Page 1

BUSINESSFIRST for Business Leaders


How AquireAP is leading a coaching revolution

What’s your psychology? Why Bramwell Solutions puts psychology ahead of hype








129000 AU$12.95 NZ$13.95


Robert de Loryn

The four foundations of experiential learning

How Nick Bell and WME changed the face of web marketing




People . Strategy . Results

Leadership Development

Innovative Business Solutions

Experiential Learning

We take leadership development further with executive coaching and a 24/7 leadership helpline.

We partner with our clients to make a difference to the people and the bottom line.

Take the learning experience one step further with a powerful experiential learning adventure.

We are an international consulting firm operating in 9 countries, offering customised services in partnership with our clients to ensure improvements to their overall business operation. RdL have four significant points of difference over other consulting firms.


Deliver comprehensive and tailored programs that assist existing management achieve results well after the completion of our face to face partnership.


Assist clients in delivering results with “Profit” and “People & Culture” as the primary focus.


Provide 1 on 1 follow up executive coaching and a 24/7 Leadership Helpline.


Provide experiential learning as part of our comprehensive learning program.

Contact us to experience the difference B


PO Box 74 , The Patch Victoria Australia 3792 Web: Email: Mobile: +61 (0) 417 349 712 Phone: +61 1300 76 24 11 Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook

BUSINESSFIRST for Business Leaders


Anytime Anywhere



CONTENTS REGULARS 4 Editor’s Desk 5 News 96 The Leader’s Bookshelf

FEATURES 12 Build your Business 2.0: the beginners guide to getting your business mobile

Putting the client first Offshoring has gained global momentum as businesses look to streamline operations, cut costs, but gain more international reach in the process. Business First speaks with AcquireAP founder Scott Stavretis about the growth of the offshoring market. 52 Eight steps to a successful BI software implementation by Stefan Crisp

SPECIAL FEATURE: 8 Who do you really bank with? 10 Is measuring systemic risk, numbers only part of the equation


58 Mobile Technology – putting power in investors’ hands by Megan Boston


64 3 ways to go from mindfull busyness to mindful business by Rasmus Hougaard and Gillian Coutts

16 A new year of political uncertainties

70 How to perform at your peak by John Corias

40 The 4 Priorities of Benevolent Capitalism

75 Entrepreneurship Redefined by Jack Delosa

85 If you had one word for 2016

76 Why every business leader deserves a powerful presentation by Emma Bannister

PEER TO PEER 22 Export essentials: Opportunities abound in South Korea by Andrew Watson 28 Using KPIs to boost your business this New Year by Allan McKeown




LIFESTYLE 89 Health – Key tips for work/ life balance

34 What to do if you are heading for trouble in Graveyard Month by Roger Mendelson 48 Leading with assertive humility by Stuart Taylor


81 Step Up, Stand Out – The Foundations of Image and Branding by Jon Michail

90 Philanthropy – The cycle of corporate life 92 Hideaway – Los Cabos Luxury paradise


94 Fast lane – Porsche 911 Carerra S: A little excitement goes a long way


BUSINESS FIRST LOUNGE 24 The talent whisperer For Cecily Moreton, founder of Moreton Executive Coaching, coaching is a matter of marrying psychology with business practicality to uncover a more effective path to successful leadership. 30 Experiential learning is the pillar of success Business First speaks with Robert de Loryn about 20 years in the business and partnering up with clients to give them a unique perspective. 36 The times are a changing Gareth Mann comes from a long line of engineers and you could say the profession was in his blood. 44 The 20 mile march If there is one person who understands the financial management space it is Connie Mckeage, the former ETrade acting CEO and current head of OneVue. 50 Balancing Act How the UniSA MBA is tackling gender equality

24 72 When worlds converge When a business is acquired by one of the world’s largest technology solutions providers, it can be said that the company is doing something right. Led by Paul Bellette, the award winning BPO focused Converga has been on the up and up for the past 15 months.


78 The golden coach Executive coaching takes many forms, and each has its merits. For Mark Bramwell, the most effective coaching is conducted with a psychological focus.

54 Insurance from the heart Windsor Income Protection’s COO Jason Potter-Rose speaks about the importance of insurance post GFC and how insurers have stepped up to meet modern challenges. 60 Search and rescue How Nick Bell created a $45M start-up from his bedroom.

82 Shadforth family values Through a focused commitment of meeting the needs and goals of our people and our clients, Shadforths Civil Contractors has established itself as an industry leader within the Civil Construction Industry in Queensland.


66 Leading by example For Ray Pittman, the president and CEO for CBRE’s Australia and New Zealand operations, strong leadership running through an organisation is an important marker for business success.



86 The circle of life Add the discipline of military mentorship with the passion for educating people to achieve their best and you get Daimien Patterson, a man who runs two successful businesses Veterans 4 Youth and Integrity Property Education.




Coaching the executive In this issue of Business First, the first for the New Year, we have taken an in-depth look at the coaching industry and spoken to some of the major Australian players in the sector. It is an interesting sector – as diverse as it is controversial. There are cries for more regulation. There is also a growing number of businesses who say they couldn’t be without their executive coach guiding them and offering a clear point of view with regard to direction. Sadie F Dingfelder of the American Psychological Association writes, “Worldwide, companies spend about $1 billion each year on executive coaches – people who work one-on-one with managers to help them better perform their jobs… “Coaching...links industrial-organisational skills with counseling skills,” she notes. Richard Kilburg, PhD, senior director of the Office of Human Services at Johns Hopkins University says, “Because you are working with senior leaders in organisations, the changes an individual is making as a result of their own professional growth and development begin to have a significant impact on an organisation that has thousands or even tens of thousands of employees.” That is the message echoed by many of the coaches we have interviewed for this issue. For Cecily Moreton, marrying psychology with business practicality is the essence of business coaching success. Mark Bramwell of Bramwell Solutions, who believes psychology is a real differentiator in the market, mirrors her views. A different kind of coach is Daimien Patterson of Veterans 4 Youth. Daimien is more mentor than coach, teaching life skills to kids who need some guidance and direction in their life. Daimien hopes that the guidance he had in his youth, that has led to his success, is passed on to those he teaches. We also look at the four foundations that Robert de Loryn’s RdL Management Consultants has also been built on. Meanwhile Jon Michail explains why a good executive coach will help you be your authentic self and therefore build an authentic business. We also take a look at the outsourcing worlds of Paul Bellette’s Converga and Acquire’s Scott Stavretis. Scott is the focus of our cover story for this issue. He has built an international offshoring business that is helping companies streamline operations and cut costs. Although there is a large focus on coaching, this is an issue as diverse as its coaches. CBRE Asia Pacific CEO Ray Pittman explains his five-year strategy and what leadership means to him and Gareth Mann of Transfield Worley Power Services offers insight into the privatisation of government businesses into the private sector. Also in the issue are Peter and Ray Shadforth who have overcome a major tragedy to build on past foundations, Connie Mckeage of OneVue who gives insight into wealth management and Nick Bell who has made the SEO industry his own. Finally, Jason Potter-Rose looks at the importance of income protection in a world that is much more volatile than it once was. There is a lot of insightful reading to do and we hope you take some pointers away with you to apply to your own lives and businesses. Happy reading.

Jonathan Jackson

Jonathan Jackson Editor, Business First Magazine



BUSINESSFIRST MAGAZINE EDITOR Jonathan Jackson SUB-EDITOR Judy Hyman MEDIA & Khan Izaac COMMUNICATION Jake O’Donnell WRITER Daniel G Taylor DESIGN Gino Hawkins PRODUCTION Danise Li Head Office Level 1, 33-35 Atchison St St Leonards NSW 2065 Advertising enquiries Phone: 02 8416 5294 Email: Subscription enquiries Phone: 02 8416 5294 Email: Contributors Emma Bannister, Megan Boston, Gillian Coots, ohn Corias, Stefan Crisp, Jack Delosa, Rasmus Hougaard, Paul Lin, Allan McKeown, Roger Mendelson, Rajeev Mitroo, Stuart Taylor, Andrew Watson Associated Media Group Pty Ltd Publisher Alan Hyman ABN 68 123 058 926 Copyright ©2016 Associated Media Group DISCLAIMER Readers are advised that Business First Magazine and Associated Media Group (AMG) cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of statements made in the advertising. Opinions expressed throughout the publication are the contributors own and do not necessarily reflect views or policy of Business First Magazine or AMG. While every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, AMG takes no responsibility for those relying on the information. AMG and Business First Magazine disclaim all responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by readers of third parties in connection with the information contained in this publication. WARRANTY AND INDEMNITY Advertisers and/or advertising agencies upon and by lodging material with AMG for publication or authorizing or approving of the publication of any material indemnify Business First Magazine and AMG, its servants and agents against all liability claims or proceedings whatsoever arising from the publication and without limiting the generality of the foregoing to indemnify each of them in relation to defamation, slander of title, breach of copyright, infringement of trademark or names of publication titles, unfair competition or trade practices, royalties or violation of rights or privacy regulations and that its publication will not give rise to any rights against or liabilities against AMG, its servants or agents and in particular, that nothing therein is capable of being misleading or deception or otherwise in breach of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

Publishing, adverti CILTA AWARDS by Associated Med

Download Business First Magazine to your PC, iPad, iPhone or Android device


Why ad blocking is a good thing

Digital growth and captivation specialist, Opentop, which was recognised as one of Australia’s fastest-growing companies, ranking 48th overall on BRW’s top 100 Fast Starters list last year attributes the company’s success to creating technology that enables brands to grow online, and great people driving the business forward. “While investing in technology ensures we will continue to develop new ways for our partners and advertisers

to grow, it’s our people that are driving Opentop to new heights,” said Aaron Woolf, founder and chief executive officer of Opentop. The more successful start-ups in an era in which start-ups are increasingly encouraged to excel comes from and ability to provide growth mechanisms for both advertisers and publishers. Opentop uses its technology to help advertisers generate leads and build communities, while also helping publishers captivate, monetise and better connect with their audiences. With ad-blocking a hot-topic in the advertising industry, companies such as Opentop who focus on captivation and connecting with people are well positioned to thrive moving forward. “Ad-blocking might turn out to be a good thing for the digital advertising industry, because it has placed the onus on brands to stop shouting at ‘consumers’ and start connecting with ‘people’, when they are open to being connected with,” Mr Woolf said. BFM

Tech investment grows Juniper’s latest research, ‘Crowdfunding: Strategies & Impacts for Technology Markets 2015-2020’, estimates that investments made in technology via crowdfunding platforms are set to increase sevenfold from an estimated $1.1 billion in 2015 to $8.2 billion by 2020. The research has found that the crowdfunding industry is to see an accelerated growth from the lucrative, but less well-known, method of funding known as ‘equity crowdfunding’. This is against an investment market which is currently seeing a slowdown in traditional investments from VCs (Venture Capitalists) and Angel Investors. The UK was the leading market for the regulation of equity crowdfunding, with the establishment of successful platforms such as CrowdCube. Juniper believes that other nations will follow this model by legislating to allow less sophisticated investors to engage in equity crowdfunding. The US in particular holds considerable promise, with the positive SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) ruling on the JOBS Act, Title III passed in October 2015.

The result of which will be a surge in equity funding from 2016 onwards; as funding portals seek registration as early as January 2016. The ‘Reward’ Crowdfunding model, popularised by the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, has been the most widely adopted, but has suffered recently following a number of high-profile failures, such as the Zano drones debacle.

 In response, platforms are beginning to look at more hybrid crowdfunding models, whereby users have the option of investment in the company or project itself via equity or debt, rather than receiving a one off ‘gift’ for their support courtesy of the rewards model.

 Report author Lauren Foye added: “The hybrid concept has been demonstrated recently, with videogames crowdfunding platform ‘Fig’ hosting projects to be backed through a combination of the rewards and equity models. Equity is attractive for consumers, who feel they may be investing in the next ‘Oculus Rift’ or ‘Pebble Time’, hence in line to make a significant profit.”

NO PRODUCTIVITY Scott Barklamb, Executive Director Policy & Public Affairs believes the Productivity Commission (PC) has failed employers, employees and the Australian community by giving the “unnecessarily complicated workplace relations system a free pass and not properly considering how it should be fundamentally reformed for the future.” Barklamb comments, “While recommending some useful changes to elements of our current employment laws, the 1229 page PC report fails to deliver a proper plan for how our workplace relations system can best support jobs, productivity and competitiveness in Australia’s 21st Century economy. “The PC fails to address how uncoordinated, excessive regulation is harming our competitiveness as a place to do business, invest and create jobs. Australia is the only country in the world to overlay awards, agreements, minimum standards and regulation of day-to-day relations between employers and employees. Unions are also artificially placed at the centre of our workplace laws when just 11% of private sector employees join them. “Australia’s business community recommended a raft of positive ideas to the PC to genuinely reform our workplace relations system and expected the PC to deliver options for meaningful change. Anything less, risks failing not only existing employers and employees, but young people whose future livelihoods hinge on this generation’s will to properly address serious national challenges. The PC’s 21 pages of recommendations do contain some positive ideas that will improve our workplace relations laws and that will be supported by employers. However, the PC needed to do more than blithely conclude our overall system is not in need of fundamental repair. It is very disappointing the PC appears to have made only piecemeal, uncoordinated recommendations across a limited subset of areas, rather than thinking about how our workplace relations system could be improved. “AMMA will encourage the Turnbull Government to put jobs, investment, productivity, growth and our future living standards at the centre of how it proceeds following the PC report, and we welcome the Minister’s prioritisation of these concerns.” BFM




Run for a life Running is one of the most popular sports on the planet, and runners one of the most dedicated – some say obsessed – group of athletes. One of the interesting aspects to the psyche of runners is that they are more than people who put on trainers and hit the streets, runners are people who see life as a series of challenges to overcome, which is what attracted Running Heroes. Running Heroes works with non-forprofits and corporations together to establish corporate charity events like their recent Team UNICEF World Run that raised money for children vaccination. Corporates who understand the importance of shifting the company’s culture towards employee health and happiness in the workplace have already worked with Running Heroes (including most recently Accenture, SCIEX or Suncorp). Individuals who already run in the company get a chance to inspire their colleagues and unite them through the sport behind a charity cause. “Recent studies have shown that the modern sedentary lifestyle is just so unhealthy,” says Quentin Auberger, Running Heroes UK Country Manager. “We want to encourage people to get out and move – not necessarily become

marathon runners, but move. Part of our program is giving anyone incentives to run and that’s why we’re working with corporations closely. All the corporates we have worked with are conscious of the negative impacts on employees to spend 8 hours a day behind a computer. When they sponsor events they not only encourage healthy activities, but they also promote their brand and increase the productivity of their employees.”
 Most recently, on 29 November, Running Heroes organised Team UNICEF World Run
(https://teamunicefworldrun. org), a 10km race that one could run anywhere in the world at any moment of any day, as long as he was equipped with a GPS device or application.

The race gathered 6072 participants from 57 countries raising a total of AU$142,300 to help vaccinate children around the world.
 “One of the things I love about the Running Heroes team is our corporate culture of looking for solutions where everybody wins,” says Auberger. “We have found a way to improve human health and reward positive behaviour, raise money for charity while increasing corporate productivity, profits and brand exposure. All within a single event concept. The direct benefits of our events are reduction in employee stress level, better physical and mental health, improvement on team spirit, engagement and happiness at work.”

BIG INVESTMENT IN SA Investment in public infrastructure and rising international student numbers are driving an apartment boom in the heart of a major Australian city. There are about 1800 apartments under construction across 12 projects in the centre of Adelaide with a further 24 projects approved for construction representing another 2000 apartments. The Adelaide central business district’s population is tipped to reach 30,000 by 2020, which is more than double what is was in 2001. The $100 million 30-storey Kodo development will have 208 apartments and become the tallest residential building in the South Australian capital upon completion in 2018. Developer Flagship Property Holdings plans to build a second apartment tower alongside Kodo in the future. Flagship Property Holdings CEO Steve Wise said early sales had been promising for Kodo, which means heartbeat in



Japanese as a reference to the development’s central city location. Wise said Adelaide’s city apartment market had evolved from predominantly a student accommodation investor market to one where there were more highly livable apartments aimed at owner occupiers. He said the 220,000 people who spent many hours a week travelling to and from the city for work were an obvious potential market for new city apartments. “If you look around Australia and at what’s happened in Melbourne, Adelaide is approaching its time where city apartments will be a segment of the market that will grow significantly,” Wise said. “(But) it’s only going to grow if it moves away from that small investor style of product and actually becomes much more attractive for people to upgrade or downsize.” BFM


ANOTHER RECORD YEAR FOR MASERATI Legendary Italian sports and luxury car maker Maserati has set a new sales record in Australia with sales of its exclusive range rising by 29.4 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014, itself a record year for the trident marque, according to official VFACTS figures released 6 January 2016. The major driver of the sales increase in 2015 was the new Maserati Ghibli. The sports saloon took Maserati into a new sector of the market and made the style, performance and exclusivity of Maserati available to a new group of customers. At the same time Maserati’s traditional market, sports cars, also delivered strong growth in 2015 with sales of the Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio climbing by 16.2 per cent. “These results clearly show that Maserati is both holding to its core values of a unique Italian combination of style, performance exclusivity and, at the same time is taking these values to new clients who until now have not been able to enjoy the exceptional experience of Maserati ownership,” says Glen Sealey, Chief Operating Officer of Maserati Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. “The continued sales growth of the Maserati sports cars show that these models resolutely deliver what is

expected of an sports car with the legendary trident badge. The outstanding sales of the Ghibli clearly demonstrates that this new model has taken Maserati to a new audience without any loss of those strengths and values. Maserati’s

Solahart announces collaboration with Tesla Energy

Online sick notes?

Australian solar expert Solahart has joined forces with US energy storage pioneer Tesla Energy, and from early 2016 will be offering Australian households a one stop shop for all their renewable energy needs. The collaboration will see Solahart, already one of Australia’s leading renewable energy solution innovators, become a Tesla Energy Authorised Reseller. “This is a natural fit and makes perfect sense, for Solahart,” says Stephen Cranch, Solahart’s GM Sales and Marketing Renewables. “We have witnessed myriad changes in the solar industry in Australia and we anticipate significant changes in the country’s energy market and how consumers perceive and take up renewable energy,” says Cranch. “We believe the introduction of the Tesla Powerwall battery in Australia will be a game changer. BFM

New start-up Dr Sicknote has been unsurprisingly swamped with overwhelming positive support since its launch on 8 December 2015. Since its inception Dr Sicknote website has had over 10,000 unique visitors in under a month, including the quieter holiday period. Dr Sicknote has already issued over 100 medical certificates. The main ailments of patients using the service have included gastroenteritis or coughs/colds, either for themselves or as carers for others. Nurses are the biggest users of the service so far, with 15% in the industry, demonstrating support from within the medical industry for this type of service. “We have had extremely positive feedback on the new service and have doubled our original targets”, Dr Sicknote founder and entrepreneur, Dr Sachin Patel said, “since initial

strength in Australia is also due in no small part to the fact that it is supported by an exceptionally customer focused group of dealers with benchmark facilities, another essential for the exclusivity that Maserati represents.” BFM

launch, the website has generated a lot of interest in what we offer from customers, potential new partners and others in the medical industry”. “The Australian public have been overwhelmingly positive and they support being able to access the service we provide”, said Patel, “there has also been industry interest from large corporations enquiring how the Dr Sicknote service works, and how it can benefit their workplace.” Patel believes that doctors should be leading change and this is one step towards a safe, legal and ethical online medical service. “This is one way of increasing recovery time for patients”, Patel stated, “by decreasing travel, time spent in waiting rooms, and spread of contagious illnesses.” It seems there are no limits to what you can do with a start-up. BFM




Who Do you Really Bank with? Credit Card Compare researched 99 banks, mutuals, building societies, credit unions and direct credit card companies to show which bank is behind your credit. There might be a few surprises as you discover some of the relationships that exist between the financial institutions in Australia for credit cards. The banking landscape of relationships is very different for other products such as home loans.


he big four continue to dominate the banking sector like an undying Goliath, making billions in fees off consumers across all product lines, who in turn are getting increasingly angry with the situation and with the big four’s profits. The smartest guys in the room, or the biggest gorillas, depending on how you look at it, will not stand idly at the prospect of losing customers simply because those customers don’t like their size. They are keen to offer an alternative – but what consumers don’t know is that their favourite small bank or their preferred credit card might have a big four name not far behind it. The big four offer a wide range of cards with excellent benefits and convenience, but as many consumer watchdogs point out, the fees to the customer can get exorbitant very quickly. With this added layer of obfuscation due to multi-branding, choosing the right card is probably more confusing than ever before. Luckily, the breadth of choice is high. At this point, the role that a comparison site like Credit Card Compare plays comes into its own. We help to level the playing field by making it easy to compare credit cards from across the market and educate consumers about ‘who owns who’ and which bank allows people to transfer balances to and from. “In Australia, the big four have basically locked up the mortgage market and as a result consumers are at their mercy when it comes to interest rates,” says Tom Godfrey, Head of Media for Choice, a consumer advocacy group. “This is not a great situation for consumers or the industry.” The multi-branding strategies employed by banks are misleading and confusing for customers. Godfrey points out that the Australian banking sector is one of the most highly concentrated in the



world. Australian consumers, he says, are aware that the big four control the Australian market “and are reminded of it whenever they try to get a better deal on a financial product”. Not many consumers, however, are aware of the true extent of the big four’s influence. One of the biggest issues credit unions and smaller banks raise with the big four is the idea of multibranding: the big four often own smaller banks, but this ownership is hidden deep inside the fine print, and consumers are seldom aware of the link. The big four, meanwhile, savvy to the poor reputation they have with consumers, market their smaller banks as an alternative-to themselves. “The multi-branding strategies employed by banks are misleading and confusing for customers, designed to create an illusion of competition and choice that in reality isn’t really there,” says Jason Murray, general manager of products and marketing at CUA. The strategy appears to be working: according to research conducted in the beginning of 2013 by the Customer Owned Banking Association (previously Abacus), 80% of Australians are unaware that the Big Four banks own certain other home loan lenders. People’s Choice Credit Union spokesperson Stuart Symons points out that another independent study found that almost 50% of people surveyed did not know that Westpac owns St.George – the level of ignorance was even higher when it came to the big four’s ownership of BankSA, Bank of Melbourne and BankWest. Westpac, for one, is fully aware of the benefits this bring to the company, it would appear. Murray points to a 2011 statement made by current CEO of Westpac at the Senate inquiry into competition and banking: “The customers who have chosen St

FEATURE| BFM George do not want to bank with a major bank”. There are other practical implications for a customer to want to stay away from the big four-owned banks, at least for the well-heeled: CUA’s Murray points out that the government guarantee of $250,000 deposits ‘only applies to the license entity’, meaning that for deposits spread across several banks within the same complex, anything over that amount is “out of guarantee”. There are deeper considerations as well that are harder to grasp. The bigger ‘small’ players are fighting back. People’s Choice, for example, has run advertising campaigns drawing attention to multi-branding, and has been working closely with the Customer Owned Banking Association to encourage the federal government to make an inquiry into Australia’s banks in order to promote competition. CHOICE’s better banking campaign, according to Godfrey, was designed to encourage consumers to ‘compare, ditch and switch’ in order to promote competition and a more consumer-friendly banking sector. “Better, tougher competition will benefit everyone in Australia because it will offer more choice and drive down fees and charges,” Symons says. “With Australians being charged a staggering $6.2 billion in credit card interest annually, we continue to promote ways consumers can get a better deal and save money,” Godfrey says. There are other relationships between the smaller banks or credit unions and big worldwide financial brands. One way to fight back against the big four, many credit unions and smaller banks are finding, is to partner with a global partner that’s not part of the clique. A large number of them have chosen to partner with Citibank for credit cards. For CUA, the deal formed as part of its relationship with Cuscal, which negotiated it on behalf of a group of credit unions. Murray says the partnership has helped CUA offer products they otherwise would not have been able to administer or fund independently. “It has also enabled us to offer our customers great ‘special offers’ and benefits such as very competitive balance transfer offers, complimentary international travel insurance and concierge services for Platinum cardholders as well as competitive annual fees for our credit cards,” Murray says. “The big four offer a number of cards with excellent benefits, but as many consumer watchdogs point out, the fees to the customer can get exorbitant very quickly. With this added layer of obfuscation due to multi-branding, choosing the right card is probably more confusing than ever before. Luckily, the breadth of choice is high,” says David Boyd, founder of “It is important to read the fine print when comparing these credit cards, something we have offered on this website for some time now. With this report, we hope consumers will learn just who exactly is behind their credit cards, so they can make their decisions fully informed.” The credit unions and the consumer protection groups acknowledge that what the big four are pursuing with multi-branding is not against the law – but that doesn’t make it okay. “At the moment it’s a legal business practice, but is it right?” says Symons. BFM




Is measuring systemic risk, numbers only part of the equation


y the numbers, Stockholm-based Nordea Bank AB should not be considered a global systemically important bank, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. should be subject to additional capital requirements. The two banks’ G-SIB positions illustrate the ways in which international regulators rely on more than just the quantitative outputs when it comes to making impactful decisions about banks. The Basel committee assigns scores that determine how big a capital surcharge to impose on each G-SIB. Basel’s methodology uses 12 indicators spread across five equally weighted categories: size, interconnectedness, substitutability, complexity and cross-jurisdictional activity. Scores in each category, measured in basis points, contribute to a company’s overall G-SIB score. Each G-SIB is placed in one of five buckets, with higher scores translating to higher buckets with more stringent capital requirements. “G-SIB scores and their associated capital surcharges are providing incentive for firms to become smaller, simpler and less integral to the financial system,” said John Simonson, a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ financial services regulatory practice. “Since the list was first published, five of the most complex G-SIBs have moved down the buckets, and others have announced plans to further rationalise.”


