously impressed with the passion and talent of Seek's people during my two years here.  I look forward to continuing to work with them to help achieve Seek's purpose," he said.

"I am delighted Andrew will remain on the board of Seek and I will continue to draw heavily on his wisdom and experience."

Read more: Seek InvestmentsAndrew BassatIan NarevGraham GoldsmithCommonwealth Bank
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