Our Team

Maxine Simmons
Executive Director

Maxine is the Executive Director of Cure Kids Ventures and was the founding Chief Executive of CKV. Maxine brings over 30 years of commercial experience in start-up and expansion stage company development.

Since CKV’s inception in 2008, Maxine has lead investments for CKV into an impressive portfolio of companies with products and services covering medical devices, medications, diagnostics, health information and healthcare delivery systems.

Among numerous influential roles, she has been the founding director of Industry New Zealand (now New Zealand Trade and Enterprise); a director of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology; and Chair of the NZ biotechnology industry organization, NZBIO.

Maxine is on the board of the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular BioDiscovery, is an advisory board member of the MedTech Core, was a Director of Industrial Research Ltd prior to it becoming Callaghan Innovation and has represented New Zealand on the APEC Business Advisory Council from 2010 to 2014. She is also currently a director of several private companies.

Maxine was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2017 for her services to science, particularly to the field of biotechnology.

Maxine holds a Master of Science degree in biological sciences from the University of Auckland and is a chartered member of the NZ Institute of Directors.

Caroline Quay
Chief Investment Officer

Caroline has extensive experience in the high growth healthcare technology and innovation sector gained from more than a decade as global General Counsel of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

Caroline started out her career as a corporate lawyer specialising in mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture investments with two of NZ’s premier law firms. Caroline’s experience covers intellectual property, technology, research and development, global growth and expansion, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital, corporate governance, global compliance and global risk assessments/management.

She currently also holds strategic development and commercial advisory roles with high growth technology companies in various sectors including the medical devices, biotechnology and agritechnology sectors.

Caroline was the recipient of the EY/ NZ Asian Leaders’ Scholarship for the EY Darden Programme. Caroline was also a recipient of the UBS Scholarship in Finance. She received her Bachelor of Laws degree with Honours and Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Auckland.

Caroline is a member of New Zealand Global Women and an Established Member of New Zealand Asian Leaders and Superdiverse Women.

Our board

Roy Austin

Roy Austin has been the Chairman of the Board at Cure Kids Ventures since 2011. Roy brings over 30 years of investment banking experience spanning a wide range of industries. He has extensive experience in capital raising, investment transactions in healthcare and biotech, mergers and acquisitions, IP commercialisation, venture capital and international business development. His practical experience also includes participation in local and international manufacturing, marketing and New Zealand and European based equity funds.

Roy holds directorships in CDL investments NZ Ltd, an NZX listed company, and Diantranz Otsuka Ltd, a biotech company developing cell therapy for diabetics. He is also Chairman of Living Cell Technologies since 2011. He is a consultant and previously a Principal to Northington Partners Limited NZ, a private investment bank.

Roy was appointed a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2017 for his services to children’s health and the community.

Roy is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce. He is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Howard Moore

Howard has been a Board Member at Cure Kids Ventures since 2008. Howard’s breadth of experience spans multiple industries including venture capital, agritech, foodtech, and biotech. His career is hallmarked by fund raising, technology commercialisation, early stage company development and sales and marketing.

Howard had previously co-founded Tercica, an Auckland based biotech company which he relocated to the US and later went on to float on the NASDAQ.

After returning to New Zealand, Howard took a position as Executive Director of BioPacific Ventures, a $100 million Direct Capital life science fund. Howard is currently CEO of Pictor Limited, a CKV investee company, commercialising diagnostic testing system.

Howard graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Food Technology and maintains an avid interest in improving the profitability of the life science sector.


Frances Benge

Frances is CEO of Cure Kids. She has been a Director at Cure Kids Ventures since 2017. Frances has experience in fund raising, portfolio management, business planning, and sales & marketing from over 30 years within the pharmaceutical and fund raising industry. Frances is also highly passionate about the health and well-being of communities, which is an aptitude she garnered from working within Cure Kids and from being a former nurse.

Prior to her appointment as Cure Kids’ CEO in 2015, Frances was Pfizer’s Global Innovative Brand Lead in Hong Kong where she managed Pfizer’s global product portfolio across Asia Pacific markets. She was awarded Pfizer’s great manager award as a result of her services. Frances has also held leading roles in Roche and Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals.

Frances received the Trevor Eagles Memorial Award for AMCHAM Member of the Year and has been a finalist of the Women on Board Awards.

Frances holds a Graduate Diploma in Business from Massey University and has completed a Strategic Leadership programme from Macquarie Graduate School of Management. She also holds a Diploma in Business and Nursing from Wellington Polytechnic.