As banks look to lower regulatory capital charges, SNL Financial’s analysis suggests a smaller systemic risk score might not be enough.

Scores only go so far

Regulators  use  discretion  to  determine  a  bank's  systemic  risk  score.  The  Basel  Committee   explicitly  states  that  it  can  use  "supervisory  judgment"  in  assessing  G-­‐SIBs,  to  reflect  "a   variety  of  quantitative  or  qualitative  factors  not  captured  in  the 12  indicators."   Nordea  Bank  would  not  be  considered  a  G-­‐SIB  on  numbers  alone.  The  bank's  total  score  for   2014  was  129.2  basis  points,  just  below  the  cutoff  score  of  130  basis  points  for  the  lowest  


Final bank scores at G-SIBs

Mind the cap Final score by category


Interconnectedness Size (bps) (bps)

Complexity (bps)

Crossjurisdictional activity

Substitutablity (bps)

Final Score (bps)

JP Morgan Chase & Co.




HSBC Holdings Plc












Citigroup Inc.



BNP Paribas SA












Deutsche Bank AG








Barclays Plc









Bank of Amercia Corp.








Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc








Credit Suisse Group AG








Goldman Sachs Group Inc.








Morgan Stanley








Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.








Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc








Société Générale SA








Bank of China Ltd








Banco Santander SA








Wells Fargo & Co.








UBS Group AG








Crédit Agricole Group








Mizuho Financial Group Inc.








China Construction Bank Corp.








UniCredit SpA








Agricultural Bank of China Ltd.








Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc.








Group BPCE








Bank of New York Mellon Corp.








State Street Corp.








Standard Chartered Plc
















Nordea Bank AB








Company Bucket 4 (430 bps-529 bps)

Bucket 3 (330 bps-429 bps)

Bucket 2 (230 bps-329)

Bucket 1 (130 bps-229 bps)

Data compiled Jan 13, 2016 Final category scores and final scores are calculated using the methodology set forth by the Bank of International Settlements. Analysis limited to companies identified by Financial Stability Board and Basel Committee on Banking Supervision as global systemically important banks. Data is based on FR Y-15 fillings for U.S. banks. For European and Asia-Pacific banks, data based on public filings with G-SIB indicator disclosures. Sources: SNL Financial, individual public disclosures.

Regulators use discretion to determine a bank’s systemic risk score. The Basel Committee explicitly states that it can use “supervisory judgment” in assessing G-SIBs, to reflect “a variety of quantitative or qualitative factors not captured in the 12 indicators.” Nordea Bank would not be considered a G-SIB on numbers alone. The bank’s total score for 2014 was 129.2 basis points, just below the cutoff score of 130 basis points for the lowest bucket. Yet the bank was included in the Basel Committee’s latest list of G-SIBs. Nordea is not protesting the designation, saying it recognises that regulators make qualitative judgments in addition to the quantitative exercise. “One aspect is that we are the largest bank in the Nordic region and [an ‘other systemically important institution’] in all Nordic countries we are present. We don’t see being a G-SIB [as] a problem and [fulfil] all capital requirements already today,” said Emma Rheborg, head of group external communication for Nordea, in an email to SNL. Several banks were within 10 basis points of the threshold for a different bucket: Citigroup Inc. was 3 basis points shy of moving up to the next tier; Bank of America Corp. was within 5 basis points; and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. was within 10 basis points. On the other hand, HSBC Holdings Plc was 9 basis points above the threshold for a lower tier; Morgan Stanley was within 7 basis points; and ING Bank NV was just 2 basis points above the cutoff. However, Nordea’s experience suggests quantitative scores alone are not necessarily sufficient to move off the list.

A cap on substitutability scores is also impacting systemic risk calculations, but may change in future. At present, the Basel Committee has limited the substitutability portion of banks’ systemic risk scores to 500 basis points. The committee justified the cap by saying “the substitutability category had a greater impact on the assessment of systemic importance than was intended.” This limit is only in place through the 2015 year-end exercise, with results expected in November 2016. At that point, Basel will review the appropriateness of the cap and could remove it. Getting rid of the cap would have the biggest impact on U.S.-based banks: JPMorgan, Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Citigroup and State Street Corp. were the only G-SIBs with substitutability scores high enough to trigger it. Without this cap, JPMorgan’s substitutability score would have been much higher — 1,168 basis points — contributing to a total G-SIB score of 628 basis points. This would have put the bank alone in a bucket that would subject it to an additional 3.5% buffer on common equity Tier 1 ratios under Basel III. Instead, JPMorgan’s capped-off substitutability score of 500 basis points contributes to a total score of 495 basis points, which places the bank squarely in the bucket with a 2.5% buffer, alongside HSBC. The U.S. banks are unlikely to be concerned about the substitutability cap, said David Hilder, a senior analyst for Drexel Hamilton. Hilder told SNL that the Federal Reserve’s methodology is the only one that matters for banks’ capital planning. The Fed replaces the substitutability score with a measure of short-term wholesale funding. The U.S. central bank also employs a different bucket designation system that generally requires US G-SIBs to maintain even higher capital ratios than Basel. “The Fed is in charge of deciding what the G-SIB capital surcharges are for the US banks,” Hilder said. “So what matters to the U.S. banks is the Fed’s methodology, not anyone else’s.” Bert Loudis, a financial analyst at the US Office of Financial Research, told SNL that the Fed’s methodology does appear to be more stringent, placing higher capital burdens on banks with high systemic risk scores. “It appears as if [the Fed’s methodology] will be the binding regulation for the largest US banks,” Loudis said. Still, the Basel Committee’s framework serves as the Fed’s starting point. James Barth, a finance professor at Auburn University, noted that Basel’s decisions on risk weightings and capital requirements can affect how banks allocate credit. He said banks currently have sufficient capital to meet the fully phased-in minimum requirements, which could hamper the Basel Committee’s desire to prevent banks from getting more systemically risky. “If they are able to raise capital, they won’t have to shrink much,” Barth said. “And if they get additional capital beyond that, then they’re in a position to expand and become even bigger.” BFM ARTICLE SUPPLIED BY SNL FINANCIAL: SNL.COM




Build your Business 2.0: the beginners guide to getting your business mobile Businesses not adopting mobile technology are now being left behind.


nline services made available to people while they are on the go – referred to as mobile solutions – have become a necessity for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Such is the consumer’s thirst for mobile solutions in virtually every facet of their fast paced life, it has become increasingly perilous for consumer facing businesses to ignore servicing this need. Mobile technology is also not aimed solely at the consumer. It also has an equally important internal facing aspect that can make your business operationally more efficient, again helping the bottom line. From the sole trader and SME to marketing managers and corporate CEOs, company decision makers in Australia are now aware mobile technology is the present much less the future. But not knowing how to adopt the technology – and worrying whether you can afford it – is forcing some operators into inaction and losing them business. Empirical Works CEO Paul Lin outlines how you too can get mobile, with a budget anywhere from shoestring to GDP-like proportions.

Benefits: Stability, quality and cost - this single product is the creator’s core business. They are spreading the costs out over thousands, even millions of different clients. Most provide demos; you can play with it and worst case you are not really going to lose much money because they are cheap to get started, with most offering trial periods.

1. Product solution

2. Digital agency solution

The entry point mobile solution, best suited to the small business or SME. These are existing products you can apply to your business if they are similar to what you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for something to manage your HR system there is probably an app that does timesheets. If you want to track employee movements there is probably a suitable GPS tracking app to suit. These we call product solutions. These software companies have spent a lot of time building a certain technology that is somewhat rigid and fixed, but because they have spent all their money and time building this one thing it (should) work pretty well. Conceptually they’re not unlike other cloud based solutions like Salesforce or JIRA, where you should be able to set up, run and manage the entire software on your own without any IT knowledge or support.

A digital agency is the ‘all-rounder’. Big businesses usually have some sort of digital partner, whether they do your website, your marketing, and happen to also offer technology like web, and maybe mobile. For the all-rounder, mobile technology is rarely if ever their specialty. It is part of a bigger package and bigger picture, which they are good at – especially if that bigger picture is targeted towards their area of expertise. For example if you are working with a marketing agency that also builds websites and apps – and the solution you are looking for is marketing based – this works because the app will be tied back into the overall campaign more effectively. Similarly if you are working with someone on your website and it’s an upgrade of your website on a mobile device, it makes sense to go with them even though they are not the mobile experts.

Budget: Because it is built for users on a mass scale the cost is dependent on you using it. Prices are as low as a few dollars per user per month and Basecamp is a good example of this cloud-based software.

Budget: Cost-wise it is more expensive than the product solution, but given that the agency is working with the business on other projects, usually packaged discounts are provided. Cost wise most agencies


Drawbacks: Every business works differently. Due to the limitations on customisation you may need to change your business’s processes to match the product. This has the side effect that it suits smaller businesses rather than larger ones, as the cost of adopting new processes needs to be factored in, and this cost grows exponentially more expensive as the business gets larger and more complicated. That said, if you are a small business, and it 90-95% suits your needs, I recommend changing a few things in your own processes to match the product. If you’re a medium to large organisation, and the product is missing a few key features then changing your process and how people work is probably going to cost more than building a more customised solution.





should be offering simple solutions in the low tens of thousands. Benefits: Familiarity from an existing relationship, and less a feeling of starting from scratch. Not as expensive as a custom solution from mobile solution specialists. Will also tie into the overall service and solution better, if that’s what you’re looking for (marketing app from your marketing agency, for example) Drawbacks: This type of agency isn’t an expert in mobile technology or how to apply mobile to your business specifically, if it out of their area of expertise. Therefore the end product will likely be somewhat clumsy – for example, an app created by your marketing agency who does your promotional websites will most likely end up looking and feeling like a marketing website on a phone rather than a true app. This may be fine if you’re looking for a promotional marketing app, but not so good if you’re looking at a consumer-facing product or an internal process mobile solution.

3. Custom Solution The next tier in cost and time investment– a bespoke mobile specialist who designs and builds you a custom solution. The process itself will be custom and tailored precisely to your business, starting from analysis of your business processes, followed by a unique and customised design of the product, and then a custom built software created and tested specifically to your requirements and needs. Budget: It is like buying a suit in many respects. The product solution is like an off-the-rack suit. If it fits take it, because it is a lot cheaper. Using an agency is like a fashion label with a range of clothes that includes suits. This solution is the suit tailor, where the entire software is built just for you and your need. This comes with a proportional cost where time needs to be allocated to business analysts, designers, testers and engineers, and usually comes in at the high tens of thousands to the low hundred thousands. Benefits: Like the suit tailor, the mobile specialist comes in, sizes your business up and builds something specifically for you in every way, using processes and technologies that are the most suitable for your business requirements and needs. It should be the smoothest overall experience, and given that the solution is built by mobile specialists, it will also look and feel like a true mobile app that takes advantage of all the features the platform has to offer. Drawbacks: Cost. Again the analogy of the tailored suit versus off-the-rack is pertinent. They might look and feel the same but the fact that is has to be customised means a lot more effort and time than something built for everybody.

4. Hire in-house mobile team For larger businesses with an ongoing need, it may


also make sense to hire internally and to hire a team of engineers, designers, and other related experts to come in under your roof full time. It’s not a trivial task – mobile app and solution production is not a single person job, and will require significant hiring and management overheads in exchange for the amount of control and ownership you will have with your own employees. Budget: An experienced software engineer, designer, strategist, project manager and tester can cost upwards of over a hundred thousand dollars a year in salary alone per employee. Factoring in a few of these experts, hiring costs, technology costs, you’re looking


app is like making a movie or a video game – this is a production, but with the added complexity of ongoing costs and maintenance. So the costs and effort of hiring and managing your own mobile team shouldn’t be underestimated, and should only be attempted if you know exactly what you’re doing, have a business large enough to support this setup, and are planning this project out for five or ten years with the budget to match.

5. Technology Platform Solution The big league. If in-house is a production, this is the blockbuster. You call in the likes of IBM, Oracle and SAP, pay for their enterprise mobile platform and technologies, and get them to build you everything on top of these platforms and technologies. Costing many millions of dollars, the time scale is huge requiring you to sign up for years at a time, with the understanding that you would be locked to this company, their technology and services. Like implementing Oracle databases, even getting started takes months and even years of setup, analysis and deployment, but once done it provides you with the building blocks for all future projects, with these companies providing qualified consultants and developers to build individual (but interlinked) solutions upon this platform. Budget: Multiple millions of dollars, if not more. If you have already implemented a solution on this scale with Oracle, IBM or SAP, then you know how much this costs, and the amount of effort and work required to make it happen. If not, then this shouldn’t be a solution you’re considering. Benefits: With technology leaders of this calibre behind it, they have thought about everything that could possibly go wrong - security, stability of the solution, device management, distribution, and future planning and roadmaps. Everything should, in theory at least, have been thought of and taken care of by these experienced enterprise software experts.

at a minimum of a few hundred thousand dollars per year, which may climb to upwards to a million dollars or so once you complete your team with project managers and other management overheads. Benefits: This has the advantage of the previous solution – you are getting something custom from someone who eventually understands your business really well. This type of solution is ideal if it is a very big undertaking and also where you know exactly what you are doing, and you have the intention of continuing the project over a few years. Drawbacks: Cost and sheer scope. Building a mobile

Drawbacks: Besides the previously mentioned cost, effort and time scale, they are selling you the building blocks but chances are you still have to get one of the previous solutions – your own people or an agency to come in and build it anyway, as what they’re offering is much bigger than just one single product. On the flipside these companies will usually sell you their consultants as well, but they will be on the extremely expensive end, as they need to be qualified and certified in this specific technology and platform. In addition, you will be locked into this platform and technology for a long time, but this should all be issues that have already been considered and taken care of by your IT team if you’ve even vaguely considered this option. BFM Paul Lin is CEO of Empirical Works, one of Australia’s leading enterprise mobility companies. He has built apps and mobile solutions for some of the world’s biggest brands including Jim Beam, Skoda, Levi’s & Weight Watchers.




A NEW YEAR OF POLITICAL UNCERTAINTIES A cautious approach to evolving country risks will be necessary in 2016. In an environment of soft global growth, forecast by Coface to be 2.7% (after 2.5% in 2015), the risks that emerged in 2015 are expected to remain this year. At the forefront are the political tensions gaining ground in both advanced and emerging countries.


he elections in the United States and, above all, the risk of a “Brexit” by the United Kingdom (two advanced countries that outperformed the eurozone in 2015), are likely to weigh on business confidence. In the emerging world, uncertainties remain high in the Middle East. The risk of terrorism could lead to stronger nationalist movements. According to Coface’s political risk index, Turkey and Brazil particularly stand out, due to their growing political instability between 2007 and 2015, following the significant deterioration of their economic situations. Brazil, whose political crisis and recession are expected to continue in 2016, thus saw its country risk rating downgraded for the second time in less than a year, to C. Coface’s political risk index combines two types of indicators: pressures from changes (inflation, unemployment, corruption control, etc.) which measure the intensity of socio-political frustrations in a given country and instruments of change (education, social networks, proportion of youth, role of women, etc.), which capture the ability of these societies to transform frustrations into political action.

Advanced countries: recovery under pressure Overall, advanced countries will see moderate growth


in 2016, estimated at 2% by Coface. The main concerns include their dependency on commodity prices, the Chinese slowdown and financial market volatility. The trend of low barrel prices should continue in 2016, due to the continued surplus of oil supply – in part attributable to Iran’s return to the market. Heavily affected by the drop in oil sector investment, resulting from the decline in its income, Canada has fallen from the best risk category and is now assessed A2. The continued decline in oil prices has, however, had a beneficial effect on households and businesses in certain advanced countries. With the exception of Japan and Italy, the fall in energy bills has helped to revive corporate investment, particularly in Spain and the United Kingdom. Japan is also among the potential victims of the more-pronounced-than-expected Chinese slowdown, given that 18% of its exports are destined for China. Weak growth (estimated at 0.9% for 2016), the persistent risk of deflation and the indispensability of fiscal consolidation, explain the placing of its A1 assessment under negative watch. Not surprisingly, the decrease in demand and in tourism from mainland China will continue affect activity in Hong Kong and Taiwan, also under negative watch.


In the eurozone (with 1.7% growth expected in 2016), the situation of companies is gradually improving. This is evidenced by the insolvency statistics for France, Germany, Italy (a decrease of between -3.5% and -5% over the first nine months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014) and especially Spain (-26%). Italian growth will be supported by domestic demand, which will benefit from the return of confidence and the progress in structural reforms. This has led Coface to place Italy’s B assessment under positive watch.

Excessive company indebtedness: a new malaise in emerging countries The situation for emerging countries, where growth has halved in five years (3.9% expected in 2016), is further complicated by the growing indebtedness of companies affected by both the drop in commodity prices and the highly expansionary monetary policies, which followed the Lehman Brothers crisis. Only Central Europe remains unaffected at this stage. Hungary (whose assessment improved by one notch, to A4) and Latvia (B under positive watch) stand out for their solid growth, supported by household consumption, and for increased exports to European countries other rather than Russia.

According to Coface’s economists, Chinese companies are among the most indebted. Their debt represents more than 160% of GDP and 60 points more than in 2008. Following China are Turkey (+30 points), Brazil (+17 points), Russia (+14 points), and Malaysia (+11 points). Turkish companies, which have one-third of their debt denominated in US dollars, are proving to be among the most exposed to currency risks. The main glimmer of hope in the medium term concerns the gains in competitiveness resulting from recent depreciations of emerging currencies. In this context of increased risks for companies, Coface is issuing a one-notch downgrade of the assessments of several emerging countries that were already under negative watch. These include: Algeria (B) and Gabon (C), due to the low price of hydrocarbons, South Africa (B), negatively affected by sluggish growth and growing social tensions, Tanzania (C) and Madagascar (D), where growth is constrained by political uncertainties. BFM The Coface Group, a worldwide leader in credit insurance, offers companies around the globe solutions to protect them against the risk of financial default of their clients, both on the domestic market and for export.




PUTTING THE CLIENT FIRST Offshoring has gained global momentum as businesses look to streamline operations, cut costs but gain more international reach in the process. Business First speaks with Acquire BPO founder Scott Stavretis about the growth of the offshoring market.


usinesses have come a long distance since the days their telephones were manned by the receptionist and the salespeople. Back in those days, operations was a nine-to-five focus and global footprints barely existed. Today we live in a 24/7 world of complete interconnectedness and businesses need to be there for their clients and customers pretty much every minute of every day. Hence we have seen the rise of business process outsourcing. One man who saw a gap in this market, particularly in Australia, was Scott Stavretis, who founded Acquire in 2006 and has enjoyed significant growth and success ever since. “There was very little targeted outsourcing occurring in the Australian market,” Scott says. “Anyone who was operating an outsourcing business, whether their clients were small or large businesses, were completely focused on the larger US market.” This meant the Australian outsourcing market was essentially ripe for someone to come in and have a big impact. Those that were already in the Australian space were operating externally of the country. “They didn’t have the right infrastructure going into Australia and they didn’t know anything


about the compliance landscape. They were all running night shifts and weren’t having any impact. That’s why we went out on our own,” Scott says. Scott worked hard to set up the business strategies and foundations before launching. This has set the seeds for success. Kathryn Marshall who is Acquire’s Chief Commercial Officer says it is the structures that have played a pivotal role in the company’s growth. “Scott and his business partner set up Acquire properly from the outset,” says Kathryn. “Due to their background in telecommunications, they set up Acquire to supply telecommunications offshoring functions. Then as the offshoring industry diversified, so did the business.” Today, Acquire BPO offers solutions in finance, retail, banking, insurance, media and education. And when you look at global offshoring statistics, it is clear that more and more business leaders are finding value in sending certain skills offshore. Which is one of the reasons Acquire has seen such consistent growth. Startupsmart’s Rose Powell writes, “fast growing areas that Australians are outsourcing include





human resources/payroll and recruiting, which both grew by 227%, and legal which grew by 267%.” In the US, education provider Udemy found that in 2013 alone more than two million jobs were offshored globally. Udemy’s Lisa Selvaggio says, “If we break those statistics down further, 53% of manufacturing companies have used offshoring, while 43% of the IT sector and 12% of call centre jobs are also sent offshore.” As the industry has grown so has Acquire, but growth has come organically because the company’s systems allowed for it and clients have always been well serviced. Service is at the forefront of the Acquire’s business strategy. This virtue has been with Scott his entire career; from being a 16-year-old business owner this virtue only grew stronger when he was responsible for the executive management and operations of Dodo Australia. Interestingly Dodo was later sold to telco giant M2 who is now an Acquire client. “The key factor in our growth is customer satisfaction,” Scott says. “A lot of clients in the Australian corporate world recommend us to their peers, because we offer a safe, reliable home for their outsourcing needs. “Our goal is to be true partners and work for their business in the right manner. “Our client team has embedded themselves in our clients’ cultures. They will sit in on meeting as employees, use the knowledge they gain from that and bring it back to us. Every day and every hour, our team breathes the client culture and continues to build those relationships.” This occurs from the top down as well. Even the highest management at Acquire has substantial relationships As Kathryn says, “The confidence in this team gives our clients comfort in knowing they will be well supported. She says that most clients would know the CEO personally and this that has contributed greatly to the company’s growth. “If clients have had a bad offshoring experience they will turn to Acquire. They know we are reliable and

open to them. When we do tours of our sites, it is often our clients who are doing the sales work for us. This is because they know that we offer a direct experience and we can answer the difficult questions they may have. People can get nervous when it comes to offshoring, however we are able to allay their fears and keep them happy enough to recommend us to others.” Acquire now has sites in Australia, the US, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. Its production space in Manila is over 16,000 sqm and it has nine sites in the Philippines. In fact, between 2006 and 2014, contact centre seats in the Philippines grew by 405%. The Ortigas Business Centre in Manila which when it opened in 2015 was expected to assist in bolting on an additional USD$30m annual revenue to Acquire operations. Scott says the first six to seven years of business operations was focused on having the right mix of people in Manila running Acquire’s clients’ businesses. “Once the right people were in place who could understand the culture and organisation, we could then bridge that gap and be a conduit for the business,” Scott says. “Our dedicated client services team travel backwards and forwards. They have industry skills mixed with outsourcing skills and they understand the legalities and cultural concerns of the regions they are operating in.

