UniQuest Pty Limited, The University of Queensland’s main commercialisation company, has appointed Chartered Accountant Rob Hewitt as Chief Financial Officer.

Maintaining UniQuest’s position as one of Australia’s largest and most successful university technology transfer companies, with group revenues exceeding A$50 million, will add another dimension to Mr Hewitt’s already multi-faceted career.

Originally from the UK, where he studied to become a Chartered Accountant and completed a BA (Honours) in Modern Languages, Mr Hewitt spent five years with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu as a Chartered Accountant and Audit Senior.

He also honed his technical acumen whilst holding senior financial management positions in organisations operating in a range of industries, including textiles, building materials, cleantech, and private equity – developing the kind of insight UniQuest was looking for to optimise value from its growing portfolio of ventures spun out from university research.

“Rob’s experience with both multi-national companies and small business enterprises will help UniQuest advance our own company objectives as well as help our start-up companies establish strong and professional financial bases,” said UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson.

“Commercialising university research is a highly specialised function, requiring a niche range of skills and processes to take an idea from the bench to the board room and out to the business and community sectors where it can really have impact. Rob’s diverse expertise has prepared him for the complex needs of our organisation and the services we provide to The University of Queensland and our partner research institutions.”

Mr Hewitt said he will draw on his experience in due diligence, acquisitions, integration and capital raising to ensure UniQuest continues to operate with the level of professionalism and integrity associated with the company since 1984.

“I am looking forward to producing the kind of robust financial intelligence that UniQuest needs to develop positive growth strategies, while ensuring the day-to-day financial processes provide smart and reliable support for that growth,” Mr Hewitt said.

“Global events like the GFC have taken their toll on organisations that focus on early-stage technologies and emerging service concepts. UniQuest has managed to ride out the storm and now I am taking on the reins to keep us on track as the market recovers.

“UniQuest’s contract research and consultancy work, including overseas aid through our International Development division, also presents new opportunities for me to play a part in the transfer of university expertise to business, government and the community.”

Mr Hewitt commenced work with UniQuest on 31 January and is based at the company’s University of Queensland St Lucia office.

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