John Kells, CFA
Co-Managing Partner, Global from Day One (GD1)
What are some of your career highlights so far?
14 years in London, which includes:
- 3 years front office equity analyst for global hedge fund, GLG Partners (since acquired by Man Group).
- 8 years investing and managing Tesco Pension Investment’s GBP1.5bn Alternatives portfolio across venture capital, private equity and hedge funds.
Currently, Co-Managing Partner for GD1 Fund 3 in New Zealand.
- Played a key role in successfully raising one of New Zealand’s largest venture capital funds with c.$150M in commitments (Fund 3 invests in New Zealand startup tech companies going global – across Deep Tech, Connected Hardware, SaaS, HealthTech, and Internet2.0 verticals.
- So far, I’ve led 7 out of the 15 GD1 Fund 3 invested companies
What do you like most about your job/industry?
Having a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation, working in venture capital is a hugely exciting and rewarding career. I have the opportunity to work closely with some of the brightest minds in various industries, and witness first-hand the growth and impact of the startups we invest in.
There’s nothing like discovering and investing in today’s ambitious early stage New Zealand startups that have the potential to transform industries and create world changing impact. The need to constantly learn and adapt to new trends and emerging cutting edge technologies make working in venture capital an amazing place to be.
What are your interests outside work?
During my free time, I like to stay physically active by running and surfing. I also enjoy listening to podcasts focused on investment and technology. Moreover, being a fairly new parent to my 4-month-old son, Quinn, definitely keeps me occupied!
Can you recommend some good reading and/or viewing?
I’ve been watching a few TV series, which recently includes White Lotus and Yellowjackets. I’m also a bit of a Marvel and Star Wars movie nerd. I don’t read a lot outside of work-related media, but instead love listening to podcasts. Current favourites are All-In and Grit.
Make a prediction for 2028
Firstly, I’ll still be working in venture capital….
AI/ML will continue to evolve and become even more integrated into our daily lives, from personal assistants, robotics, and home automation, to healthcare and finance, transforming the way we live and work.
Renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro and wind power will become even more cost-effective and accessible to a wider range of people and businesses, leading to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. We will likely see further developments in space exploration with private companies leading the way in this field. Overall, I am super excited to see how these developments shape our future.