“Our team knows exactly what our clients’ vision and mission are and what they are trying to achieve.” So with Australia and the Philippines locked down, it was time to turn the company’s attention to further break into the US market. “We’ve seen a great demand for services in the US,” Kathryn says. “We have a few US clients and there is a lot of potential there. We found our clients wanted to expand into Spanish-speaking countries and while we could facilitate this in the Philippines, it was more cost effective to move to the US. We have a successful operating model that translates across the globe.” Of course the same philosophies apply no matter where the company operates. It has allowed Scott to focus on investing. “When you have the right people and the right resources to ensure future growth, we can then continue to invest in locations, people and technology,” Scott says. “When you build those foundations, then attracting clients is the easy part.” Acquire is a segmented business, but the foundations are the same no matter what the department: a team is built around each client to look after that client’s needs and ensure client satisfaction. And it is this foundation and philosophy that places Acquire BPO ahead of its competitors. BFM




EXPORT ESSENTIALS: Opportunities abound in South Korea

South Korea is Australia’s fourth largest trading partner and third largest export market. This close economic and trade partnership has been built on South Korean demand for high quality Australian goods and services writes Andrew Watson.




he Australia-South Korea relationship improved recently with the signing of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement in 2014, which reduced barriers to trade between the two countries. Understanding the opportunities available to Australian SMEs, as well as the challenges that exist, is crucial before deciding to export to South Korea.

Opportunities for export South Korea’s rapid historical industrialisation and high income economy have created strong demand for imports in a range of key industries that Australia is well-placed to provide. In particular, excellent opportunities exist for Australia’s mining, agriculture and services sectors. Australia’s mining sector has benefited from South Korea’s lack of natural resources. This has been to the benefit of Australia’s iron ore and crude petroleum industries – with South Korea’s growing population, demand is likely to continue for raw materials such as these. Considerable opportunities also exist for the agriculture sector, with Australia being the third largest supplier of agriculture and food-related products to South Korea. In particular, South Korea is an important market for Australian beef, with beef exports valued at A$942 million in 2014. With the free trade agreement now in force, barriers to the trade of beef, dairy,

Oz Nature is a NSW-based wholesaler of chilled and frozen meats, specialising in high quality wagyu beef. Established in 2004, Oz Nature’s founders noticed a growing demand in South Korea for Australian wagyu beef, which was going unfulfilled due to a lack of a steady supply chain. Oz Nature exports its products solely to South Korea, where they are distributed to wholesale customers like department stores, restaurants and butcheries. The company has created an exclusive brand for the Korean market, ‘Oz Nature Wagyu’, while its other products include a wide range of chilled and frozen beef products. All of Oz Nature’s products are 100 per cent Australian and are primarily sourced from Queensland-based beef producers. While Oz Nature has been successfully

fruit, vegetables, sugar and wheat are set to ease, making market access easier. Excellent opportunities also exist for the services sector, with Australian service exports to South Korea worth A$1.4 billion in 2014. Two service sectors in particular that could benefit from the opportunities in South Korea are the education and tourism sectors. South Korea is Australia’s third largest source of foreign student enrolments after China and India, and our ninth largest source of visitor arrivals.

Understand the risks South Korea’s business climate outperforms most other advanced economies, but as when entering any new market, it is important to understand the risks when entering the South Korean market. The local language and business climate are potential barriers to doing business. More than 50 per cent of respondents to Australia’s International Business Survey 2015, identified local language, culture and/or business practices as the dominate barrier to doing business in South Korea. Another risk regularly highlighted by exporters are regulations that favour local firms. A key characteristic of South Korea’s development has been the existence of Chaebols (a conglomerate of family-controlled firms) that participate in most areas of business. These Chaebols exert considerable market power, which

exporting its meat to South Korea for over a decade, the business needed additional working capital to fund a rapid increase in client demand. These funds would be used to pay for increased orders from suppliers, and to keep shipping and distribution running smoothly. Oz Nature was unable to secure finance from its bank, due to the size of its business and the lack of security available, which are challenges that many SME exporters face. Efic was able to provide Oz Nature with a A$400,000 export working capital guarantee in support of its export contracts into South Korea. This guarantee allowed Oz Nature’s bank to approve the finance that the company needed to keep up with demand and allow the export business to continue growing.

can pose problems for competing firms, both domestic and foreign. Being aware of this characteristic of the South Korean market is important in order to better understand potential competition.

Paths to entering the market There are a number of steps that Australian SMEs can take to overcome any risks and take advantage of the excellent opportunities in South Korea. Seeking advice from experts should be the first step any potential exporter takes. Austrade, the Australian Government’s trade and investment agency, provides a range of services, including general advice and support on any possible decisions, and in helping to identify partners for business through its network of contacts in South Korea. In addition to advice, it is important for potential exporters to leverage their networks. Establishing on-the-ground partners, advisers and suppliers can be invaluable when operating in South Korea, especially for SMEs that do not have a local presence. Local networks can also be a great source of advice and support. The Australia-Korea Business Council is one organisation that can facilitate such meetings. It is dedicated to building links between the two business communities and is a good place to start networking with potential contacts. Finally, SMEs should consider their financial options and make sure any decision to enter a new market is based on a sound financial footing. Banks may be able to offer a secure loan or commercial bill facility to help finance export contacts. Alternatively, Efic, Australia’s export credit agency may be able to help.

Careful planning for success South Korea offers excellent opportunities for Australian SME exporters thinking of making that next step in their business strategy. But before doing so, careful planning is needed to first identify the opportunities, then understand the risks, and finally chart a path into the South Korean market. BFM




The Talent Whisperer

Leadership paradigms have changed in the last 10 years as businesses face the consequences of digital disruption, economic disarray and a changing list of employee demands. With the GFC still playing out, it is no longer business as usual. So how does a leader navigate this minefield? For Dr. Cecily Moreton, founder of Moreton Executive Coaching, this means consciously leading with a 21C mindset to retain and promote the brains and the best available talent. To survive and flourish in the twenty-first century leaders must change their minds, think in more conscious ways, discard old biases and open new doors in their businesses.


rom a business family, and inspired by family leaders in medicine, agri-business and the power industry, Dr Cecily Moreton taught secondary and tertiary education bef0re retraining as a psychologist working with hundreds of war veterans. “Working with these men so they regained control of their minds and lives taught me a lot about how best to collaborate with good men at their worst and best. This undoubtedly helped me when I went on to become a business manager before establishing my own leadership consulting business,” Cecily says. It becomes immediately apparent


upon meeting her that Cecily is a frontrunner in the field of Conscious Leadership. After a Vietnam veteran introduced her to Buddhist meditation (she did 6 ten-day silent meditation courses in a year which helped her recover from debilitating and career disrupting illness), she went on to do her doctoral research into how to shift good operational managers into real leaders. The result of hundreds of executive coaching sessions with 24 executive managers from Stanwell power generator and the University Co-op Bookshop, was her ground breaking thesis Executive Coaching for Conscious Leadership. Working with executive manag-

ers and teams of senior managers Cecily provides individual and group leadership development, for example to improve change management success. An example of individual executive career coaching was explored when Australian Financial Review sat down with Cecily to learn more about her groundbreaking advising strategies that are transforming the way that leaders are promoting and approaching the talent pool. Many CEOs see her regularly as a confidential sounding board who can meet them intellectually and get them thinking outside their squares – and past their pinch points. Cecily is particularly adept


at cutting through the clutter to quickly read situations and identify obstacles and key areas for development. The difference, she says, between what she does and what other business and leadership coaches do stems from her ability to identify issues accurately and quickly. She reads people like accountants do spread sheets and—and here’s the crucial bit—she is an expert in human behaviour and behavioural change. This is what she was trained to do, and this training is apparent in her approach to advising: “Armed with a good understanding of the brain and decades of evidence-based practical skills and experience,” Cecily says, “I can boost helpful behaviours and reduce unhelpful behaviours. Working with a good systematic and measured approach over a dozen sessions, it is actually surprisingly easy bringing about desired leadership traits.” Leadership coaching, like any mind and behaviour change relationship, depends on a foundation of trust, and building trust has long been a part of Cecily’s practice. Collaborative coaching with high powered, motivated managers is easier than counselling “opinionated, difficult, stroppy men with horrific nightmares… but by building a trust-based relationship, and applying an effective strategy, these veterans were able to sleep again. Success in turn deepens the bonds of trust. While business clients want better business results (which will help give a sound night’s sleep), the coaching process, particularly its foundation of trust, is the same.” Thanks to the paradigm shift we’ve witnessed in the last decade, Dr Moreton’s messages about conscious leadership, innovation and bigger-picture thinking have taken on a new urgency. The entirely new 21C economic and social climate demands new kinds of leaders and new thinking and strategies. Those clinging most fiercely to old transactional models focused on operational aerodynamics and financial outcomes are struggling to remain relevant. As the paradigm began to shift, Cecily saw a dramatic uptick in the amount of executive retraining she was doing. She says, “Salaried managers were

focusing on their own KPIs, not on business impacts of national and global economics and politics”. We don’t know what we don’t know. We often don’t recognise when our approach is not working until too late. As a big-picture executive coach Cecily was helping the Chief Executive Suite see they had a narrow field of vision and to explore what was outside their focus. “This is often a key pinch point, because with each bump in the road, I have seen organisations revert to older models, and then their unrecognised top talent leaves. Leadership development too is often heaved overboard in their uncertainty”. Cecily says that this is misguided. “It’s only by taking into account the massive social and business revolutions happening now that the future of the organisation can be guaranteed.” In the last decade there has been both more employment insecurity and yet a more widespread demand for enlightened leadership. Today’s

employees expect much more of their employers than those of even a decade ago. This necessitates moving from transactional leadership modes to what Cecily calls conscious leadership to retain top talent. It’s about trusting relationships again. It demands a greater degree of sensitivity to the needs of staff members, and a concerted effort on the part of leaders to promote and recruit only those who could show that they understand 21C customers as well as 21C employees. Cecily says that moving in this direction is a wise business decision, and there are mountains of research that support this. “These days,” she says, “we stick to the research and talk about the concrete benefits attached to hiring and fostering the kind of people who can demonstrate the kind of qualities that will make them excellent leaders, for example cognitive intelligence, learning agility, and empathy.”

“Businesses are missing out on a lot of top talent because they are not hiring and promoting from the whole talent pool. They are missing out on many stellar women. I want CEOs and Boards to see the top talent that is right in front of them, because they need this talent to succeed in the new global economy.”



We have to

think with a

new mind Albert Einstein

Are you thinking with a new mind? What are your old Pinch Points costing you? There are pearls at those pinch points!

Support your managers to think with a new mind. Individual executive coaching and our training programs can help your managers recognise business blocks and pinch points, change attitudes and behaviours.

To develop leader excellence & think with a new mind Contact Us Now Ph: 02 9922 3917



This is not to say that those who do not display these qualities are unfit for leadership roles. Transactional leaders make effective managers. They can be organised, financially astute, highly practical and highly adept at delegation. But in the post-GFC world, there is a growing separation between good management qualities and good leadership qualities, and conscious leadership is about striking the balance between transactional, transformational, and transpersonal leadership. (See Moreton Executive’s website to learn more about these three leadership stages). While people skills can get dropped when the financial pressure is on, nevertheless top leaders recognise that people-based skill sets, considerably more nuanced and complex today than they were even a decade ago, are essential to trust and business success. Cecily says that when people describe today’s most inspiring and successful leaders, “they are now using descriptors associated with highest-order transpersonal leadership. They assume relationship building should be a given, and go to words like wisdom, ethics, and global thinking. They are speaking of bold visionaries.” The organisations that are setting new post-GFC benchmarks are the ones that are able to combine transactional managers, insightful and empathic transformational leaders, and business driving global vision.

“Boards and executive teams grasping and delivering this balanced leadership at the top of the organisation is the foundation of conscious leadership.” And right now conscious leaders in board rooms and executive teams are promoting top talent wherever they can find it. To be a competitive economic power globally, Australia absolutely needs our sharpest minds in top roles, driving innovation and powering productivity and, crucially, speaking to market segments that have yet to be addressed in powerful ways. We need a new outlook that attracts the best thinkers and that means opening to greater diversity of culture and gender. This is not something that can be put on the shelf: “In my experience,” says Cecily, “many businesses have been slow to grasp the urgency of the impact of the last eight years.” In 2010 only 2 per cent of chief executives were women; only 3 per cent of boards were chaired by women; only 9.2 per cent of board members and 10.7 per cent of senior executives were women. There’s been progress, but not as much as Cecily would like to see. Last year, women in the NSW public service made up only 32% of senior executive roles, but, as managers, they were outperforming men in most metrics. It is human nature to trust and hire what is most familiar, but for decision makers that can be creating a pinch point. Business as usual e.g. a predominantly male boardroom, is holding organisations in a 20C paradigm. In the post-GFC business climate, companies that most firmly grasp the nettle of disruption are surging ahead of their competitors. Business as usual is concerned with bailing out the boat; the new paradigm is repositioning the sails to catch the changing trade winds. Cecily says, “I want to see the best management and leadership in place in all businesses. I want to contribute to getting the brightest, most talented managers into executive roles, and many of these talented managers happen to be women. The women who make it to the executive level are usually exceptional. Businesses that keep these women from being promoted or keep them out of the selection

pool are doing themselves a disservice.” Globally, companies giving women the keys to the C-suite are outperforming their competitors. A 15-year study of Luxembourg banks found a 10 per cent increase in the proportion of women in the senior management ranks of a bank lifted its financial performance by more than 3 per cent per annum. And during the global financial crisis 2007 to 2009, that effect almost doubled. Cecily says that the trick is to get top talent past key Pinch Points, points where for example women, thanks largely to unidentified or unexpressed internal biases, are excluded from consideration. She coaches men to identify and support these stellar women past the pinch points for the benefit of their business, and she coaches women to prepare and position themselves to be ready push past the Pinch Point. And she coaches male executives to see their own biases for what they are, which leads them to promote and recruit even a few more talented women, making their teams and organisations much stronger in the process. Five years ago, Cecily urged one COO in the electricity industry to trust his real knowledge and not succumb to pressure from his male peers. He decided to promote two outstanding women to executive roles. He ended up, she says, “trusting these women as much as he trusts men”, to lead a major change program allowing the business to flourish. Cecily has distilled her experience into programs that help people get past their pinch points. In 2016 Cecily is adding to her leadership programs, courses to help men and women promote smart women past their Pinch Points. Her upcoming book Pearls at the Pinch Point is intended as a practical road map to help decision makers and talented women help each other. “This year my extra mile is about helping talented women make a more substantial contribution. Research shows that when they do this, they improve the business.” She wants Australian business leaders to realise that they’re missing out on half the best brains that are available to them. “Better talent means better decisions and better returns.” BFM




Using KPIs to boost your business this New Year



A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that is generated to monitor significant elements of your business. The increasing use of cloud based accounting systems is streamlining the collection of data and enhanced add-ons makes this information available via dashboard reports and other reporting capabilities. The most effective use of KPIs promotes cross-functional areas within a business to monitor results, adopt timely changes and provide an element of accountability for results writes Allan McKeown.

T Allan McKeown

is the CEO and Founder of Prosperity Advisers.

he use of KPIs should mandate a holistic company approach that will engage business owners, management, operations, human resources, accounting and other functional areas. The integration of crossfunctional areas under a holistic company approach will add value when setting expectations for your businesses future. In a fast changing disruptive business environment simply looking in the rear-view mirror at past historical results will not provide the best map for the future. In addition, industry benchmarks and forecasts will further enhance the integration of KPIs by providing comparisons to your competition and indicators as to how changing economic conditions will have an impact on your business. There are four common elements among companies that have effectively implemented KPIs: • Engagement of an empowered team involving cross-functional areas • Assurance the data being utilised is complete and accurate • Design of a plan that prevents information overload • Execution of a strategy that translates knowledge into practical solutions.

Customers The focus for many companies has been on maintaining or growing the gross sales volume. Yet upon the implementation of KPIs, many companies have realised that they were working harder but yielding a lower bottom line than expected. Utilising KPIs can facilitate the analysis of revenue by customer, items by customer, gross profit percentage by customer, returns by customers and revenue by product line. In addition, this process may further identify customer concentrations and mitigate credit risks.

Suppliers Inventory management techniques are a key component of supplier KPIs — understanding the costs associated with carrying excess inventory versus the lost opportunities involved with having low inventory levels. KPIs relating to suppliers should address product concentrations, supplier backlogs (promise versus actual), return orders processed and price per unit. In addition, this process may take into account payment terms, in-bound freight charges and order cycle times. The process of understanding your supplier’s tendencies may identify unexpected results and expose opportunities for future improvements. A small retail business sought advice on how to improve profitability. We arranged a monthly stock take to manage stock shrinkage and used their Point of Sale system to calculate stock turns as a KPI. Groups with low stock turns were reviewed, and buying quantities were reduced or the items were dropped. Shelf space and placement were reallocated to items with higher stock turns. Consignment arrangements with suppliers were negotiated for product ranges with low stock turns. We were able to dramatically increase sales and profitability by managing product range decisions on stock turns.

Personnel In a flat economy, personnel discussions often involve talk of ‘rightsizing’ or implementing reduced working hours. However, KPIs can provide valuable insight into the workload of a company’s staff and can enhance personnel decisions by taking into account data such as the average hourly rate, revenue per employee, allocation of head count by department, return orders by

employee and employee order ratios. These KPIs provide the opportunity to assess production and departmental efficiencies which assist in the implementation of change. This process further validates the ‘rightsizing’ concept, if necessary.

Financial The design of financial KPIs should be assessed on a quantitative and qualitative level, with both the balance sheet and income statement in mind. Credit risk is on the radar of most companies and encompasses accounts receivable aging analysis, collection periods and average days outstanding. Other key financial indicators include current and quick ratios, inventory turnover, debt to equity, return on assets, return on equity and gross profit percentage. A second hand motor vehicle dealer client was finding his monthly net profit percentages were out of kilter with his movements in monthly sales revenue. By analysing his revenue components, we were able to strip out the insurance sale revenue and calculate an average gross profit per vehicle sale. By monitoring the number of vehicles sold per week and his percentage insurance sales penetration, he had a much better handle on his likely result in advance of his monthly financials being completed. The most important word in the KPI acronym is key. Information overload can result from too much data, which in turn can lead to difficulty understanding issues and making decisions. Establishing a key set of performance indicators this New Year will provide your company the opportunity to more effectively monitor performance, make decisions and implement change in an ever-evolving business environment. BFM






Experiential learning is the pillar of success Management consultancy isn’t an easy game; every business has unique needs. It is also a competitive industry in which consultancies must stand out from their competitors and make their own mark. Business First speaks with Robert de Loryn of RdL regarding his 20 years in the business and partnering with clients to give them a unique perspective.


or the past two decades, since RdL started practicing management consultancy, the business has been focused on building special relationships with their clients. This isn’t a business that just ‘gets in and out’ once the consulting has concluded. This is a business that customises its services and treats its clients as if they were business partners. “Every client has a different need from leadership development and structural reviews, to strategic planning, systems and processes,” says RdL founder Robert de Loryn. “Each organisation has a different strategic need in order to be successful and each organisation may have differing learning and change barriers. “At times our clients are just unaware of what solutions can be developed to assist them in delivering improved results. “Our success stems from the fact that we listen to our client in detail, get to know and understand their business, and only then do we partner with them to develop and

implement solutions that make a difference to both the people and more importantly the bottom line results of the client.” RdL has been built on four foundations. 1. Delivering a comprehensive and tailored program that assists existing management achieve results well after the completion of the Face to Face partnership. 2. Profit, people and culture are the primary focus. 3. One on One follow up executive coaching with a 24/7 leadership help line. 4. Experiential learning as part of the comprehensive learning program These pillars were created early in the business and has allowed the company to build its reputation not only in Australasia, but in Europe and Africa as well. Robert says the key to his success over the years has been to build close working partnerships with each client and treat each client as an individual with their own specific needs and challenges. “The key to being successful is

to listen to your client, understand the unsaid messages, engage and collaborate and present a solution that does not threaten or intimidate. You need to discover where the solution fits with the strategic intent of the organisation. Ultimately if you disengage the client, no matter how good your solution or how good a consultant you may be, you will have no clients to partner with. One of RdL’s points of difference is that they take the time before developing any solutions to fully understand the clients business, their leadership team and business needs. This obviously held them in good stead when Robert decided to open offices outside of Australia. In fact, RdL operates in over nine countries with a presence in Europe, Africa and the Asia Pacific region, including Australia and many of the neighbouring countries. “There have been interesting times in the past five years and also during the GFC,” Robert says of the diverse nature of the countries RdL operates in.




The important thing is that due to this diversity the company hasn’t seen any downturn in business in the past five years. “The European business has been hit hard, but to the team’s credit, they maintained relationships, delivered great results and diversified into new service offerings. In addition to this the European team showed great flexibility in assisting other regions that RdL operates in to maintain the high service standards that RdL thrives on.”

Indeed it is the standards that have kept the business alive and kicking. It is also the company’s ability to change tack if need be. “The core focus for the European market has been more on personal development and coaching rather than a broader company wide approach to development, review and success,” Robert says. “The Asia Pacific region is mixed. In the early stages Australia showed nervousness to existing development trends and pulled back significantly in their en-

gagement of external consulting support. “Since these early stages, and with the change in economic volumes in Australia, companies are now focusing heavily on right shaping. This does not mean redundancies but is a key driver to ensure you have the right people with the right skills in the right roles performing the right jobs. This has been a significant short coming of many businesses as they experienced growth and are finding profit margins squeezed and need

‘Robert says to get the best out of people there must be a culture of honesty and trust.’



to focus on this to get the bottom line back to where it used to be, and is needed for sustainability. “If the organisation wishes to stay competitive in the current market they cannot compromise quality and human talent, however, like all investments, they have to consider return on their investment in quality and human capital. However while Australia was suffering a little, neighbouring regions were booming resulting in RdL increasing its geographic spread. Countries such as PNG, Timor Leste, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu had an increase in demand for the services of RdL and the focus was largely on leadership development, strategic planning, executive coaching, and business review and outsourced HR and HR Systems. The business grew in these areas through reputation and word of mouth marketing. “We started with two clients 10 years ago: one in Australia and one in PNG with a total turnover of less than $140,000. Today we are a multi-national organisation partnering with clients that have annual revenue turnover in the billions with staffing of over 10,000 to small boutique clients that may only have 15 staff. “We believe in going the extra mile to ensure a client is satisfied. This reputation of nothing less than success has driven clients to recommend us to other clients and so the process goes.” RdL’s motto is to ‘make a difference’, no matter where the company does business and for whom. It has some giant clients including Toyota, Exxon Mobil, Downer EDI, Heineken and ANZ to smaller businesses and start ups. No matter who the client, RdL’s success is driven by making a difference to how things are done. It was driven by defining the characteristics of a successful business. Robert says that what makes a business successful is happy, supported team members that go over and above what is needed of them. “Where team members have a sense of ownership and everyone supports and encourages each other to be a success. “This must all be under the guid-

ance of an amazing leader who sets direction, coaches, mentors, builds trust and builds a safe workplace for their people where innovation is encouraged,” Robert explains. Robert says to get the best out of people there must be a culture of honesty and trust. “Where people feel safe and there is trust, they continue to strive for success and look at improving their business even when the leader is absent. This does not happen very often in business because the leader is more a manager that spreads fear and anxiety within the workplace. If this is the culture of the workplace, people invest too much time in protecting their jobs rather than growing the business – this is not sustainable.” RdL has a quote that we share with our clients by the founder of IBM, Thomas Watson that drives home the culture message. If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less than excellent work. This of course applies to everyone within the organisation. “Client names or size make no difference to RdL. No matter who the company is, there is always a leader. It is people that RdL engage with, not a company name,” Robert says. “We engage with the leader to understand their business and their people and then partner with the team to develop a solution that ‘makes a difference’. “It is this natural approach to building relationships and understanding the person that drives success for RdL. We treat everyone the same whether it be a CEO of a multi-billion dollar company to an organisation with a turnover of less than a million dollars.” RdL measures success on seeing the difference they make to people’s lives. Robert sees the role of the company as a partner that can help clients make a difference through people. “It is when you make the connection with people that you see how powerful individuals can be,” Roberts says. Indeed RdL offer an experiential consultancy, which has been the driver of its success because as people grow, so do organisations. BFM




What to do if you are heading for trouble in Graveyard Month

The aftermath of the Christmas slowdown includes a very tight business cash flow – in fact, it’s probably the toughest time of the year for businesses writes Roger Mendelson.


ost will experience a downturn in their cash flow over the holiday period as the majority of clients wind down and put off spending until after the New Year. The period between lateFebruary and early-March is what I call ‘Graveyard Month’ and is the most common time for a business to fold.


In order to avoid becoming a casualty, you really need to prepare five or six months in advance. If you did not prepare for this hit, your business could be at a real risk of suffering a delayed collapse. There are steps you can take, but you must act now. Plan your cash flow Successful business involves

finding a secure space between competing claims. By that, I mean you should aim to extend your outgoing payments as far as possible, and make your incoming payments as frequently as possible. The more money you have coming into your business, the easier it will be to pay your external costs. Enforce short trading terms with your


‘If you have been sitting on old stock for over six months, hold a sale to clear it as soon as you can.’

customers and negotiate long terms with your suppliers. If you are a service provider, invoice as frequently as possible, particularly for long jobs. Don’t wait until the job is complete; interim invoice monthly and follow up on payments. Negotiate payment terms If you are placing orders for stock or equipment, try to negotiate terms that don’t require immediate payment. There will be purchases that you cannot defer

but if you can negotiate to pay in installments, it will lessen the effect on your already suffering cash flow. It is always better to negotiate payment terms than haggle over price for the simple reason it keeps your suppliers on side. If you are haggling for a discount, it can raise alarms that your business may be in trouble – and result in being cut off.

Don’t go it alone If you know your business is heading for trouble, don’t try to handle the burden on your own. Enlist a team to help share the load and bring in outside help. Your accountant can help guide you through the process and having a supportive team around you can be critical in navigating your business through the crisis onto solid ground.

Offload stock If you have been sitting on old stock for over six months, hold a sale to clear it as soon as you can. Slashing prices may be the only way to move this stock because chances are, if it’s been sitting on the shelves at that price for six months, it will probably still be there in another six months.

Do not cut corners A word of warning; some business owners try to keep their cash flow running by deferring payments to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) including employee super contributions or tax payments. If you are doing this, you need to speak with an insolvency practitioner immediately. Apart from being illegal, you are also putting your personal assets at risk and the ATO does not take this kindly. Unfortunately, you cannot wriggle your way out of a cash flow crisis. Without the proper business processes in place, you will simply find yourself in the same situation down the track. If you implement these simple steps now, it will help you survive Graveyard Month and build to a successful 2016. The best advice is to start preparing for Christmas well in advance and hopefully not need any of the above. BFM

Focus on outstanding debt The money tied up in your outstanding accounts is money that could be used to boost your cash flow and be the difference between the life and death for your business. Call clients with overdue accounts and chase them for payment. If possible, it is best to have someone working for you whose responsibility it is to manage this. You would be amazed at how many debts we see that could have been resolved with a simple phone call and surprised at how many businesses poorly mange this. Go through your old, written-off debts from the past five years and outsource them to a collection.

Roger Mendelson is CEO of Prushka Fast Debt Recovery and principal of Mendelsons National Debt Collection Lawyers.




The times are a changing Gareth Mann comes from a long line of engineers. However his career took a different turn to that of the generations before him, when he ventured into the power industry. It has been a long and illustrious career since and he speaks to Business First about how the industry has changed and what Transfield Worley Power Service’s role has been in that change. By Jonathan Jackson.


hen Gareth Mann graduated from his engineering degree, there were only six of his peers who ended up working in power. For engineers, it seems, working in the power sector wasn’t a highly sought after career choice. However, 30 years later Gareth wouldn’t have it any other way. He has lived through enormous change and can see enormous change to come. We’ll get to industry changes in just a moment, however the most recent shift was a change of company name. It’s pertinent to give a little background here: Transfield Worley Power Services (TWPS) is a joint venture company between Transfield Services (with whom Gareth has worked since 2010 in various roles) and WorleyParsons. WorleyParsons is a traditional consulting engineering company, while Transfield has predominantly been a service delivery company heavily involved in the privatisation of government businesses into the private sector. “TWPS, the acronym by which we are known, has been involved primarily in looking at the efficiencies that you gain from integrating engineering systems and process knowledge, with labor and service delivery models,” Gareth says. Transfield Services recently changed its name to Broadspectrum, and coincident with this, the name of the joint venture was changed to TW Power Services


“This joint venture is a specialist integrated asset management company, so when you talk about WorleyParsons and Broadspectrum you’re talking about TWPS’s shareholders,” Gareth confirms.

Change it up Given the nature of the business, Gareth has often seen industry bodies move from public to private ownership and everything that entails. “In the early eighties the bulk of the generation industry was government owned, but after significant deregulation world wide the bulk of electricity generation is now what would you would consider as delivered by private enterprise. I think government has pretty much exited power generation in most established Western countries.” Gareth has worked in the private sector for much of his life. And he says it has its benefits. “I think when you deal in privatised enterprises they generally operate with significantly more rigor –both technical and financial – than you see in government owned entities. That rigor is partly driven by the pure profit motive, but also driven by the fact that private companies, particularly in generation, often have a lot of banks and lawyers and structured finance involved which in itself drives a lot of the process. That’s probably one of the reasons why privatisation has become a global


trend; it creates a much more open, transparent and competitive environment.” Gareth says that with privatisation, shareholders’ expectations have to be continually monitored, which means the overall performance of the asset delivered by the organisation and the rigor behind that drives better performance. The other facet of the industry driving change is technology. “When I started the largest gas turbine that was manufactured at that time was twenty five megawatts and everything else was more or less traditional generation,” Gareth says. “Nowadays, typically gas turbines are three hundred megawatt class, so that’s a factor of ten and you have also had all the influx of renewable technologies from wind turbines to solar PV.” These are major changes and they have influenced consumer behaviour including demand, informed choice and decisions, and of course, product. “Consumers are no longer passive around their energy choices, they can be much more engaged and much more active. Again that’s driven by technology. If you look at the retail end, it’s relatively easy to change suppliers, you can get various monitoring programs and most of the Australian population are pretty much engaged in the energy debate I think.”

Managing the challenges TWPS is not in the retail sector, but Gareth, who was appointed CEO in 2012, understands all facets of the industry, which enables him to bring a vast experience to the way he leads the organisation. His experience includes working for both private and publicly listed independent power, engineering and energy sector companies in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Australia. And Gareth is ideally placed to lead the growth of TWPS. His role is to grow the business across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. He is doing so in what he says is a mature energy market in Australia and New Zealand, but not one that is world leading. “It’s certainly not world leading because primarily there are issues








that relate to the level of competition in much deeper energy markets, so the US, for example, has significantly higher innovation as does Europe to Australia.” One problem Gareth sees in Australia is excess capacity on the established grid. “Currently there’s at least ten to fifteen percent excess capacity from traditional generation on the interconnected grid which is complicated by subsidised energy such as wind and roof top solar. I think the Australian energy management as a group are struggling to come to grips with the rapid change of the regulatory structure in Australia.” This is the core question facing the industry. “There’s an urgent need for regulatory reform to address the continued support of renewables,” Gareth says. “You’ve got a large invested capital base in traditional generation coal and gas and ultimately there’ll have to be some generation that is retired from the grid. The question is who makes those decisions, and how will companies be paid or compensated.” It is a vital question. A time in which, as Gareth believes, the renewable influx will only grow. “You’re not going to stop the general technology drive, particularly in rooftop solar. Then rooftop solar combined with storage, can again be very disruptive technologies for the energy sector.” This is problematic for the Australian industry, which is still set up and regulated traditionally with electricity going from the generation source to the consumer. “As you start to see more and more consumers generating their own electricity or disconnecting and actually generating back into the grid, how the regulatory structure adapts to that is one of the big challenges. You will not see a resurgence of big centralised generation or any new centralised generation in the Australian market in the next ten to fifteen years.”

Leadership in a changing environment To put best practice in place when dealing with these challenges and to best support the clients who contract TWPS to deliver efficiencies,

one of the first steps Gareth did when he became CEO was to put in place a set of company values. “This gave us the ability to define, if you like, the culture of the business and what we wanted that business to be. We were operating under a new business model, but a fairly innovative one and on that basis we had enough critical mass to be the largest independent operator of power stations in Australia and to actually become an international company. “So part of our original strategy was to grow into South East Asia, but first off we had to establish a company that was very clearly capable of delivering a core set of values. Our values are very simple. The first is Commitment and is based around safety and ensuring that we have an industry leading safety culture; that’s the obligation of every one of our employees and executives. The second value is Performance and committing to what we will deliver under a contract, as a business and individuals. The last two values are Collaboration and Innovation, and that’s effectively the way we do our business and the way we deliver those first two core values. We spent a lot of time convincing a lot of people that we could deliver and we’ve seen significant improvement around safety and around our delivery models in terms of our performance.” While TWPS operate traditional power stations including Collie, a coal fired station and Yarmina, a new gas fired station, they also have a large fleet of renewables such as hydro, wind operations and co-generation. The company certainly hasn’t been left behind in the major changes that are currently occurring. And that is a sign of a good company that knows its place, and management that can see where to go. “We have about a third of a our sector, our generation capabilities, based in renewables. So when we talk about technology we operate all of those models.” TWPS has operations on 34 power stations across Australia and New Zealand: Ranging from the Coral Bay wind/diesel station in Western Australia to the Tekapo hydro stations in New Zealand. “Each one of those sites operates

on the same set of TWPS systems, programs and processes and can communicate and it’s that actual communication ability that is part of one of our main drives of innovation. It’s what actually underpins our ability to expand that knowledge into South East Asia,” Gareth says. And that is the next part of growth and change for TWPS. The company will do this in a measured way. “We’re not talking about delivering the Australian and New Zealand blue collar labor resources into South East Asia but actually the knowledge transfer and the systems from an established generation sector. It is this established industry knowledge that is really needed in the South East Asian region. That’s what we’re going to transfer via our IT and management system. So it’s all about transferring knowledge via our process and systems and not by our people.” Gareth sees the move to South East Asia as one of his next big achievements. “I really would like to see this integrated model successfully transfer Australian expertise and knowledge into the growing South East Asia market.” Overall he is proud of the integration that TWPS has been able to achieve since 2012, having developed a single culture that is safety led. And now Gareth is looking to expand the market base through a dedication to all forms of generation and a continued focus on values. BFM




The 4 Priorities of Benevolent Capitalism Business is now at a turning point. Economies have entered a new era. We live in a time of accelerating change in the global landscape. To prosper and thrive in the decades ahead, leaders have to think differently about the way they operate their business. Yet most leaders and managers do everything they can to keep their timeworn conventional business models in place writes Steven Bowman.




f leaders choose to align the capitalism maxim with the maxim of a sustainable future for people and planet, there are still abundant possibilities and revenues to be actualised—revenues made in ways that generate a sustainable future rather than damage the planet and endanger our future. This is benevolent capitalism. At the moment, too many business endeavours tend to be about enriching the few at the expense of the many. Enriching the few is not so much the problem, it is more the ‘at the expense of the many’. Conventional business executives are generally not focused on the social or environmental implications of how businesses operate. The norm is business done with the view to maximise profits for shareholders and owners. That is not even questioned: it is decreed in business schools and an edict in many organisations, especially publicly traded companies. When business executives only focus on the short term of what they can actually create for themselves instead of a sustainable reality for the world, they deny themselves a sustainable future. And profit, capitalism, sustainable reality, and sustainable futures are not mutually exclusive! Whole Food Markets is a living example of this. Businesses must measure their success not only by their financial performance but also on how they are being a contribution to society and the world, as well as by the impact on the environment and on the society in which they operate. There are four priorities that underpin the benevolent capitalism movement.

Priority 1: Generating a sustainable future The process for creating your business from a benevolent approach begins with believing that your success is not only possible but also inevitable. While the idea of operating business that consistently grows and earns profit and prospers financially while ‘doing no damage’ to society and the planet may seem impossible, recognise that just because something appears impossible does not prove it to be illusory or erroneous. It just challenges your concept of what is possible. You must be willing to question existing models and to question the common assumptions behind current practices. If you remain captivated by the code of conventional capitalism and the defensive attitude it fosters, the idea of adopting this new business paradigm seems impossible and unconventional. The reality is, many organisations and business leaders are still devotees of the conventional capitalism paradigm and subscribe to Milton Friedman’s dictum that the one social responsibility a law-abiding business has is to maximise profits for its shareholders. These executives have not realised that a shortterm, profit-only approach has its downsides, for the reason that greed tends to incur excessive exposure to hazards and doesn’t maximize long-term results. This traditional approach to capitalism has accelerated



BFM | FEATURE the quantity and intensity of social and environmental problems that risk society’s stability. Sadly, too many business leaders still believe that maximising profits for investors is the only acceptable justification for corporate actions. When you are taken over by these myths and notions of how business should be operated, you cannot function at your finest in business and in life in general. When you are being captivated by a business model that values financial gain more than anything else, your decisions will often be based on achieving short-term financial gain at almost any cost, rather than attaining a sustainable future. From this space you will produce unintended harmful consequences for society and planet. By sustainable, we’re not just talking ‘survive’, we’re talking about where business and society actually grows and becomes something even greater

Priority 2: Doing no damage The nature of business practice is under scrutiny as well. The role of leadership in business is coming under increasing focus, with calls for more accountability in governance to address a wide array of business concerns about the planet, the natural environment, workers’ rights, consumer protection, human rights etc., at the senior executive team and board levels. Seldom has a week gone by without a media report of a business that has self-destructed, been called to account for the negative impact they have on the environment and on the society in which they operate, as well as for alleged inappropriate use of assets and natural resources, or criticised publicly due to perceived lack of leadership. This means that a business must contribute to making the planet better than it would have been without that business. It means that any business should enrich the world by its existence and create value for all stakeholders as well as for everyone it touches, whilst also delivering superior financial results and long-term economic value. In reality, any company is better off creating synergies between bottom-line and the benevolent capitalism priorities. When you still regard the requirement for generating a sustainable planet as merely a cost to the corporation, something to be dealt with through regulatory compliance and risk management, your business success is at risk. This viewpoint, like any other fixed points of view that are based on conventional business paradigms, will close access to your awareness and possibilities for generating something greater.

is: our individual and collective decisions determine our future and affect all of us. Business leaders must choose to act out of a responsibility to the whole system and from awareness and appreciative of the interconnectedness of all constituents of a business. This is remarkably different from the ways many businesses and leaders have been functioning, which is to act out of a belief that everything is separate and that what they choose to do doesn’t have an impact on the whole—or, if it does, that it’s not their concern. To thrive consistently over the long haul requires discipline and a conscious benevolent strategy for dealing with new opportunities and unforeseen adversities. If you’re going to formulate strategies that maximise possibilities, first you must be willing to break with your own successful conventional practices and discover different ways of seeing the world. You must choose to operate beyond the goal of competing and instead actively seize new and different possibilities.

‘Businesses need to start to function from maximising possibility and from where they are going to create more in the world for everybody.’

Priority 3: Maximising possibilities, not just revenue In today’s world, business leaders cannot afford to ignore their duty to maximise the possibilities and optimise value of our entire complex, interdependent system, because the guaranteed costs and impairments are otherwise much too high. It is vital to take action to change the current unsustainable route. Businesses need to start to function from maximising possibility and from where they are going to create more in the world for everybody, not just for them, otherwise resources will be terminally depleted. Are you aware that the choices you make can have a direct influence on the survival of large parts of society, the environment and the world at large? The bottom line


FEATURE| BFM How? Make the most of your awareness, stop following business-as-usual paradigms, boldly renounce the status quo, do not take on the limited points of view that other people buy into, and refuse to let bureaucracy stifle your awareness. More importantly, you must not allow yourself to operate within the limitations of this reality or be bound by what is. So, if you find yourself only focusing on the advantage gained by short-term profit, this is your clue that you may be contracting your zone of awareness. You will rarely see it as a different possibility to generate new revenue or potential for innovation.

“Benevolent” comes from ancient Latin ‘bene’- to be well, and ‘volent’- to wish, and actually means ‘to wish well’. “Capitalism” originally meant organic growth of existing wealth, which could be money, resources, people, or the original derivation of the word “capita” meaning head, usually of cattle or other livestock. Benevolent capitalism is about creating organic growth whilst at

the same time wishing all well. It is about being with the world in a different way, with finances, with business, and with your life. It is a fresh perspective about creating and generating that will provide you with insights, experiences and tools that have the power to transform your business and life. The website is

Priority 4: Empowerment through benevolent leadership A benevolent leader’s duty is to maximise the possibilities and optimise value of our entire, complex interdependent system. Organisations that maintain a strategy and leadership approach based on the conventional capitalism paradigm will not be able to thrive in today’s environment. As trade barriers between nations and regions diminish and as information becomes instantly and globally available, leaders must constantly keep an eye on the big picture. But since the big picture keeps changing, you must cultivate an ability to be aware of future trends and how these trends may affect your business. Rather than closing your eyes to forewarning indications and hoping things don’t change too much, you must be willing to break with your own conventional practices and discover different ways of seeing the world.

A whole lot of what’s happening in the business world right now is based on the probability of future, rather than the awareness of future and the willingness to have an awareness of how our choices are going to create a future instead of avoiding the risk. What has been eliminated is the idea that we can create a sustainable future. The one thing most businesses are avoiding is awareness of the future. It is important to recognise that if all business leaders choose to maximise possibility today, the world can have a future that has a different reality. By choosing to maximise possibility, businesses can become the catalyst for a different possibility in the world. It’s just a choice! So, take a moment to ask yourself: What are you choosing to create as your life and living? Do you believe that it is truly possible for you to become a catalyst for change? What would it take for you to become a benevolent leader? What would it take for you to be a contribution to create a better world and a sustainable future on this planet in every way possible and in how you live every day? How would your life change if you were to become a benevolent leader and to use your business to create a change that’s possible beyond this reality? This would likely result in a significant lifestyle change for most people. When benevolence guides business principles, vision, and practices, the result can be exceedingly affirmative. Benevolent leadership can be the very thing that helps to steer the planet away from suffering and towards a common flourishing. The benevolent way of being is essential for every sector in the business arena whether you are a small, medium or large-size company. You don’t have to be a giant corporation to embrace benevolent capitalism priorities. Entrepreneurs as well as small and mid-sized companies can follow these priorities, as it will set forth different approaches for leadership and innovation to create businesses that don’t harm but actually contribute to the world. BFM Steven Bowman is a leading international advisor in strategy, governance and leadership. He currently consults with over one thousand nonprofit and corporate organisations each year in the USA, UK , Australia , NZ and Asia. He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Corporate Law and Accountability Research Group , Monash University.





If there is one person who understands the financial services space it is Connie Mckeage. The former ETrade acting CEO and current head of OneVue speaks with Business First about wealth management, the state of the industry and bringing consistency to business.


n a very challenging market OneVue recently raised $12.5 million from a placement - they received over $50 million from investors and returned $38 million in oversubscriptions then backed it up by a material oversubscription in the Share Purchase Plan, demonstrating the markets confidence in the business. The funds will enable OneVue to further strengthen its growth across its two operating businesses Platform Services and Fund Services. The idea behind this, as it has been since Connie Mckeage has been managing the business, is to continue to provide functionality in a sector that can be quite complex and therefore easily misunderstood. In fact managed funds, including superannuation funds are little understood by the majority of people involved – and that is all Australians in one way or another. Through OneVue, the independent wholesale provider of middle to back office services to the superannuation sector, Connie has tried to simplify investments, whilst creating a modern wealth management environment. Connie is certainly the right person to take on this challenge, with extensive experience in the Australian, Asian, European and North American financial services markets. In fact as someone who oversees the strategic direction of the company, she can draw on experience running large scale projects as a senior executive of companies such as Bankers Trust


Australia, Rothschild Australia Asset Management and Perpetual Funds Management where she held the role of Deputy Managing Director. Connie says there are exciting things happening in wealth management and OneVue will have to continue to be on its toes strategically. “I think there’s some really exciting things happening, and there’s a polarity to the market. “Key structural changes are occurring. One of them being that by 2030, over 70% of new funds in the accumulation stage will be coming from generations XY and younger. That’s the really key structural issue, and I’m not sure the industry has its head around it yet. The sheer magnitude of what’s coming at us in the pension phase for the baby boomer, et cetera, will be a big shift and I’m not sure we have enough income based products, and longevity products that need to come into their own.. Our mindset is still very much in accumulation for baby boomers, and a lot of people are just stuck in that mindframe. As the new generation bursts through, they’ll be looking for different kinds of products and services, particularly in superannuation.” According to Connie this new generation will be looking for more exciting products from compulsory super. They will want real choice and innovation. “They’re looking for exciting products and services that are more in tune with their generation and

what they’re looking at. They’ve grown up with Google and Facebook, and Pinterest and they’re not really interested in dividends. I think for the first time in about 20 years there’s some really significant structural changes, and people who read them well in response will do well. People who pretend that they’re not happening will struggle in a couple of years.” OneVue is taking the bull by the horns in this regard. It is mirroring Connie’s early career and her start in the industry, where she took on something more exciting. Having initially completed an arts degree, Connie was working for the National Research Council in Canada and then after immigrating to Australia, she went to Melbourne University to do commerce. During the summer break, a friend of hers alerted her to a job, with what she thought was BP. Turns out it was actually Bankers Trust (BT). “I ended up with an interview at Bankers Trust, and a guy by the name of Terry Power said, ‘What do you know about financial services?’ “I said, ‘Nothing. I thought I was coming to a more diversified, more science driven job’. “I had no idea who BT was but he called me the next day and asked, ‘What do you think about financial services?’ I said, ‘I think it’s overly complicated’. And he said, ‘You’re hired!’” That was the start of Connie’s financial services career and she hasn’t looked back. She said once


“The 20 mile march is about asking people to come in every day and to do their best, and to do it consistently because unlike different organisations where you can come in and be really great and on point one day and then the next day not, it’s actually incredibly difficult to be consistent.” she got into it, she loved it, which is what she is hoping to achieve for others, particularly now the new generations are coming through.” As for the best ways to manage wealth, we all know there are various methods and models and they all change regularly. Connie says the highest risk wealth management strategy is to put all your eggs in one basket, whether you are young or older diversification is still the key. “We’re going to move from the traditional model to a more progressive one. That’s what we’ve done on our platform side. We

have a heavy investment in digital, and self-directed platforms. It will also be interesting to see how RoboAdvice and traditional advisers interact. Whether they become complementary or competitive. OneVue is still in traditional models because there is still a need for them, but further improvement is possible. Within these traditional models, there is still space to evolve; take the new online platform, Luminous, as an example. OneVue wanted more interactivity out of its platform/channel with advisers, fund managers and

individuals. The foundation for Luminous was laid by partnering with News Corp’s Eureka Report digital solution brightday to see what the market was seeking in new platform thinking. In fact the company is heeding its own advice in not putting its eggs all in one basket. It is also broadening its horizons. OneVue recently acquired SMA Managers, which they have had management control over for a year. SMA Managers now renamed OneVue Super Services carries on the theme of middle to back office services to the superannuation section by its superannuation member administration service. Having the ability to manage the member administration was quite key so that we can report on member balances on a daily basis. The acquisition was triggered by the recent capital raising. “Once we had the capital and the loan, we could then complete the acquisition of SMA managers.” Then there are the relationships



SIMPLY ILLUMINATING Be enlightened by the powerful movement that is LUMINOUS. An investment platform like no other. The invisible partner that empowers your brand to create market leading superannuation services for your clients or members. A partnership that delivers a seamless customer experience - all via your branding lens. Leverage the LUMINOUS tools from equities, managed funds, model portfolios and term deposits research, through to daily superannuation management and reporting. Whether you are working with intermediaries or offering direct to member solutions LUMINOUS lights the way.

made possible by

Find out more today, visit The information contained in this advertisement (Information) is general information only. OneVue Holdings Limited ACN 108 221 870 (OneVue) owns all copyright in the Information in this advertisement. Any unauthorized copying or reproduction is an infringement of copyright. To the maximum extent permitted by law, OneVue excludes all liability for any loss or damage (including consequential and indirect loss) arising from or relating in any way to this advertisement and the Information.



‘Connie believes her biggest achievement has been picking people up and nurturing them so that they accomplish things that they could never imagine that they could have accomplished.’

with investment managers and custodians. Over 70% of monies into Australian investment managers are superannuation funds. It’s a great business. We really enjoy working with investment managers and custodians and I think together we can increasingly bring automation and innovation to what has historically been a very mundane business. It is difficult to get right, particularly providing services to the retail investors but we are absolutely driven to get it right. The OneVue management team are investors in our own right and we were all busy people and saying: ‘We don’t have time for this. It’s too complicated, it’s too manual, it’s too cumbersome’. Connie has drawn on all of her experiences to put OneVue in the position it currently holds. She has also drawn on the experience of those around her. “People often ask me, ‘How has OneVue grown and survived?’ I say because I’ve never felt like I’ve had to do it alone. It’s not actually about me, it’s a great deal about the people that I’ve hired and the people they have hired. In my darkest moments, colleagues have picked me up and given me the support I needed to keep going, and I hope I have done the same for them.” Which brings us to the 20 mile march, a program that rewards consistency. “The 20 mile march is about asking people to come in every day and to do their best, and to do it consistently because unlike different organisations where you can come in and be really great and on point

one day and then the next day not, it’s actually incredibly difficult to be consistent. “As a culture, that’s what we reward. We don’t reward individual stars, we reward team players and people that can come in, and many of them are very understated people and just do their job to the best of their ability every day.” Which means Connie has great people around her, from whom she can draw ideas and experiences. And it is that kind of environment which has facilitated OneVue’s success, especially in this rapidly changing world. Although Connie sees it slightly differently. “I don’t think we’ve been successful. I think all we’ve done is put one foot in front of the other and hope that people like the story. We don’t consider ourselves successful, we have an awful lot of work ahead of us and we still make mistakes and have to pick ourselves up from it.” I always feel vulnerable. Vulnerable to mistakes, vulnerable to market forces vulnerable to competition. The day we believe we are successful we have

lost our edge and lost our foothold on reality. Connie believes her biggest achievement has been picking people up and nurturing them so that they accomplish things that they could never imagine that they could have accomplished. “At the end of the day, life is still about people. It’s not really about money, money is the outcome. What is most satisfying is taking somebody who’s been broken, or somebody who has enormous talent but doesn’t have the confidence, and creating an environment where they can be everything that they want to be, even if that means ultimately leaving you in order to do something beyond what you could offer them. I think that’s probably the most satisfying thing I’ve had in my career.” And that attitude works from a business point of view as well. In wealth management that attitude is to take people who know little about superannuation and wealth management and give them the tools to do great things. Which ultimately, is what OneVue is trying to do. BFM




LEADING WITH ASSERTIVE HUMILITY Contemporary dictionary definitions define ego quite generally, around one’s sense of self-esteem, though what we are discussing here is a more targeted notion of ego writes Stuart Taylor. The Ego Trap A more meaningful, if brutal, definition for our purposes might be that of the Buddhist teacher Sogyal Rinpoche in his ‘must read’ book, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Sogyal defines ego as ‘absence of true knowledge of who we really are, together with its result: a doomed clutching on, at all costs, to a cobbled-together and makeshift image of ourselves, an inevitable chameleon charlatan self that keeps changing, and has to, to keep alive the fiction of the existence’. In this sense ego is a much more primitive concept than the dictionary definitions allow, implying that ego represents something is ‘missing’ in one’s self-development. I have simplified Sogyal’s definition. I define ego as an overinflated or under-inflated image of self, formed from self-judgement or perceived judgement of others, which masks our true essence. The ‘ego trap’ occurs when we are stuck in a stagnant consciousness plagued with undercaring or over-caring about self or


others. I see four dimensions to this ‘ego trap’: Over-caring about… 1. Self = Obsessions – perfectionism, fear of failure, control the uncontrollable, fairness 2. Others = Dependencies – comparing, approval seeking, sympathy, conflict avoidance Under-caring about… 3. Self = Neglect – disregard for self, poor investment in self, life imbalance 4. Others = Detachment – Entitlement, contempt, narcissism, antipathy, arrogance.

What is Assertive Humility? In some ways these words do not go together. They can be seen to operate from different spiritual philosophies. However, at the deeper level, they combine beautifully. Assertive Humility is not humility, and it’s not assertiveness either. Each has value on its own, but together they represent something much more. Together they represent a natural positive tension.

Humility on its own can be perceived in Western society as being meek and mild, exhibiting false modesty or even subordination. But this seriously misinterprets the true meaning and weight of the word. A better way to think about humility is as an antonym of ego, what Sogyal Rinpoche calls ‘egolessness’. Assertiveness is steadfast adherence to a strong set of values. It involves the intention and practice of acting on those values while maintaining empathy and compassion for others. Assertiveness can be used in a debate or discussion with anyone from a work colleague or superior to a family member, or in any situation in which your rights, or those of someone else, need standing up for. It can be enacted by being the first to voice an opinion on a controversial or complex topic, particularly when that opinion is at odds with a general consensus view. Courage is a prerequisite. We end up with more than a sum of the parts when these two

So, how   does   Assertive   Humility   sit   within   a   leadership   framework   –   particularly   executive   leadership?   In   the   image   below,   when   the   Assertiveness   axis   of   Pa Aggressive   is   cross-­‐haired   with   the   Humility   axis   of   Compromising/Apolo BFM Arrogant/Dogmatic  we  find  the  sweet  spot  LEADERSHIP| called  Assertive  Humility.         words are combined. I define Assertive Humility as “…egoless, courageous, value-based thoughts and actions for the greater good”. Assertive Humility is an approach to life that is characterised by equanimity, not superiority or inferiority, and by presence with, not distance from, others. It comes with a sense of purpose and a sense of modesty. It is, simply, a more authentic way to be AND to lead. There is always room to grow, always room for even more Assertive Humility as your consciousness continues to evolve. It might be better to think of the enablers and qualities of Assertive Humility acting in a circular and lifting manner: the enablers reveal the qualities, which strengthen access to the enablers further, which enrich the qualities further, and so on. Those of you that know the work of Jim Collins are aware that this topic has had extensive coverage. In his book Good to Great, Collins found that leaders who lead with combination of humility and drive to succeed created great companies. Collin’s defines his second attribute of ‘drive’ as being ‘infected with an incurable need to produce results’. Whilst ‘drive’ can be applied to good and ‘evil’ (or misguided) goals – witness recent corporate, sporting and religious collapses – I would suggest ‘assertiveness’ in contrast is a spiritual concept, defined earlier as having a basis of strong values.

Leading with Assertive Humility So, how does Assertive Humility sit within a leadership framework – particularly senior or executive leadership? In Diagram 1, when the Assertiveness axis of Passive to Aggressive is cross-haired with the Humility axis of Compromising/ Apologetic to Arrogant/Dogmatic we find the sweet spot called Assertive Humility. Conceptually though, this ‘cross-hair’ is not on the same ‘plane’ as the polar extremes. I strongly believe that the synergy of assertiveness and humility requires an elevated level of spiritual consciousness that ultimately manifests as deep caring for the other person and the greater good. In other words, the act and state of compassion.

One of the difficulties at a senior leadership level is keeping centred on where one sits on this frame and being conscious of when the position moves out of kilter. With leadership often associated with the term ‘lonely at the top’, this requires huge self-awareness, accurate self-assessment and the ability to hear subtle feedback from others (empathy). It is this last dimension of empathy that is a key enabler or window through to Assertive Humility. To be clear, this is not sympathy; instead it is a perceptive insight into the                                       feelings, beliefs and motivations of   others. Diagram 1 A senior leader who is able to consistently lead from this accountability do I accept when position does build trust, respect things go wrong? What portion of and sustainable high performance success do I claim as my doing? with others and the organisation. • Perspective In the political sphere, I think the Do I keep challenges, status, term used to be ‘statesman’. In future ambiguity and change in our current global landscape, there perspective OR do I experience would only perhaps be a small fear, anger and contempt? Am number of people that would fall I able to laugh at myself and into that category and one of them learn when things go wrong who died late 2013. I have no doubt or shown up as imperfect OR Nelson Mandela’s legacy will live do I experience frustration, on for centuries. embarrassment, sadness, fear or shame? Measuring Assertive Humility • Conflict Resolution So with an interest in building Do I seek to resolve conflict awareness of one’s Assertive with the greater good in mind Humility, how could it be measured while understanding the other from the context of senior parties position, tackling the leadership? What would be some of issue and not the person OR do the key indicators? I avoid conflict, compromise I explore five sub-scales my position, or resolve in an for measurement of Assertive aggressive way? Humility, as follows… • Trust/Compassion It is well understood (and perhaps Do I build trusting relationships obvious in hindsight) that selfthrough consistent valuesassessment of Assertive Humility based decisions, behaviour and is tricky; particularly for humility integrity OR is my track record (Davis, Worthington & Hook, 2010). erratic? Do I interact with others Ironically it seems that western based on mutually understood leaders overrate themselves on boundaries and standards their humility. Not to mention the based on values OR do I interact implications of ‘false-humility’ that with sympathy, indifference, can exist as a norm in some cultures. contempt or antipathy So it is highly recommended that • Self-worth a truer picture will only be created Do I build self-worth and through scenario-based selfequanimity from healthy internal assessment AND 360 assessment. conversations and experiential In a way, one’s Assertive Humility evidence OR do I over-care may be best measured “…not how about the (perceived and actual) you act when others are looking, opinions of others about self. but how you act when no one is • Centricity around”. BFM Am I others-centered (balanced with my values) OR self-centred Stuart Taylor is director of the (narcissistic)? What portion of Resilience Institute.





From left: Carmel Noon, Samantha Wilkinson, Annabel Shinkfield, Anne Gale and Esther Roberts in UniSA’s new Student Lounge, City West campus.

Addressing gender equity through the UniSA MBA.


ntering the room, you could have sworn that the group of women were fast friends. Laughing, talking animatedly and listening with intent, the group was 100 per cent engaged. You could almost feel the electricity. Yet most of them had met just a few minutes before. What bonded them was common ground on a topic they were all


passionate about: women in leadership. And they were here to show their support. The motive for this early morning sojourn was the new Women in MBA (WiMBA) initiative, designed to tackle gender imbalance in MBA study. WiMBA works by partnering with business to identify and support high-achieving women who could

benefit from undertaking an MBA. The MBA is commonly acknowledged as a pathway to leadership and career progression, yet in Australia, only 30-35 per cent of MBA enrolments are female. Compounding this is the lack of women leaders in the ASX 200: only 5.75 per cent have women as CEOs or Chairs. In fact, in Australia, there are more males


named ‘Peter’ running companies, than there are women running companies. “It’s not the quality of the pool of women that is the issue,” says Carmel Noon, State Manager SA/NT, Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), “It’s that there are more men in the mix, and that equals more men to choose from.” Samantha Wilkinson, MBA student and Principal of her own HR consultancy agrees: “We must work to encourage and support women to reach positions of leadership,” she says, “Women already struggle with stereotypes; take away some of the barriers to study, and we can start to address the issue.” Some may ask why it matters whether there are more ‘Peters’ than ‘Janes’ in the top echelon of Australian business. “It does matter,” says Anne Gale, SA Commissioner for Equal Opportunity, “It’s about fundamental social equity. “Fifty per cent of the population is female. Women need to be seen, and they need a line of sight to identify those who are motivated and aspiring to leadership positions.” “Gender diversity is a strategic imperative,” adds Noon, “although I believe it is always the best person for the role, the statistics show that having a more gender balanced management team and board does lead to better decisionmaking and board effectiveness, and that means improved organisation performance.” She’s right. Post the GFC, companies were scrutinised about who was to blame. The common culprit: a male-dominated Board; leadership gender diversity rose in prominence from this point. “We need urgent attention to this topic,” says Gale, “Not just lip service or appointing women to satisfy statistics. We must change organisational culture.” This is where WiMBA can help: participants receive logistical and financial support—100 per cent of their fees—through a one-forone dollar-matching scheme as committed by their employers and UniSA. “Programs like WiMBA help employers value more highly

the potential that is already in their organisation,” says Annabel Shinkfield, MBA graduate and Marketing Manager, Communications and Customer Service, The City of Unley. “It’s an important step for women in leadership.”

Graduate School of Management (MGSM) in 2014, WiMBA is now backed by five Australian Universities, including the UniSA Business School. “It’s a really positive initiative,” says Gale, “Investment with business is a

‘The MBA is commonly acknowledged as a pathway to leadership and career progression, yet in Australia, only 30-35 per cent of MBA enrolments are female.’ Testimony to this is Esther Roberts, MBA graduate and General Manager, International Trade, Department of State Development, Government of South Australia. “My employer values my MBA skills. As a result I’ve been identified for higher level projects. It’s really sent a message that I’m serious about career advancement.” Introduced by the Macquarie

strong sign of commitment.” Just as encouraging, is the Company Director Course is now an elective of UniSA’s MBA program, allowing MBA students to graduate and receive an award from the AICD. It’s an impressive first that adds value for senior managers in Australia. BFM For more information visit

AICD elective the latest innovation for UniSA’s MBA 2016 sees a world first for the UniSA Business School – the introduction of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD)’s Company Director Course as an elective in the MBA. The Pro Vice Chancellor of the UniSA Business School, Professor Marie Wilson, says: “the AICD course, which is recognised as an essential qualification for anyone who aspires to sit on a board, is now embedded in our MBA curriculum”. “Students undertaking this elective gain a special insight into the role of boards and the elements of finance, strategy and decision making required for highfunctioning boards.” Prof. Wilson says that the introduction of the Company Director Course, as well as participation in the WiMBA program, are just the latest moves of the UniSA Business School to stand out from the increasingly competitive MBA market. “My mission is to make our Business School and our MBA program unsurpassed not only in Australia, but globally”, she says. “To do that, you need to have exemplary program offerings, world-renowned research that feeds back into our teaching and curriculum, solid partnerships with

industry, and a track record of success through your alumni—all things that we already have in place. Most MBAs are promoted as a pathway to senior leadership, a ticket to a better pay packet or a catalyst for a career change, offering flexibility, affordability, interactivity and international focus. “The UniSA MBA ticks all of those boxes, but goes further–through our teaching quality, close collaborations with business and options for overseas experience, we provide our MBA graduates with the tools and skills to stand out in the business world—wherever in the world their career takes them.” The rankings also tell a strong story for UniSA’s MBA, which has featured in Australia’s top 10 MBAs since 20071, as well as securing a 5-star rating from the Graduate Management Association of Australia for eight consecutive years. Plus, the UniSA Business School is in the top one per cent in the world with a 5 Stars™ ranking (Quacquarelli Symonds). It’s one of only nine in the country with the prestigious EQUIS accreditation — EFMD Quality Improvement System. 1

AFR BOSS Survey 2007-2015




Eight steps to a successful BI software implementation According to recent research from Gartner, the global business intelligence (BI) and analytics software market is projected to grow 6.9 per cent by the end of 2015. Australian organisations are expected to spend A$670.6 million on BI and analytics software this year, an increase of 12.1 per cent from last year writes Stefan Crisp.


Stefan Crisp is Infrastructure Product Manager for ERP vendor Pronto Software

hen it comes to implementing a BI strategy, choosing the right technology partner is an important first step. Ultimately, embedding a culture of business intelligence gathering, analysis and action in a workplace requires a transformation project. Which means it’s essential there’s adequate foresight, planning and engagement across the business during this process. So, here are eight tips to ensure your investment in business intelligence software is a successful one that takes your company to the next level. 1. Align your business priorities to your business intelligence priorities. It’s essential your BI systems support your overarching business strategy. The idea is to map your BI goals against your business goals. Let’s say one of your business goals is to grow revenue in the education sector by 10 per cent. How could you develop


intelligence using your BI software to help you reach this goal? It’s also essential to recognise that business priorities are ever changing. This means there needs to be a system in place that ensures your BI priorities and processes are tweaked when commercial priorities shift. 2. Collaboration is the key. Every area of the business needs to be involved in the implementation process to get the most out of your BI system – including all key stakeholders from business, IT to finance functions. When you’re planning the implementation make sure there’s a representative from each area present at key meetings, to get their buy-in and explore how BI could best support their work. It’s also important to identify any potential hurdles that may need to be overcome as the implementation progresses. 3. Keep an eye on your outcome. The business’s decision to invest in

BI software is initially made for a particular reason – perhaps it was to give sales people on the road the ability to access key data, such as the number and value of quotes or leads in the pipeline, as well as historic sales trend data on existing accounts. When you’re rolling out the software, never lose sight of this reason, or reasons if there’s a multitude of them. This should guide all your decisions in relation to the rollout. 4. Review your skill sets. Some areas of the business will already have well-developed analytical capabilities. The finance function is a great example. But other areas of the enterprise might need help in how best to use analytics to improve the firm’s competitive position. If this is the case, you may need to invest in training to increase some team members’ analytic skills. Taking these steps delivers two benefits: you’re up-skilling staff, which leads to greater satisfaction levels,


plus you’re also helping to grow productivity across the business. 5. Review your legacy systems. The best BI implementations are driven from a holistic view of the enterprise’s IT assets. So before you start the rollout, take a look at the software and hardware that can be integrated into the overall BI architecture to help leverage its capabilities. This may include extending the existing supply chain management system, or warehousing software. 6. Target the low hanging fruit. Any BI implementation is a journey and it’s a mistake to focus too much on the destination. This means it’s a valuable idea to go for a few quick wins early on, to gain acceptance of the new technology among staff. For instance, give the managing director a dashboard of key metrics he or she can use every day to keep an eye on how the business is tracking. Or give the CFO access to accounts

receivable, accounts payable, sales orders and general ledger information in an easy-to-see format. Once you’ve shown how much value the BI software can add to the key influencers within the business, you’ll more easily achieve widespread buy-in across the organisation. After that, it’s a process of creating a roadmap and systematically engaging each area of the business in the rollout. 7. Find your sweet spots. Some pieces of information will be more important than others to the business. It’s your job to find out what these are and then ensure the BI system delivers this information effortlessly. 8. Remember things change. As you undertake the rollout, it’s likely that the focus of the business will subtly shift. As this happens, so too should the focus of the BI implementation. The rollout has to be flexible enough to cope when the company buys a

new business, or decides to enter or exit a new market, or any of the numerous other eventualities that organisations face every day. With this in mind, it’s integral for businesses to find an IT partner that has the capability to easily scale up and down in line with the company’s changing needs. Remember, a successful BI implementation takes time, energy and patience, so be sure to celebrate key milestones. Cultivate relationships so when you hit a stumbling block, you can talk through it. But above all, remember that if the business is to use this important investment fully, it will need to focus on people, processes and culture. The software is, of course, critical. But without the buy-in of key stakeholders, and the people around them, it will be difficult for the business to get the most out of something that has the potential to deliver substantial competitive advantage to the firm, and everyone in it. BFM




Insurance from the heart We all need insurance, but for most of us it’s the furthest thing from our minds until we have to pay the premiums. Windsor Income Protection’s COO Jason Potter-Rose speaks to Jonathan Jackson about the importance of insurance post GFC and how insurers have stepped up to meet modern challenges.


s the old saying goes there are two things in life that are certain: death and taxes. For many people there’s a third: insurance. Everybody needs some type of insurance. If you don’t have a car, you may have a home, if you have a home, then you are likely to have building insurance and your home and contents insured. The government encourages you to take out health insurance. Most people have life insurance and the offshoots of that including total and permanent disability. In modern society you can even insure your pets. Suffice to say there is insurance for everything and most of it is required. In what has become a fairly volatile post GFC world, one of the more important insurances covers income loss. “It’s impossible to open a newspaper or turn on the television these days without seeing a story on the tough economic environment and rising cost of living,” says Windsor Income Protection COO Jason Potter-Rose. “Australian workers are under more economic pressure than ever, consumer confidence is taking a battering, particularly within the sections of middle Australia who failed to prosper from the resources boom.” Jason says the figures portraying a lack of job security among the community are particularly worrying and he believes the length of unemployment is also increasing. “The number of people who have


been out of work for between six months and two years has grown by more than 40 per cent over the past five years. “This difficulty in accessing work for many Australians, coupled with the rising price of key goods and services such as petrol, utilities and childcare, is making many in the community nervous about the security of their finances.” The numbers and data are of course concerning as is the macro-economic. Research conducted by McCrindle found that: “This is (the challenge of a less diversified economy) a proven challenge for many, especially those past a certain age or in a regional area where the employment sector is less diversified. The areas which currently have the highest unemployment, such as North Adelaide in South Australia or West Melbourne in Victoria, are also the areas where the number one industry by employment is manufacturing. In these areas there aren’t as many options, which creates extra challenges for those seeking work. “The states that have relied on just a few sectors or very large industries such as Victoria or South Australia are now feeling the sting of increasing unemployment. There’s a lesson here for Western Australia which needs to ensure that it has a broad enough employment base to ensure that any slow-down in mining doesn’t have significant ripple effects on the economy. New South Wales and Queensland have done well as they

haven’t just relied on manufacturing or construction growth but diversified their economies through education, tourism, innovation, finance, property, IT, and scientific and technical services.” Jason, who has over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry and is the founding chairman, helped launch Windsor Income Protection to combat some of these problems. “By providing a quality Income Protection to our clients we can provide security to their most important asset, their family’s livelihood,” Jason says. Of course insurance provision isn’t just a simple matter of lining up a particular product. The better companies take into account an individual’s personal circumstances. In which case Jason advises people to seek professional advice about what insurance type suits their needs. In relation to income protection, Jason says, “It’s important that all Australians obtain financial advice. Some individuals have Income Protection within their Superannuation, Work Place agreements and through retail offerings. The benefits can range from less than $500 a month up to 110% of their average weekly benefit. “If you are receiving a benefit less than 65% of your average weekly income you are likely to struggle to meet your financial commitments and this puts financial strain on your personal situation.” Which puts strain on your family and those close to you.


‘How long could you survive on your savings, if through an accident or injury your income was $0?’ Which raises the question of under insurance. “I believe Australians across the board are underinsured, however I believe there are affordable options through multiple superannuation funds, but finding the right insurance comes back to informed professional advice.” Jason says a good question people should ask themselves is: ‘how long could you survive on your savings, if through an accident or injury your income was $0?’ It’s an important question. And it’s probably asked by fewer people than it should be. There are no doubt psychological barriers to answering this question as most people believe that nothing will happen to them in the workplace, or they fail to confront their fears. However it needs to be asked nonetheless and importantly I’m sure all individuals know someone that has experienced this

unfortunate circumstance The other questions to ask are what risks do you have at work or in your personal life that could hinder your employment and what is the best cover. When Jason helped found Windsor, the goal was to create a business that could offer affordable, income replacement if someone is unable to work due to injury or illness. In fact, Jason says the industry as a whole leads the way with relevant competitive products. Where Windsor Income Protection stands out is in working with clients to provide innovative product and service solutions. “One of our products has just won the ‘Best Insurance within Superannuation’ for the fourth year in a row (Intrust Super). We strive to not only build the most appropriate product for each client but also provide best in class service proposition.

We are looking to break the mindset and conservative mould of traditional Income Protection policies. That is what drives our business: to deliver innovative solutions.” Jason offers the following examples of how Windsor Income Protection does this. • Providing reducing waiting periods for member loyalty • Covering members for up to 110% of their weekly average wage • Wide range of waiting periods • Sliding benefit scale • Disability Solution (Combined Income Protection and TPD) • Using Texts in the claims process • Surveying members both during and post claim to provide real time feedback on product design and service delivery The size of Windsor Income Protection also sets it apart. Jason believes as a smaller, more independent business they don’t face the same internal politics, hierarchical roadblocks or inter-company silos that present themselves with the larger insurers. This enables the company to provide an end to end product solution with pricing within a couple of business days.



Keeps you in the game

PROFILE| BFM It has also enabled the company to quickly grow. “This market and industry was raw when we started and the product was in its infancy amongst the superannuation fraternity, but without doubt it was going to grow quickly,” Jason says. “Windsor Income Protection had built a successful like-minded team that were willing to attack the market.” As founding chairman, Jason took it upon himself to not only take charge of all of the regulatory and compliance protocols that are required within a start-up, but to also build a brand and credibility within the market. “Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long to receive our respective licenses and accreditation from both the Australian regulatory market and Lloyds of London. Shortly thereafter we picked up two clients and from that moment we haven’t looked back. We continue to build our brand, reputation and footprint within the industry. “The board worked hard on building a culture that encouraged input and inspired ground breaking collaboration from external parties to ensure our product and service delivery exceeded client expectations. “It’s important to the organisation when dealing with claimants to ensure we meet their situation with empathy, it’s important for our claims and case managers to put themselves in the claimants situation and visualise on how they

would like to be treated, hence our customer satisfaction score of 9.4/10.” The business has been in existence for five years and has grown from small start-up to have over 20 clients. The service offering has grown as well. Income Protection services (Insurance and Claims Management) with clients has diversified into building an on-line retail platform for associations, providing agency services, building products (identity theft), and starting a claims company for local and international producing brokers and insurers. “The growth wasn’t a surprise to the board or executive of Windsor Income Protection due to the initial platform that was created and the initial business plan that was presented and implemented. This again comes down to the diverse skill-set that was employed to commence Windsor Income Protection,” Jason says. Jason describes Windsor Income Protection as a minnow when compared to the financials and size of the large life and general insurance companies that operate within Australia. However after just a short period of time, the company is competitive within its chosen niche markets. Jason believes this is a “massive achievement”, and something that can be built on. “We continue to go that extra yard when the hard work is required, we don’t take anything for granted and treat each client like

they our only client,’ he says. “I’m proud that in five short years we have paid out over $100,000,000 in Income Protection benefits to claimants and have ensured their quality of financial life hasn’t suffered during a period which would normally mean financial ruin.” As for the direction of the industry and Windsor Income Protection’s part in that, Jason now believes the market is more engaged and pro-active and that is leading to better awareness among clients who may never have considered insurance integral to their lives. “The industry is dealing with a market that is more engaged than ever before, thanks to pro-active communication from superannuation funds, employers, retail adverts and the increased legal fraternity advertising on every media platform available. Combine this with the increasing incidences of mental health claims and the insurers have had to produce corrective rates to counter the claims and length of time away from the workforce. “The industry will continue to develop with economic conditions, but has to ensure that it does not dilute the true intention of the product and provide its claimants with financial assistance in their time of need, it can’t make conditions too restrictive and benefits need to be of value compared to the contributions that are paid.” Windsor Income Protection role in this will be to continue to work in the best interests of its claimants and clients alike. We have already commenced adding services to assist claimants by engaging with the medical fraternity in servicing claimant’s conditions, adding rehabilitation and return to work services to help claimants getting back to work earlier.” And according to Jason, Windsor Income Protection will continue to add innovative benefits and solutions to provide its clients and claimants with value for money on a product that protects their most important asset. Jason has lofty goals for the business, but in this post GFC world, where people are becoming far more alert about their circumstances, those goals are by no means out of reach. BFM




MOBILE TECHNOLOGY – putting power in investors’ hands

Mobile phones and devices have become powerful tools that place almost anything within their owner’s fingertips. Shopping for groceries, buying clothes, transferring money, keeping in touch with relatives and even dating are all just a tap or swipe away and can be done almost anywhere and anytime writes Megan Boston.

E Megan Boston is CEO of Omni Market Tide

asy internet access has created a world of digital disruption that’s delivered a profound shift in the way business is done and communication delivered. The Digital Industry Association of Australia’s 2014 Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index report found that around 89 per cent of Australian mobile phone owners had smartphones with around


88per cent of those using their mobile phone to use apps and/or websites. Approximately 60 per cent also owned tablets. Australians are avid early adopters of technology and the near universal uptake of mobile phones and devices means companies can’t ignore mobile and the opportunities it provides. They need to be where their customers are and increasingly it’s in the palm of their hands; while

on the bus, train or walking down the street. Consider online shopping, especially around Christmas time. Market researcher Nielsen recently reported that during the 2014 festive season, 44 per cent of Australians used a mobile to research gift ideas, more than a third used mobile for shopping related activities such as comparing prices and 20 per cent


industry, which is now fighting for its life against Uber. Or the hotel sector, which is now threatened by Airbnb.

used a mobile to make a purchase. In this age of the connected consumer who wants access to virtually everything 24 hours a day, seven days a week, disruption is almost inevitable. Whole industries are looking for new ways to serve these increasingly demanding consumers. The pace of change is rapid. We’re now seeing entire markets being turned on their proverbial heads because someone found a better way to do things. Even markets that at first blush may not have seemed possible to be disrupted digitally are being challenged. Just look at the taxi

How can this help with IR? The age of the connected consumer has significant ramifications for stakeholder engagement. Potentially every listed company, every organisation, every voting body, will one day engage their stakeholders using mobile device technologies. Investor relations (IR) is another industry that’s feeling a shift in the way it operates thanks to digital disruption. Shareholder relations and communications have been slow to modernise, despite many harnessing the power of digital to increase brand awareness and improve customer service. This is resulting in billions of dollars being spent every year by companies to support the annual general meeting process and communications with shareholders. In Australia, companies are spending $200 million on share registry services, $120 million on AGMs and $350 million on shareholder engagement. So much money is being spent and yet only five per cent of the top 200 companies are drawing more than 500 shareholders to their AGM. At the recent Trans-Tasman Business Circle, Connected Customer Event, the point that came across was that power has shifted to the consumer (shareholder) and with it has come extraordinary demands for highly personalised experiences. Investors want to know more about the companies they are plunging money into and chief executives expect their investor relations teams to actively engage with and supply information to shareholders. Mobile and digital technology are enabling this contact and our international counterparts are doing it well. In the US, 88 companies now hold virtual shareholder meetings. This method is believed to have boosted investor engagement, driving voting participation up to three times higher. Further, the ability to vote through a mobile platform has seen a 70 per cent increase in voting.

Embracing mobile and digital for shareholder engagement will also enable companies to reduce costs, provide easier ways to engage with shareholders and receive shareholder feedback, anticipating their needs and wants, which will provide confidence in corporate governance. Omni Market Tide is Australia’s only mobile shareholder voting app and, after launching in July, has already attracted two ASX20 companies, as well as a partnership with registry service provider Boardroom. Just as retailers are following their customers online and mobile, listed companies need to give investors what they want, when they want it, and how when it comes to communications and interactions. They need to embrace mobile technology to make the engagement function more meaningful, and also more efficient and effective. By increasing stakeholder engagement and giving investors access to company data and communique throughout the year through mobile technologies, companies can build trust and respect which is ultimately the best way to avoid being caught off-guard at AGMs whilst enabling shareholders to make informed decisions. This can only be good for company reputations as they’re seen to be genuinely interested in shareholders and how to make their lives easier. The future is mobile and those who refuse to adapt will be left behind and fade away into the obsolete. For those who take accept and embrace the dominance of mobile, a rosy future beckons. BFM Megan Boston is CEO of Omni Market Tide which has the only stakeholder engagement app in Australasia designed to enhance the interconnectivity between companies and stakeholders, allowing push communications, web streaming, and direct voting, among other features. The application makes investor relations content more readily accessible for the digital investor, increasing shareholder engagement and participation during and outside the AGM voting requirements.





How Nick Bell created a $45M start-up from his bedroom



You may have heard of Nick Bell. He is a serial entrepreneur. A former Smart50 finalist and at one point a skin care business owner. He is now in charge of a $45 million dollar digital agency with 450 employees across Australia, New Zealand, the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, China and Thailand. Nick speaks with Business First about how he built a global business.


he constancy of having every SEO ‘expert’ tell you they can make your SEO better can be a bit frustrating, but when a company does its SEO well, it can launch into another stratosphere. Nick Bell found this out first hand while running his first serious business SkinB5. It was that skincare business that provided the catalyst for Nick’s current success. We’ll get to that shortly, but to understand Nick’s motivations we’ll backtrack slightly to find out where his entrepreneurial streak emerged from. It was partly from growing up on a small cattle and sheep farm in country Victoria where to stave off boredom he became a salesman. “I started my first semi-business in school selling my school lunch,” Nick says. “That’s how I made my ‘pocket money” in my teens. My mum and dad didn’t believe in pocket money, so to reach my goal of moving to London when I finished high school, I begun selling my semi-gourmet school lunch to the other students.”

“I started my first semi-business in school selling my school lunch.” His mum would pack Nick’s lunch box – two lunch boxes in fact – full of chicken and avocado sandwiches, chocolate bars and cakes. “Mum thought I was just a hungry kid with a very high metabolism as I was quite skinny. So what I used to do, was go to school and then at recess, lunch and on the way home on the bus, auction my food off. I took $2 for a peanut butter sandwich, $3.50 for chicken & meat sandwich. You’d be surprised

how hungry kids become from 3pm onwards, so prices would increase. I look back now and laugh.” What he was doing was grounding himself in a business mentality. He dropped out of university because he wanted to be more hands on: theory about micro or macroeconomics held no appeal. “I needed to be hands on, at the time I had no interest studying for a further 3 years. I wanted to experience the real world.” So Nick dropped out of university, worked in hospitality and took an entry level role as a data entry assistant in recruitment firm. Within two and half years Nick was General Manager of their Sydney operation. Yet the entrepreneur bug that had seeded in high school was still biting. And thus SkinB5 was born. Partly out of the need to do his own thing and partly to fill a gap he thought was evident in the treatment of acne. “I had acne for 10 years and so I engaged a pharmacist and together we developed a product that helped combat the oil production in the skin. It worked extremely well. I decided to bring a partner on board and then we went to market.” It was a global business from the outset, with the product sold online throughout Asia/Pacific and the US. “I worked day and night in the business for four years before I was bought out by my business partner in 2010,” Nick says. There were challenges however, mostly to do with manufacturing. “The challenge with that business is you rely on the manufacturer to deliver on time and within budget. We agreed with the manufacturer that orders would be delivered within 12 weeks, 12 months later we were yet to see a product. We weren’t big enough to demand large quantities, so they just weren’t giving us the love we needed. We firmly believe in the



Want a




increase in leads?

1300 663 995 (within Australia)

+61 3 8613 8400 (outside of Australia)


Digital Solutions


saying, ‘what doesn’t break you, makes you stronger’. It was a tough business to make a decent dollar.” The great thing Skinb5 is the digital marketing skills he learned whilst running the business. He had developed his knowledge in SEO (search engine optimisation), PPC advertising (pay per click) and the basics of digital marketing. “I thought, I’ve got three options. I can continue to struggle with this business, I can go back and work for someone and make a decent salary, or I could start a boutique digital marketing business and hopefully earn $100,000 a year and be content.” Nick says at the time, he felt if he could earn $100,000 he’d would be on top of the world. So with his last few hundred dollars, he had poorly designed website built in Vietnam, bought a mobile phone and started cold calling businesses from his bedroom. Within seven days he had received a cheque for $10,000, but to grow the business further he understood that he needed to reinvest in its operations. It also helped that he understood where the market was heading. “The yellow pages was in decline and the market was obviously headed towards digital and every single business was going to need a website and online marketing. There were digital marketing agencies in Australia charging ridiculous prices, a minimum $2,000+ per month with no guarantees or assurances. I thought I can come in at half the price with guarantees and deliver better results. That’s what we did and that’s why we grew extremely fast. No need to re-invent the wheel, only improve it” WME grew from Nicks bedroom to now 450+ staff with offices in seven countries. And as it grew so did the product offering. “We developed a web design & development business called Nothing But Web, or NBW. Then, we developed Appscore, to cater for the booming app development industry. We now have clients such as Telstra, Mercedes Benz, NAB and even small start-ups who are looking to develop an app. Appscore is a very strong business with global potential. We added the

app business to the digital group five years ago with just $3,000 in seed capital.” You would think corporations would be savvy to the requirements of digital marketing, however that couldn’t be further from the truth for many of them. In fact according to Nick some corporations have a distinct lack of understanding. “Choosing a digital agency that lacks the resources or capabilities can burn a great deal of money, time and also severely damage your brand. I strongly recommend corporations and any business choose a digital agency that perform the technical work in-house rather than agency that has 3-5 staff inhouse and the rest in a 3rd world country where the work quality is questionable. You need people on the ground who understand the Australian or US market. From there you can develop the correct strategy.” It is that attitude that has facilitated the rise of WME in an industry that is saturated with digital marketing players. It is that attitude and care taken with a business’s most prized possession – its brand – that has enabled Nick to build WME’s own brand and reputation. And the business continues to grow with Nick’s broader ambitions currently in play. “I want to further expand our social media division. As you know, Google been the leading marketing platform for 20 years but now it has some competition. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, they’re booming and will continue to boom. We’re currently evolving our social media department to cater for the huge demand. If a businesses doesn’t evolve it dies, it’s that simple. I believe in the basics, evolve, re-invest, hire well and train. Follow these principles and watch your business grow.” Nick speaks like a true entrepreneur; one that has had successes and failures. One that has built businesses and expanded operations, but one also that knows the fine line between success and failure. He says his biggest achievement was WME’s move into Asia.

“I remember when we first took the business to Asia, we didn’t have enough money to fit out the office so I laid the carpet myself. Thankfully, our Singapore office broke even within six months and that paved the way for further expansion throughout Asia. The other major achievement is the growth of Appscore. “To take that from a $3,000 start-up to now a multimillion dollar business with huge clients, amazing staff, is a big win. I can’t take credit for Appscore, my business partner and great mate Alex Louey is the driver behind Appscore. “ The biggest achievement is yet to come. It is to list the Group of Companies within the next few years. “Recently I was asked, what’s your hobby outside of work. Honestly, I don’t see what I do as ‘work’, I am passionate about growing and investing in businesses. Watching a small start-up go from nothing to a multi-million dollar company through hard work and passion, is extremely rewarding. No balls no glory. Work smart and think big!” It’s an ambitious plan, but when you think back to the farm boy who sold his lunches, it’s one that is expected to be achieved. BFM






3 ways to go from mind-full busyness to mindful business Speed, intelligence and effectiveness is foundational for good leaders. But in today’s complex and constantly distracted work environments those qualities alone don’t cut it.

R Rasmus Hougaard

is a directors at The Potential Project.

esearch shows that the complexity and relentless distractions of today’s business is killing our attention, hampering our productivity and decreasing our creativity. We have entered an attention economy where the clarity and focus of our attention is becoming the secret ingredient of leadership excellence. The key to unlocking this is mindfulness training. Being mindful in business is to be more focused, have more clarity and practice compassion.

Focus – Reclaiming a competitive advantage Focus used to be easy. At work, we used to focus on one thing at a time; a hammer, a typewriter, a person. Things have changed. Today, distractions have blown our focus to pieces. For a while we thought multitasking was the answer. But we were wrong. Researchers are showing that multitasking is killing our focus by shrinking our prefrontal cortex. How much is our focus suffering these days? 46.9 per cent to be specific. This is the percentage of our waking hours that our minds are involuntarily wandering away from what we try to focus on. In other words, half of the time, we are not truly paying attention to the tasks or people in front of us. There is a huge potential to be developed. As our focus declines, our ability to prioritise does too. The more we let our minds get distracted by the constant interruptions, the less we are able to prioritise. We risk becoming action addicts. Action addicts are highly effective in doing a lot of things, but not necessarily the right things. We end up spinning our wheels, without truly moving anywhere.

But it does not have to be this way. Focus can be trained, it is like a muscle. And focus is power, it gets us out of action addiction and the multitasking trap.

Clarity – Cutting through complexity The new normal in business is an ever changing, globally interconnected and competitive reality. Traditional factors of knowledge and speed no longer meet the demands. In fact, today, they can become the factors that keep you stagnated at status quo, with a leadership style of yesterday. Knowledge was foundational yesterday. But today’s leadership calls for minds with high levels of clarity to embrace and penetrate unparalleled complexity. You cannot keep on top of the skyrocketed levels of information, but you can train your mind to have clarity and thereby detect what is important and ignore the rest. Speed was the fuel of yesterday’s leadership. But the speed of electronic communication has left even the fastest leaders breathless. What is needed is a clear mind which will help you do the right things, instead of all things that call on you. Today’s complexity calls for leaders with clarity of mind.

Compassion – Benefitting the business while benefitting the world Compassion, kindness and care always win, even in business. Simply put, compassion is the intention of wanting to be of benefit to the person in front of you. Imagine what the world would be like if we all embodied that intention. Compassion however, is not

about pleasing others. Compassion can be tough. A compassionate, but firm feedback session can be the most helpful thing you can do to others. And when we have to lay off people or manage major changes, compassion can be useful too. We cannot change the fact that businesses must adapt to thrive and survive. But we can change the dynamic and experience of tough change situations, not only for others, but also for ourselves. For leaders, one thing must come before compassion for others compassion for self. As leaders we are appointed to serve the greater good. And in that attempt, we can lose sight of our own needs. We can end up depleting our energy and wellbeing, and thereby the ability to be of service. In a world of disruption, climate change and social inequality, compassion becomes the glue that makes us stick together. We as leaders, at any level, have the opportunity to walk in front and become role models for a better world. In short, compassion helps yourself, your business and the world. It’s hard to argue against. And if at this point you ask yourself, “When is the right time to be kind?” The Dalai Lama’s advice is simple, “Be kind whenever possible, it is always possible”. Leadership today can be challenging. Complexity and distractions are the new normal. But our mind creates our reality, and we can train our mind for more focus, clarity and compassion. We can cut through the clutter and learn to see tomorrow’s solutions today. BFM Rasmus Hougaard and Gillian Coutts are Directors at The Potential Project and authors of One Second Ahead.






Leading by example For Ray Pittman, the president and CEO for CBRE’s Australia and New Zealand operations, strong leadership running through an organisation is an important marker for business success. Ray speaks to us about overseeing all business lines in one of the largest property groups in the world and how leadership ensures these lines operate at maximum efficiency. Story by Jonathan Jackson


hen Ray Pittman came back to the CBRE fold, first in 2011 as Senior Managing Director and Colorado market leader, he had been out of the business for 12 years. He worked in that position for four and a half years before moving to Australia as CEO Asia Pacific in July 2015. In his time outside of the company, CBRE had grown into a global organisation of some repute. The first thing Ray noticed, which says a lot about the business and the reputation it has garnered, was the quality of people. “What sets CBRE apart is the longevity and innovative attitude of the leadership group and the top talent,” Ray says. “When I came on board, this was the culture I noticed and this is the culture that we want to preserve and build on as an organisation.” To do so, especially in an environment that continues to grow, is no easy task. It takes a different approach to leadership: organisational leadership. “We are not just a property company, we are a large group of 2300 people and we require a strategic focus,” Ray says. So when he came on board he set up a five-year strategic plan. To describe the business and his approach to it, Ray uses the apt analogy of a high-rise office building. “Like an established, wellknown office building, the business has been successful for many years and it is well recognised in the market, but like that long-standing high-rise we may need a reno-

vation to be ready for the future. So this five year plan became the centrepiece for future operations and we are now in the process of meeting with all of our 2300 people to communicate the plan and seek their input.” When you have thousands of people in an organisation, putting the change management in place can be difficult. Yet Ray is a man whose leadership is based on team orientation and collaboration, and he uses this style of leadership to galvanise his crew in pursuit of the company’s ultimate goal: delivering exceptional client service and value. He does, however, recognise change is always hard for individuals within a large organisation; it is particularly hard for successful organisations. “When you are a market leader, it creates certain friction and impetus against change. That is the nature of an organisation, but to be a truly world class and global market leader it is important to recognise that change is necessary. This allows you to stay ahead of staff concerns and thus stay ahead of the competition.” This has been the Ray way through his early days with CBRE, to his roles as Senior Managing Director and Colorado market leader for CB Richard Ellis, Senior Vice President and Colorado market leader for national real estate development firm Catellus and as the President of his own company Pittman Development Group, where he was active in all aspects of land and commercial development. He ran Pittman Development from 2003 to 2011 and really gained grounding in

all aspects of the industry. With Pittman Development he was one of CBRE’s clients. He told the Financial Review last year: “You learn a lot more as a client than as an employee,” During his time away from the business and as a client, CBRE evolved into a company that is almost unrecognisable from when he began in 1985. “There has been an enormous amount of change since I started 30+ years ago. At that time we were a brokerage company in the US. There has been significant change since then on two fronts: we have become a truly global company with 75,000 people; we don’t just have offices around the world, we operate as a global business on a global scale. “Secondly, we moved from being 90% transactional to today being 50% transactional with much more diversity. We now operate in sectors including facilities and property management, agribusiness, asset services, hotels, project management and more.” Throughout this time, and the reason the business has maintained its strength, is that its culture has remained solid. And for each acquisition it has taken the best of each company acquired. For instance CBRE Global Investors was founded in 1972 as the investment management subsidiary of Coldwell, Banker & Company and began investing in real estate for US tax-exempt investors that same year. Ray says Coldwell’s culture had many positive aspects: entrepreneurial, collaborative, fun, very




PROFILE| BFM positive and ambitious. “Since then we have done a great job in integrating the best elements of the companies we have acquired. We started with a strong culture and integrated all the best elements of other businesses.” When Ray left CBRE, it was through a desire to see more of what was round him. He had been 22 when he joined and wanted to experience the client side. “I had a real interest in the client side and actually went to work for a CBRE client.” All through those 12 years, however, he retained a strong relationship with CBRE. “By the end of that period I had run my own company for seven years. It was post GFC and the opportunity and outlook for local developers was narrower and smaller. Conversely CBRE had become more sophisticated and global. So when I re-joined it was the chance to go from a small business setting to one that in my absence had gained a true global reach.” Ray says the time outside of CBRE sharpened his business and entrepreneurial skills. “I understand my clients much better than I have previously. I understand institutional and entrepreneurial clients. I have seen CBRE as a service provider to companies, so I have a different view now of how to add value.” And that ties in with the global strategy, which is about creating client advantage. “We want to be an organisation that creates advantage. That’s very clear and intuitive for all of our people and all of our teams. We have to continually get better at delivering and adding value. That is the main focus.”

Ray says CBRE must continue to understand what clients are looking for, what they are trying to achieve and their goals and build their services s around that. “That is paramount. We have to invest learning and development on our own side. We have to be the best practitioners of real estate that we can be. Finally all products and services have to be world class.” With excellence comes pressure and Ray is intimately aware that any breakdown in the machine can be costly, that one slip up could cause a permanent black mark. “What we are learning is a breakdown in one service in any market can be a problem for us. We are the firm clients look to when they have a need for a broad base real estate solution. “That is added pressure and we don’t have the luxury that some of our boutique competitors have. We can’t afford to be good at just one thing in just one place. It is that pressure that speaks to our strategy.” And that strategy comes back to people. It comes back to attracting top talent. Ray’s strategy is to take a three-pronged approach to talent management: attract, develop and retain. “We have to do all three of those things. We have to make ourselves attractive to the top talent in our industry, then once they are here we have to invest in them to make them the best they can be.” Essentially Ray is building a business full of leaders. He is also building a diverse business. Though he is not about hitting quotas.

Ray believes that no one single group stands out or should stand out. He says that each group or demographic is important. The diversity Ray is looking for is diversity of thought and experience. “You can’t have a homogenous group, you have to cultivate a company of diverse background: gender, age, ethnicity. A business should not limit itself otherwise decisions will be low in quality.” It is part of Ray’s mission to attract people that would never have considered real estate as a career option. “We want to change that and to attract all available talent.” He is also building a sense of community, which is made stronger through initiatives such as Walk for a Wish, which raised $262,000 last year. CBRE is engaged in several philanthropic efforts. It wants to be a great corporate citizen. “We want to contribute and build a stronger community. People want to work for an organisation that cares and that they can be proud of.” Which brings us back to the fiveyear plan. “The goal of our five year plan is to establish ourselves as a truly world class business. We want to be compared to the best firms in any industry. We want to be truly world class in what we do in delivering value for clients, and we want to be recognised as the top firm in our industry. We want to be number one with distance in any specific real estate market. And we are doing this by attracting, developing and retaining talent and by adding value for our clients.” BFM




How to perform at your peak As a small business owner, more often than not you may find yourself starting the day with a clear idea of what needs to be done, but by the afternoon, you realise that you have not completed the first item on the list yet. This may be because of distracting emails or unscheduled meetings and you end up spending your valuable time on other people’s needs


John Corias is managing director of Mas Accountants

t the start of 2016, you may have goals to take your business to the next level, and for that distractions and unnecessary items in your schedule need to be eliminated. With that in mind here are a few tips to work smarter to perform at your peak every day. 1. Don’t check emails first thing in the morning: Decision making is an energy consuming task, and emails generally overwhelm your brain with ideas in order to make quick decisions. Unless your job is literally checking emails all day, it would be wise to leave this until early afternoon once the daily priorities have been handled. 2. Prioritise the goals for the day first thing in the morning: As you will not be checking emails first thing, the best idea is to prioritise the goals for the day and how you will set about achieving them. You need to be clear about the most important things and to keep things simple, choose the three most important items that have to be completed. 3. Conserve your energy when it comes to decision making: For those tasks that are not part of your priorities, it is an essential skill to learn to say no to these, or better yet delegate them to the right staff. As a result, you are not required to spend energy on tasks that could be done by someone


else, or not required at all in the larger scheme of things. 4. Assign an hour or two of the day as your personal thinking time: This is the time where you focus deeply on your long term goals and where your business is in terms of achieving these. It is essential that phones and emails are turned off during this time, so make sure you choose an hour that you expect not to be too busy. 5. Schedule meetings later in the day: As mentioned last week, the first thing you should try and do each day is to prioritise your short term goals. Meetings are usually energy intensive and require your full focus. It may be a better idea to get your daily tasks out of the way before going into any meetings so you are going in with a fresh mind and a lesser workload on the way out of the meeting. 6. Plan a clear path for your meetings: Before the start of each meeting with your clients or staff, plan out the most effective way to get to the end, so that time is not wasted on meaningless conversations. Have a clear vision, so that you are not caught up in the minute details of the discussion. Concise meetings also appear more professional and allow for quick resolution of any problems. 7. Reduce multitasking: Unless you are exceptionally talented

with multitasking, try and focus on a single task at any given time. Excessive multitasking tends to cause distractions and could cause mistakes, which go unnoticed and also drain your energy. A way to reduce this is to delegate appropriately and as much as possible. 8. Stay Positive! It is commonly said that the brain classifies everything as a ‘threat’ or a ‘reward’. People are generally more creative thinkers when they are staying positive. Teams tend to collaborate easily when everyone is positive and is working towards the same goal. Interpret threats as rewards or challenges as opportunities and you find yourself achieving more than ever before. 9. Celebrate small victories: You may get find yourself rushing from one thing to the next, or solving a particularly tough problem and moving on to the next one without a break. In this process you may miss seeing the progress you are actually making. A sense of progress in fact is one of the most rewarding things you can have in your business. As with the previous point positive emotions have a contagious effect and can help to improve relations with your staff and clients. We hope these tips help you in winning every day, as these ideas are useful for all aspect of your small business. BFM





When worlds converge When a business is acquired by one of the world’s largest technology solutions providers, it can be said that the company is doing something right. Led by Paul Bellette, the award winning BPO focused Converga has been on the up and up for the past 15 months. Business First caught up with Paul to talk about turning a business around and why that made it so attractive to acquire. Story by Jonathan Jackson


n Monday 9 November, Canon Australia announced that it had acquired Converga from parent company New Zealand Post Group. With a specialty in business process outsourcing and a particular focus on document digitalisation solutions, the stand-alone Converga was no longer a fit for New Zealand Post Group as they sought to streamline their operations focusing on mail, logistics and banking in New Zealand. Recognising that Converga could provide Canon customers with BPO solutions strengthening Canon’s end-to-end managed services and business process outsourcing capability, Canon swooped. Yusuke Mizoguchi, Managing Director, Canon Australia said at the time, “At Canon, our vision is to be recognised for our customerfocused solutions and market leading technology and services. Converga is a fantastic company that we intend to invest in, and grow, long into the future.” For Converga, it is business as usual. “At Converga, we’re driven to innovate with the best people, processes and technology to deliver document processing solutions to our customers – this move will ensure those needs for customers continue to be met,” said Bellette post acquisition. It is that customer focus and drive to innovate that has led the company to become one of the country’s leading BPO providers, and it is those values that align well with what Canon is also achieving. Converga was selected as best fit in helping Canon to achieve its growth strategy, combined with a strong culture and brand alignment.



Paul is a seasoned international business executive with extensive experience in the Asia Pacific market. He has held various General Management roles centred around Sales, Corporate Strategy, Marketing and New Business revenue generation with a particular focus on translating strategy into practical strategic programs. With Corporate experience covering outsourcing, logistics and distribution with industry experience across ICT, infrastructure, government, services, FMCG and resource sectors he was the perfect fit for Converga’s top job. His experience was nurtured during his 17 years with logistics giant DHL, for whom he worked in the Australia, New Zealand and Singapore offices. He says DHL was and still is an “amazing” company. “There is an entrepreneurial spirit that is encouraged at DHL,” Paul says. “They make you feel part of

their growth and make you want to contribute to it. I felt I grew as the company grew and there were many opportunities to learn and grow. It is an incredibly global business, but also incredibly connected and I learnt a lot about the dynamics of a global market.” His boss at DHL was one Brian Roberts, who just happens to be Paul’s predecessor at Converga. The pair share a 20-year history. “I made the switch because Brian was my boss at DHL. I worked with him for 20 years and when he moved to Converga he gave me a call and asked if I would like to come over.” The thought of saying no to Brian, never entered Paul’s mind and from the moment he stepped into Converga’s head office he took on multiple General Manager roles. He says it has been a constantly changing environment, but it is change which allows the individuals within companies to grow. “If a company is growing and looking at new things, and you

have the ability to learn and challenge yourself that keeps you interested. I have had multiple different roles over the eight years here and the changing face of the business keeps you motivated and successful.” This is an attitude that runs through the company. It is an attitude that Graham Bailey

Converga snapshot Converga is a leading provider of Managed Services and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services, delivering strategic advantages and cost savings solutions. Key information and statistics are as follow: • Parent Company: Canon Australia • In operation since 1994 with headquarters in Sydney, Australia. • Offices and Technology Centres throughout Australia, New Zealand, United States and the Philippines. • Over 1,300 staff operating in more than 150 customer locations.

BFM | PROFILE adopted when he started the business in 1994 as Outsource Australia and it was carried through when the name changed to Converga in 2008. The business’s initial focus was mail room outsourcing and it grew to encompass full BPO solutions including digital transformation. As a company changes, the best way to lead it is to integrate yourself into every aspect – which is what Paul did. “There is obviously a lot to learn and experience in a business. It is not until you have done specific tasks that you know what goes on in those areas,” Paul says. “I believe in hands on experience. That’s how you learn about how the business functions.” The more people are fully integrated into the business, the better leaders they can become.


“It means you can rely on trusted people in their field and bring them into the decision-making processes,” Paul says. The strength of the team has enabled Converga to enter a new growth phase. While part of this means bringing in new business and partners, there is also a strong focus on existing customers and expanding services to them. Paul understands the importance of existing customers and partners and he takes an aggressive approach to keeping them engaged. “There were some challenges we faced when we lost a major customer and it was going to have significant impact on our success. This caused us to re-examine the business and ensure our customer focus and their satisfaction was paramount.” After a little soul searching,

Converga turned things around. They came through the year with increased revenue growth; they doubled their EBIT result and became an even more customer focused organisation. By doing so, they even won back their lost customer. And they started to win awards. In 2014, Converga won Employer of Choice and Excellence in Business Ethics award. The company has a long list of awards dating back to 2004. Paul puts it down to having a great team and great customers. And as we touched on earlier, he also puts it down to the company’s continued willingness to evolve. “We have a great solution in the BPO market and we weren’t getting that out enough, so we put a further focus on our customers and made them paramount to our objectives.” Paul is driven to drive for results. This attitude has really enabled Converga to come out of the last 12 months a stronger organisation that is well respected for its customer service and is admired in its given markets. That is no mean feat considering the organisation employs over 1300 staff operating in 150 customer locations across Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and USA. In fact an 800 respondent customer survey came back with a 94% satisfaction rating. That’s across the business. So you can see why Canon Australia was attracted. Converga mirror Canon’s own values, which will make it easier as a parent, to help Converga in their growth ambitions. Converga is about culture. It is about customers and people and it takes pride in how it conducts itself. It has implemented programmes including It’s Your Business, which encourages leaders throughout the organisation to treat the business as if it was their own and the 90/10 program, which ensures 90% of time is spent on servicing and growing existing customers. The best thing about the business is that it is focused on best practice and that is what drives not only Paul, but the Converga staff and customers to build a better business. BFM


ENTREPRENEURSHIP REDEFINED Recently there’s been an image going around social media that says, ‘Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life the way most people won’t, to live the rest of your life the way most people can’t’. Although this might be true for some it is certainly not true for me, nor is it in line with what entrepreneurship means to me.

E Jack Delosa

Gen Y Entrepreneur & Investor

ntrepreneurship to me is so much more than building a business for a few years, selling it or getting it to the point where it is financially successful and then ‘living a life most people can’t’. Entrepreneurship to me IS my life…This is my quest…My life’s best work. A statement of who I am. I believe entrepreneurship is a spiritual endeavour, more so than a commercial one. Entrepreneurship at its essence is about ‘creation’. Taking nothing other than an idea from within our hearts and making it manifest in the real-world. From a seed that exists as an inspired thought in our mind can become something real, something great, that touches the lives of so many. Entrepreneurship for me is the science of making the world a better place. Enriching the lives of our customers in small or large ways, enabling the individuals that make up our teams to become the best version of themselves and develop into a person they hadn’t ever imagined. It’s about influence, changing things, challenging old guards and ultimately pushing humanity forward. Innovation. You’ve got to love the work. It can’t be a sacrifice you make for a few years to make a few dollars so you can sit on a beach. The pursuit of finance is empty at best and hollow at worst – particularly when achieved. Our businesses should be an extension of us. A representation of who we are. A statement to the world about the mark we want to leave. It’s a quest which forces us to be our best selves and it’s the

“I believe entrepreneurship is a spiritual endeavour, more so than a commercial one...” legacy which inspires us to do our life’s best work. Don’t minimise the magic that is inherent in this journey by making it about the money. It’s so much more than that. Your life’s work is a statement of who you are. Our fingerprints never fade from the lives we touch.

That is what entrepreneurship means to me. BFM Jack Delosa is an entrepreneur, investor and BRW Young Rich List Member. He is the founder of The Entourage, Australia’s largest education institution for entrepreneurs




Why every business leader deserves a powerful presentation People often ask me why I do what I do. The answer is very simple even if the process is more complex: I know first-hand how a professional presentation can dramatically transform the way people and companies communicate. More than that, it can on-board new clients, leverage new ideas and make or break your next career move writes Emma Bannister.


Emma Bannister is Founder and CEO of Presentation Studio.

hile the overall value is astonishing, it’s also twofold. Let me explain why. Firstly, the speaker has the confidence to present ideas with conviction. Secondly, the audience is guided through the message with clarity. The cycle continues. Engagement levels soar. Ideas spread. The late Steve Jobs gave numerous presentations during his time as CEO at Apple and is well respected for his presentations even to this day. That is because Jobs always kept the audience engaged, his content was simple and full of emotive language, which meant that his audience understood and related to him. Over the past ten years, it’s been the role of Presentation Studio to really understand the needs of our clients. We make sure their presentations have clear objectives and are relevant to their audience. These are then designed to maximise impact with clear visual messages, all of which support and elevates the speaker’s delivery. When leaders nail that pitch or communicate a bold new plan and immediately phone us to share their success, it affirms what we do really matters. Our team know how important business presentations can be. Especially when millions of dollars


are at stake. Presenters need to understand who is going to be in the room (and why), make the information really easy to understand and then be crystal clear about what they want the audience to do. ‘Death by PowerPoint’ is a common term often used to demonise report style, text heavy presentations that drag down the energy and pace of a presentation. The software is not the reason presenters fail to communicate effectively, but the way the software is being utilised. I have made a career out of designing presentations and can say with authority it’s not Prezi or PowerPoint that’s the devil. It’s more that in many cases speakers rarely think about a clear message and how that is relevant to their audience. This should be linked together with engaging stories and slides that support what you are saying. That might be imagery or diagrams to explain a point. Crafting a dynamic and visual presentation takes both creative energy and expertise. What we do is very much engineered by a proven step by step process; engaging content, a clear structure and visual support to help the audience understand; all of which will support the speaker to deliver an influential presentation. So how can you as a presenter

create a compelling argument that people will walk away remembering and wanting more? These are some of my top six tips: 1. Define the key objective: It amazes me how many people are not clear on the reason they are presenting and what result they want to achieve from it. Are you trying to educate, sell, share results or spread ideas? 2. Analyse the audience: Ask yourself these questions: Who is in the room? Why are they in the room? Do they even want to be there? What do you want them to think, feel or do as a result if your presentation? What is going to be interesting to them? Understand whether the audience expects to learn or do you want them to do something as a result of the talk you are giving? If so, say so. 3. Refine the message: This is the one thing you want your audience to walk away with – less than 10% of any presentation material is remembered by audiences – so what is your main message and how will you make it stand out? You start with this, you close with this and you repeat it as much as you can. Be clear about the key message you want your audience to leave with before you start writing.


4. Content: Brainstorming ideas onto post it notes is a great way of being able to group them into areas that underpin the flow of your presentation.

is telling you instead of putting spreadsheets on to the screen. Save them for the reports. My best advice is the slides are for the audience not the speaker.

5. Think more visually: Given over 80% of human learning is visual, use diagrams or imagery that emphasises or explains your point – avoid adding in text that repeats what you are saying. Images are powerful as long as you stay away from the predictable stock images and choose ones that will trigger an emotional connection with your story. Do the hard work for your audience and display what the data

6. Do the practice: Practice, practice, practice. It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people ‘wing it’. Being prepared can significantly reduce nerves and quash anxiety on the day. Check in with the venue – what is the technical setup? Are you presenting from your computer or, if it’s theirs make sure they have the right fonts and videos. My passion remains the same as it was in 2006 when I launched

Presentation Studio from my kitchen table: raising awareness to what makes a great presentation, so that we can transform the culture of how companies present and give people the tools they need to positively influence their audience. BFM Emma Bannister is Founder and CEO of Presentation Studio (http://, a multimillion dollar, award-winning company that is today recognised as leading experts in Australia. Emma is a NSW finalist in the 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Awards in the ‘Entrepreneur’ category.




The golden coach

Executive coaching takes many forms, and each has its merits. For Mark Bramwell, the most effective coaching is conducted with a psychological focus. He speaks with Business First about the state of coaching and what sets one business coach apart from another.


ark Bramwell has designed his career. While most people fall into their jobs, Mark set a trajectory that has brought him to this place, the executive coaching space, at this particular point in time. In fact, Mark says he has known the trajectory he was taking for quite some time. “As a teenager I enjoyed coaching in a sports environment and that led into psychology and then organisational psychology and finally into an executive coach and facilitator role.” Having begun his career working


in consulting, senior consulting and leadership roles at nationally acclaimed consulting firms, Mark honed his expertise well enough to take the plunge into business ownership in 2007. Bramwell Solutions was founded on three key practice areas that he has picked up not only through his private life and professional experiences, but also in building up his academic knowledge base in studying psychology to the point of securing his masters in the field. “I went from introverted teenager to coach, so I have had different personality shifts and through that I have come

to understand the need to be comfortable interacting with people,” Mark says. What he believes in most is empathy. And he says this is what makes him such a strong coach. “All good coaches should be empathetic; they should have listening skills, personal skills, be insightful, be self-aware and able to give very candid feedback.” This approach goes for leaders and management as well. “The best coaches are self aware. The ones that aren’t as good, bring bad habits to the participants; they can be authoritarian and only hear what they want to hear. A


good coach needs to practice what they preach and thereby become a trusted advisor.” Today, the three key areas Mark practices in as Bramwell Solutions are: • Group training to elevate teams to the next level, dramatically increase morale and maximise productivity • One on one coaching to develop inspirational leadership, outstanding communication skills and heightened selfawareness • Climate and Engagement surveys tailored to specific client objectives, with comprehensive recommendations aimed at building highly engaged, capable and results focused organisations. Psychology is important to Mark. It is what separates the coaching fraternity, which he says needs more regulation. “There has been prolific growth in coaches coming through the system in the last five years,” Mark

says. “And there are different types of coaches, which can lead to a misunderstanding of what a person best needs. “You have your power of positive thinking coaches, life coaches and those in executive management. Then there are those like myself who provide leadership capabilities and skills. I am not a life coach. I am an executive coach, pushing self awareness and improving personal skills.” Due to the glut of coaches and their different fields, Mark wants to see more industry control. “There needs to be more control in the industry and there needs to be accreditation processes to control the growing numbers and the saturation in the market.” However that is a long way off and Mark must work to his strengths, which is his ability to engage people, to teach empathy and to ultimately help them get the best out of themselves so they can do their best for their company. What sets Mark apart

from the others is his masters in psychology. “My coaching methodology is founded on the discipline of psychology, and concepts of emotional intelligence,” Mark says. He focuses on ‘building participants’ awareness of their personal style, in order to critically review and evaluate how behaviours and actions are being demonstrated and executed in a variety of situations and settings’. For Mark the key to successful coaching is ‘finding the right balance between supporting and assisting the participant, while challenging and objectively questioning a person’s selfperceptions, opinions and work style’. Bramwell Solutions has grown significantly since he founded it nine years ago. And it has grown on those fundamental principles above. In fact, since starting small he now has an impressive client list

Informing Informingand andinspiring inspiringyou youtoto achieve achieveoutstanding outstandingsuccess success Bramwell Bramwell Solutions Solutions provides provides insightful insightful executive executive coaching, coaching, training training andand survey survey solutions solutions to empower to empower individuals, individuals, teams teams andand organisations organisations to perform to perform at their at their bestbest

Training Training Solutions Solutions Assertive Assertive Communication Communication Conflict Conflict Resolution Resolution Inspiring Inspiring Leadership Leadership Emotional Emotional Intelligence Intelligence

Survey Survey Solutions Solutions StaffStaff Engagement Engagement Employee Employee Opinion Opinion 360360 Degree Degree Feedback Feedback Customer Customer Insights Insights

Coaching Coaching Solutions Solutions Heightened Heightened Self-awareness Self-awareness Inspirational Inspirational Leadership Leadership Strengthened Strengthened Collaboration Collaboration Enhanced Enhanced Team Team Culture Culture

Contact Contact Bramwell Bramwell Solutions Solutions now now to to hear hear how how wewe can can help help you! you! +61+61 3 9395 3 9395 5259 5259 or 0437 or 0437 681681 564564


including the AFL, Bush Heritage Australia, Caterpillar, Cbus, CSIRO, Heart Foundation, IAG, Laerdal, NAB, OneSteel, PACCAR, Readify, Rinnai, RMIT University, University of Melbourne Commercial, VicSuper, Victorian Aids Council, Yarra Valley Water and Yarra Community Housing That’s an extensive list of clients from across a very broad range of industries, but while he takes individual cases as unique, the way he approaches each case still focuses on those three areas of group training, one on one training, and climate and engagement surveys. “For me it is about diversity of clients and industries. You can’t be suited to just one sector. I have clients in manufacturing industries and I relate well to what can be a very direct and confrontational environment, but I can also go to corporate, white collar organisations where it can be far more sublte and at times more indirect. The key to success is diversity and having an attractive empathetic style.” In fact his website states his goal to be to: Build more productive teams through enhanced goal setting and effective performance feedback. This requires dealing with various personalities and work environments. It requires him to have difficult conversations to help individuals to see the business light and prevent them from being caught in that untenable situation where you are just spinning your wheels. He collaborates, takes a pragmatic approach to growth and learning and gets to know the people he is dealing with so that he can extract the best from them. “The level of success achieved in your career will be built around your ability to communicate and interact with others in a manner that inspires, motivates and excites,” he says. There is a You Tube video in which Mark succinctly explains the need for more comprehensive communication in an office environment. To paraphrase: “People are moving too quickly to seek a compromise as the solution to their problems. But what are the better alternatives? Imagine two coworkers walk into


their workplace kitchen together. They both want an orange butsee there is only one left in the fruit bowl. Immediately they jump to a compromise solution. They cut the orange in half. But they then notice that one starts to squeeze their half of the orange to make a drink; while the other is using their half for the zest from the peel to make an orange cake. If in the first place they had asked questions and understood their different drivers and needs, they could have produced a mutually beneficial outcome. One would have had a full glass of juice, while the other could have had a full flavoured orange cake.” The message in this is to empathise with colleagues; take time to understand the needs of others and then put in place solutions to reach the best possible outcomes. Mark’s goal is to foster a keen sense of self-awareness so that individuals are able to recognise and leverage key strengths, remove performance ‘blind spots’ and address skill gaps. It is his job to support and empower participants to evolve into high performing team members and inspirational leaders. And in doing so, he takes a pragmatic approach to their problems. This includes reviewing problem-solving approaches, decision-making processes, interpersonal communications, self-management and selfperceptions. “A lot of people push back through a coaching process and say, ‘But I am just one person, how can I make a difference?’ You have to make them realise that everyone can be a change agent and be the drop that creates the ripple, then the wave that effects change. “My job is to help people understand the true alignment between their goals, objectives and behaviours; that’s when people realise they say one thing but do another and that’s when they further realise that they have a compelling drive to gain alignment with their objectives. Bramwell Solutions is an executive coaching organisation with a strong reputation built on being flexible enough in its

The Bramwell Solutions Way Organisations and individuals that require expertise in organisational psychology and seek to achieve significant business improvements engage Mark to: • Facilitate high levels of trust to enable frank and critical discussions • Assist to objectively recognise interpersonal strengths and weaknesses • Identify the root cause of challenges • Highlight a leader’s role in resolving those issues • Guide leaders towards creating and implementing necessary changes • Empower people to effectively drive their ongoing personal development.

structure to ensure that clients are provided with a coaching solution that will be the most resource effective, while delivering desired outcomes. In other words, Mark practices what he preaches; he practices empathy and teaches others to do the same. At Bramwell Solutions, coaching is focused on building confidence and greater effectiveness by leveraging a client’s strengths and addressing areas of concern. It involves a balance between supporting and assisting the participant, while challenging their commonly held beliefs and behaviours. It is about psychology. And the most effective psychology occurs when you help people understand themselves enough that it has a positive effect on the business. BFM


STEP UP, STAND OUT – The Foundations of Image and Branding

Like building a house, brand and image creation requires people to lay down foundations from which to build upon.

I Jon Michail

is the founder and CEO of Image Group International.

t first requires a plot. It then requires a plan to ensure the foundations are correct and that the house you build is designed to meet the strengths of your specifications. You should treat your image and brand in much the same way as you would your home – the house that you have built comes to represent who you are. So how do you go about building the foundations of your image and brand? You must first see yourself as the CEO of your own life. You are laying down those foundations on a plot called ‘Me Unlimited’ and that plot is based on how you wish to change your life to reflect who you want to be in future. Remember you can’t change anything in your life, unless you consider changing aspects of you. When you build your image, the personal and professional entities in your life are no longer separate; they merge and culture and style become intricately linked. Your professional and personal spheres are also integrated. And brand and image building becomes about specifically creating confidence, reliability and trust in your image throughout all professional and personal aspects. When you consider building your foundations, do so with the goal of maximizing your value in mind. To do this you need to tap into your talent and be bold and different in

a very crowded market place. And have a theme. My theme for 2016 is to be audacious. And with the theme set, the year has automatically begun with audacious goals achieved, including a revenue increase. I am now passing that on to my clients. I am giving them the power and permission to be audacious. Of course every one has to work out what being audacious means to them. In coaching we identify where you are and how to go 10% further. That’s where accountability comes in, but only a small amount of people will be able to take those extra steps and do it all by themselves. That’s why coaching and mentoring is booming, because good coaches and helping people to build foundations and be audacious. Let’s face it, what have you got to lose? Being audacious is infinitely more fun. The world is now in a period of disruption and the businesses that are succeeded have put down foundations to be bold, a little bit crazy and to change the status quo. These are the authentic ones. And we should take a leaf out of their books. To be audacious and authentic and to build your image and brand you need to show the real you and not some made up version of yourself. It is as Oscar Wilde once said: “be

yourself, everyone else is taken.” Part of the idea of building foundations is moving from intrinsic to extrinsic values. A successful brand doesn’t just appear; you and your self-belief are a starting point. Your image is a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic values. These values allow you to put out a solid, authentic message. They make you accountable to take risks, but not hurt anyone along the way. Abraham Maslow is a famous psychologist who broke down intrinsic and extrinsic values as such: Intrinsic: good mental health, strong family, good working relationships, job satisfaction, and community. Extrinsic: money, power, recognition, food, shelter, and toys. Personal brand or image can be fake depending on how you want to play out your life, but a good life, built on solid foundations should be based on a balance of intrinsic and extrinsic values. Albert Einstein said, ‘problems at our current level of thinking cannot be solved’. We need to change. We need constant change. But we also need balance. So when you build your foundations, you need to build them based on what your values are and how they can help you change without shifting the structures. Everyone has a brand, but it is the foundations the brand is built on that make it a success. BFM




Shadforth family values … the secret of our success

Through a focused commitment of meeting the needs and goals of our people and our clients, Shadforths Civil Contractors has established itself as an industry leader within the Civil Construction Industry in Queensland.


mploying around 500 people, having one of the largest privately owned fleet of machinery plant, and with over 40 years’ experience working on some of the largest civil contracting projects in the development market in Queensland, Shadforths has the capability to deliver infrastructure projects anywhere in the country. Shadforths is built on strong family values that are mirrored through its people and clients adding to their success. Tragically losing one of their leaders in 2013 whilst participating in a charity event overseas … the Staff and Community on the Sunshine Coast united together to mourn and honour Geoff’s legacy. This legacy continues to drive Shadforths to make a positive contribution within the communities in which we operate. As well as employing local people and supporting local business, we also sponsor and support local community initiatives in all the regions that we work. Looking at the past, however, Shadforths has enjoyed various stages of success since Peter Shadforth founded the business in


1964. Peter’s first project was as a one-man operation with a backhoe and small truck building water pipelines to supply new farms in the Burdekin region. After a few years Peter relocated with his family to the Sunshine Coast and entered into a successful partnership that grew significantly through undertaking some of the largest residential civil contracting projects in that region. In 2000, Shadforths Civil Contractors was born and the company was undertaking projects across Queensland, including the Sunshine Coast, Gladstone, Mackay, Mt Isa, Nebo, Townsville, Ipswich and the Gold Coast. In 2008 Geoff (Peter’s son) and Ray (Peter’s nephew) became directors after working in the business for some time. “I think the biggest turning point in the business was eleven or twelve years ago when the residential civil industry began to focus much more on compliance,” Ray says. “We were encouraged by the good civil engineers and clients we were working with at the time to push forward with that. And

it would be safe to say that Peter made a decision back then to invest time and energy into the safety, environmental and quality side of the business.” Prior to this Peter was making a reasonably good living with a small company. “Then the boys came into the business and they could see the opportunities and actually set a new business plan that I wouldn’t have done if I was by myself,” Peter says of Ray and Geoff’s entrance into the business. “I was happy to go along with it, but I would never have tried in my wildest dreams to get up to 500 employees.” “They had a grand vision for the company and in order to achieve that, Geoff and Ray brought in compliance and workplace health and safety aspects, and hired highly skilled staff like civil and environmental engineers. The background work in the engine room was setting up things like compliance system, a business development strategy, human resource managers, IT managers and CFOs and introducing them to


our largely “hands on” working culture. It’s probably also pretty important to note that Ray has a degree in civil engineering and Geoff had a degree in business management specialising in marketing.” It was a formidable combination, with Peter acting as mentor. Another factor that facilitated growth was developing our people and systems to a level that equipped us to be pre-qualified as a Transport and Main Roads supplier. This rating allowed Shadforths to bid on work up to $100million with Queensland State Government departments. This accreditation is now recognised nationally and has since allowed us to work outside of Queensland on Government funded projects. “That’s a big benchmark in the industry,” Ray says. “It took a lot of focus, development of systems, time and money to get to that point … and when you do you’re amongst a select group of companies that can tender on those bigger jobs. Receiving our pre-qualification gave us the systems and the confidence to pursue larger projects in wider geographical regions which led to the business growing rapidly.” In 2013 Geoff tragically passed away participating in a charity motorbike ride to raise funds for a Sunshine Coast foundation. The ride was in Cambodia and no one expected that the trip would end the way it did. This was a very sad day for the community and our extended Shadforths Family. To honour Geoff’s memory, the Shadforth Family and the University of the Sunshine Coast, along with the Sunshine Coast business community, have collaborated to

establish “The Geoff Shadforth Memorial Lecture”. This Lecture is held each year at the University, and monies raised from the Lecture, with support from Shadforth Civil Contractors, go towards funding a PHD student each year at the University to research ‘pavement designs’ and ‘road stabilisation’. The Lecture attracts approximately 400 people, and has become an iconic night in the Sunshine Coast Community calendar. Through the love and support of their family, and a lot of hard work, Peter and Ray have been able to honour Geoff’s memory by building a successful business founded on strong teams of people focused on the compliance and HR foundations that Geoff had been passionate about putting in place. “We’re in a very strong position now to move into the future,” Ray says.

‘Shadforths is built on strong family values that are mirrored through its people and clients adding to their success.’ Another element of growth was to integrate flagship jobs with working in remote areas. “That was probably a pivotal thing for the business,” Ray says. “That’s one of the biggest changes. Our business growth has been based upon how to effectively carry out long distance work that is away from your main base. That is some-

thing we have been very successful at. We built over 1500 residential lots in Mackay during the mining boom and close to 2000 lots in Gladstone over the busier times. And we did all that based out of southeast Queensland.” Regional expansion was not something Peter would ever have thought about. If he was offered a job in Mount Isa he would say no, but he says “the boys had this ‘noholds-barred go anywhere for the right project’ attitude. That was probably the most critical thing that increased our business.” “That forced us to set up systems that allowed us to manage jobs without being too hands-on as directors,” Ray continues.” The challenge was one of logistics. “It was actually delivering a cost-effective result for a client in regions that were stretched resource-wise. These regions were very busy focused on building mining infrastructure so there was a lack of good labour, lack of plant and a lack materials to supply the residential civil construction market.” The fact that Shadforths was able to do this time and time again was a key reputation builder. It was also the fact that through the years and the growth, Shadforths was still operating as a family business with family values. This was key factor in attracting good staff and key to retention was their focus on hiring for attitude and training for experience. “We certainly don’t discount people with good industry experience that can impart their knowledge from outside our business, but the great success within our business has been to employ people with the right attitude and allow them the opportunity to grow and learn within our business,” Ray says. “Some of our best people started on a shovel and are now running

Scotty’s Earthmoving is proud to support Shadforth Civil with their retaining wall projects. Working with Shadforth has been a rewarding relationship. Throughout our numerous major projects that we have completed with Shadforth over the past few years, they have proven to be a great client with open communication, good planning and have always been fair to deal with. We would like to thank Shadforth Civil and we look forward to our continued relationship and support over the coming years. - Michael Cassidy, General Manager, Scotty’s Earthmoving & QLD Quarry Direct Sandstone



BFM | PROFILE regions. We have a strong focus on sure from us as employers on that and that goes right through matters that aren’t important to to our business and people develtheir development. A lot of our opment. These are guys that have people are in their 30’s and 40’s been with the business for a long and have successful relationships; time and understand our values they are married and bringing up and the way that we like to present young children while still working ourselves within the construction long hours within our business. environment.” We recognise the different stages Over the past couple of years, and challenges of growing a family, Shadforths we have implemented and allow them flexibility around a 10+ year club for its long serving things like kids’ open days at staff and have various staff functions school and Father’s / Mothers Day throughout the year. With over 40 celebrations and encourage them members, the amount of members to get involved in those things so in the club is a true testament to the we can ensure that they maintain a success of the business. happy life outside of work.” Ray says Shadforths wants its Peter believes the success of Shademployees to be happy. forths does come down to family “If they’re happy, we’re happy. values. “We’re a pretty big family on If they’re not happy, then we need the coast and we’re all good friends. to work harder to change this. We It’s a true family business. I wouldn’t work really hard at allowing them have it any other way.” flexibility in their thought process “I think like in any business it’s and the way in which they deliver most important for us to have good, their work to do that.” solid relationships with our clients,” “We have realised that in the Ray says. “I think from our point construction industry our people of view, it’s probably even more so. BFM_Scottys halfpage_ART.pdf 1 12/01/2016 We4:07 work hard and do long hours … are pm contractors; we work in a they don’t need additional prescontractual relationship, but a large

part of our business is done through a ‘relationship contracting’ type arrangement where the job we do today will affect the job they’ll let us do tomorrow.” “I believe our success will continue because of this focus on our clients that is breed into our culture. Combined with our long-standing commitment to continually improve our Quality, Safety and Environmental systems, Shadforths is well equipped for whatever challenges may come our way!” BFM


If you had one word for 2016 The ringing in of the New Year is like the opening of floodgates of resolutions that spike our adrenalin and swirl around our faces before subsiding into every other day of the year. So, rather than chipping in with my thoughts on resolutions digital marketers should be making, I instead wanted to share this clip with you from Kamal Sarma - an author and international consultant on mindfulness, who also happens to be our Chairman. By Blair Cooke.



t’s easy to become cynical as our resolutions come and go and all those aspirations we had fall by the wayside as Business As Usual takes over. Instead Kamal’s advice is to abandon fleeting resolutions and adopt a word for the year. This has as much relevance for our marketing programs as it does for our personal lives. We live in a hyperactive world and surely marketers are its most acute sufferers of ADHD. Our attention is constantly pulled in multiple directions, our channels multiply on a seemingly daily basis, technology isn’t just disrupting our industry – it’s blowing it to pieces and as we try to keep up we rob ourselves of much needed focus. As a result our effort becomes diluted and we multitask ourselves to mediocrity…or worse. We tell the people we invested so heavily to acquire, that despite knowing so much about them, they’re just not important enough to us to focus on properly. We create experiences that are generic, unimaginative,

and irrelevant. In short, our inability to focus means we utterly fail to fulfil our brand promise. Now, I’m no Zen master and my mindfulness muscle is in serious need of a workout, but I do wonder what would happen if we applied Kamal’s philosophy to our digital and marketing programs. If we were to choose a single word that encapsulates what we wanted to get out of our program this year, would we get a better result? What would the customer journey look like for a program with the word ‘vitality’ at its heart. What would be the experience of customers of a program with the word ‘fun’? In this age of micro moments where it is harder and more expensive than ever to get the attention of consumers, let alone get them to act, only those brands that differentiate themselves by their experiences, their understanding of the customer and the value they deliver to them will be the ones that succeed. And before you say it’s all just too hard, these brands exist and you know who they are – they’re the ones that you like to hear from, whose emails you don’t delete as soon as they arrive in your inbox, and whose posts you actively seek out and engage with. So maybe now, in the quiet at the start of the year, before everything kicks off with a vengeance, it’s a good time to consider what you want for your brand or your program in 2016 and how you can make it stand out through a bit of focus. This year my word is ‘discipline’. My roles are varied and demanding – I’m a father, husband and friend as well as a business owner driving a fast-growing startup, motivating a talented team, serving smart and ambitious clients. Successfully delivering in all those roles simply is not possible without the discipline to create the right habits and carve out time to truly focus on the things that will grow my personal and business success. So discipline is my word for 2016 and it will be hard and I am also incredibly excited about what this year holds. What will your word be? BFM For additional information about Amicus Digital services please visit




THE CIRCLE OF LIFE Add the discipline of military mentorship with the passion for educating people to achieve their best and you get Daimien Patterson, a man who runs two successful businesses Veterans 4 Youth and Integrity Property Education, both geared towards bringing the best out of people.


hen he was young Daimien Patterson says he was “off the rails”. His childhood was a long way from the discipline he now displays as the founder of Veterans 4 Youth (V4Y) and Integrity Property Education, but it certainly moulded him into the man he is today. Daimien was raised in a family consisting of single mother and four kids in the western suburbs of Sydney. His father left the family unit when he was just one year old and “Mum had to work full time to support us, so we were latchkey kids as they used to say. “Mum would leave the house before us, and get home after us, so we would get ourselves off to school, and get ourselves back,’ Daimien says. Of course leaving education in the hands of children, doesn’t always work the way you would like and Daimien says if he didn’t want to go to school, there wasn’t much his mum could do about it. “I was a smart kid, but I was using all of my smarts for the wrong things.” What turned his life around was his entry into the cadets at the age of 13. “There were two gentlemen there who were responsible for me getting me on the straight and narrow. One was a Vietnam veteran, and the other was a serving soldier in the army. They grabbed me and said, ‘The reason why you are getting into all this trouble and misbehaving is you’re actually quite smart, and you’ve got enormous potential, but you’re using those smarts to work the system, and that’s not going to get you anywhere. We’re not going to accept that, and we’re not going to let you waste your talents like that,


so what we’re going to do is stand by you, and teach you everything you need to know to be a success.” When his new mentors said jump, Daimien jumped. In return he was given opportunities that previously would not have been possible. The most significant reward was now having permanent father figures. While his father was still around, he was 600km away and had no real impact on Daimien’s discipline. So with mentors and disciplinary structures place, Daimien began to turn his life around. “I went from committing petty, juvenile crimes like graffiti, vandalism, breaking into people’s garages, stealing clothes off clothesline, going to school and setting bins on fire, and fighting, and all that sort of stuff, to, by the time I was 18, being accepted into the army as an officer.” Between years he moved out of home, finished school and took up the hard, physical labouring work of landscaping. Daimien says landscaping gave him motivation. I said, “If I don’t

apply myself, this is what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.” By the time he was 20 he was posted to the army’s artillery corps and found himself in charge of 30 soldiers and by 24 was leading teams in hostile environments such as Iraq. By the time he was ready to leave the army, he was already a seasoned property investor. “During my time in the army, I had used the deployment money to start property investing,” Daimien says. “I had actually done quite well with property investing. In my last year in the army, my portfolio made me more than twice what my wage brought me.” Daimien sought a job in the property investment industry and while he learned some good things, there were certain things about the way the business operated that he was unhappy about. “I decided that I would take the plunge and start my own business, Integrity Property Investment Services. I started that company on my own, and now in its sixth year, it has over 20 staff, with offices in Brisbane, Sydney, and Cebu, in the Philippines.”


The business draws on his past. It draws on his experiences of being put on the right track, of being taught the right way to do things. It is also what informs Veterans 4 You, but we’ll get to that shortly. So Daimien wanted to teach people how to invest their money properly. “I think if you know how to do it properly, it’s the easiest money you’ll ever make. With that money, you can do a lot of wonderful things in life. All those things that people wish they could do, like have an overseas holiday every year, and live in a nice house, and drive nice cars, and give to charity, and set themselves up for retirement, and set their kids up when their kids start their adult lives, all those things are possible if you know what you’re doing in property investing. “The problem is, none of us get taught wealth creation. At school, we get taught how to draw pictures of flowers, but we don’t get taught

how to create wealth. I thought this is something I’d like to do. You can’t save your way to wealth. If you want to be wealthy, you need to be able to borrow money in order to invest it in different enterprises like businesses or property, and then leverage your results.” Clearly people took well to the advice and the business has grown to become a success. It has also enabled Daimien to pay forward by founding an organisation called the Military Cadets. The Military Cadets is different from the army cadets, in that, in the army cadets, 90% of the instructors have never served in the army. “I saw Military Cadets as an opportunity to use a slightly better business model, and complement what the army cadets does, not compete with it,’ Daimien says. “We went looking for areas where there were no army cadet units and we started raising military cadet units. We had one rule: if you wanted to be an instructor, you

must have served in the military. That simple rule was very powerful, because that leveraged the millions of dollars of training that these people had received in their professional military careers, and gave them a way that they could apply that in a civilian context, which was quite valuable to the community.” Military Cadets was founded in 2012 in Queensland and now has over 70 adults (approximately 50 veteran ex-servicemen and women who volunteer 100% of their time) and 400 kids in the program. When the former Queensland government was looking to run boot camp programs for kids, they approached Daimien to start a program, however when that government was deposed, support for the program faltered. “I then thought, ‘Well, the need is still there, I think we can still do that’, so the business was extended. The “boot camp concept” was based on the military cadet pro-

“What if I was to tell you there was a place that you can send your teenager for two weeks of the school holidays, where they will develop self-discipline, self-confidence and self-motivation? A camp that will develop their leadership potential and respect for others, setting them up for future challenges in life? And what if that camp was a fun holiday adventure that would challenge and excite them? Well there is such a place.”

DEVELOPING SKILLS • Integrity & Values • Job Interviews • Conflict Resolution • Public Speaking • Time Management • Tidiness & Self Esteem


Veterans 4 Youth 1300 874 034


gram. The difference was that the military cadet program is a local program that is attended one night a week, whereas the new business model was for a two-week course and attended by people from all over the country. “That was how Veterans 4 Youth was founded. The V4Y “Life Ammo” program uses a lot of the lessons that we learned in the military cadets, but it runs two week camps for kids who have not necessarily been a member of any prior program.” But V4Y is not a boot camp. Daimien stresses that while boot camps are punitive in nature, the V4Y Life Ammo camps are aimed at personal development, confidence building, and adventure. “This course is for those parents who would like their teens to develop self-discipline, self-confidence, self-motivation, their leadership potential, and respect for others. We aim to develop the attendees into responsible, confident young adults, and to bring out any leadership potential that they might have. And they will have fun!” The courses are for 11 to 16 year olds, and are conducted on the outskirts of Brisbane during the school holidays. The program consists of six core activities. The first activity is daily physical training to promote a healthy lifestyle. The second core activity is a room and dress inspection to teach kids about the value of presentation and to create order. The third activity is military marching to develop concentra-


tion, unity and self-discipline. The fourth activity is confidence building including everything from public speaking through to a tandem parachute jump. Then there is resilience building which teaches kids to deal with challenges and finally the sixth core activity, which Daimien believes is the most valuable, is core values training. Everything is geared towards helping participants change the way they make decisions, from their normal motivation of seeking peer acceptance, material gain, and having fun, to a decision-based process based on the values of integrity, commitment and loyalty. “Instead of saying, ‘what do I need to do here so my friends will like me?’ They say, ‘What would a person with integrity do in this situation?’ And we believe that by changing the way they make their decisions, and getting them to appreciate the importance of making life decisions based on values, then they will achieve success.” “And this camp is an adventure. There aren’t too many other holiday activities where a young teen can abseil down a cliff, climb the Story Bridge, navigate an obstacle course, learn to survive in the wild, and parachute from a plane all in two weeks!” says Daimien. All the instructors are retired veterans, most with experience in instructing cadets, and many with experience in Army recruit training. Children fly in from all over Australia to attend the Life Ammo camps. Daimien’s vision is develop a number of other complimentary courses, including working with the juvenile justice system to offer an alternative to detention, working with Autism Queensland to develop courses for children with special needs, working with indigenous organisations to assist their youth, and working with the Department of Education. The education system is the first in his sights. He aims to run courses during the school year for children who would otherwise be suspended or expelled, and he wants every high school principal to have funded positions on those camps. “School suspension doesn’t work. Teachers have got their hands tied

behind their back now. There are very few disciplinary measures that can be enforced inside the school, and often the ultimate disciplinary options for them are detention, suspension, and expulsion. Suspension doesn’t work, and expulsion doesn’t work. All that they do is protect the other students from the disruptive behaviour of the child. Instead they create a dilemma for the family and reward the child who can do whatever they like, rather than participate in school, which is the behaviour that we want. When the child returns to school, they’ve missed two weeks of content, so they fall further behind, which only makes them more frustrated, and disengaged.” “What we want is, instead of those kids getting suspended, we want them being sent to us. When they return to school, they will be more committed, focused, motivated individuals. It they’ve got a chance at catching up, that’s how they’re going to do it.” You can see the parallels between Daimien’s businesses. They are about decision-making and investing in life through education, discipline and smart, informed action. These are two completely different businesses, but the principles are the same. And it is as if the man himself has brought his life full circle. BFM For more information on Integrity Property Education go to: For more information on the Veterans4Youth program go to:


Key tips for work/life balance As an executive in the health and fitness industry, I’m often asked about the importance of maintaining a healthy work/life balance, and ways this can be achieved. Accomplishing healthy balance is important for everyone, from students to parents to workers at every level, and especially those in executive corporate roles writes Arthur McColl.

T Arthur McColl is the CEO of Anytime Fitness Australia

he overall health of corporate executives and CEOs has been highlighted in the media recently, after two CEOs from major international companies were hospitalised this year after health complications that went public. In these cases, and many others that we don’t hear about, stress is often the first source to be blamed, with long work hours and high stress levels increasingly being an accepted part of corporate culture. If ignored, corporate environmental factors such as long hours and high stress levels can wreak havoc on the body and mind, and even cause tension within families and other personal relationships. This is why a holistic outlook on how healthier work, personal and lifestyle choices can help improve your performance and overall wellbeing, as well as reduce the risk of ‘burning out’ in one way or another. It’s easy to assume that health and lifestyle adjustments are easier said than done, with ‘I’m too busy’ being a common initial response. The reality is though, even the smallest changes can have a profoundly positive effect on your overall wellbeing, and inevitably result in a more satisfying work, family and personal life. If you want to improve your work/life balance, here are my suggestions for getting started.

Utilising this service will ensure you don’t skip meals, and that you are fuelling your body adequately to handle the day-to-day stress.

Schedule fitness into your diary By making an ‘appointment’ with exercise, you are acknowledging that your physical and mental health is just as important as any business meeting.

Limit time spent on technology Whilst technology is an important part of our work and social lives, limiting time spent on electronic devices can improve your mental health, promote a healthy night’s sleep and improve your personal relationships.

Lead by example within your organisation Introducing a healthy culture within

your organisation will not only have a positive impact on you, but also your company as a whole. Strive to set a positive example within your workplace, and if possible, introduce healthy workplace activities, such as active team building sessions and walking meetings.

Collaborate with your family, friends & loved ones Spend quality time with family and friends as much as possible. Being surrounded by loved ones is not only great for the soul, but vital to your happiness at work. Get some fresh air, listen to music, go on a day trip, unwind by doing something that fulfils you as a person, not just a corporate executive. Achieving healthy downtime on weekends will only set you up for a more productive week ahead! BFM

Fuel your body & get enough rest Taking good care of yourself on a nutrition level, getting enough sleep and limiting alcohol through the week will have a major impact on your performance. There are now a range of services offering healthy pre-cooked meal delivery, perfect for the busy executive.




The cycle of corporate life

The corporate world is full of obstacles – it is part of the difficulty and the joy of working life. Many of these are forced upon us and so we miss the opportunity to set our own challenges and enjoy the reward of a successful result.


hen a group of corporate cyclists sets off from Canberra for the weeklong Chain Reaction Cycling Challenge in March they will most likely be nervous at the obstacles that await them, but they should also feel a sense of control that the process is firmly in their hands, and that the end result will be something very special. Chain Reaction launched its first cycling event challenge in 2007, providing a unique physical event for the corporate world with a focus on supporting children in


need. Unlike many other physical challenges for charity, this is not a mass participation event – but rather concentrates on selected individuals, offering them an extraordinary challenge with all the support of a professional event. In return, the participants experience the pride of completing a massive physical feat, the opportunity to network with corporate peers, and the immense satisfaction of knowing that they have directly helped children in need. The charity component of the Chain Reaction ride is fundamental

to its values. Indeed, Chain Reaction was founded by Berrick Wilson after his daughter Milla was rushed to hospital with a brain haemorrhage when she was only two days old. Milla spent a number of weeks at Monash Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where, under the specialist care of dedicated staff, she thankfully made a full recovery. The experience, however, led Berrick and his wife Caroline to recognise that more can always be done to support sick children. “I only have to look at my

PHILANTHROPY| BFM daughter, whose initial illness and the treatment she received at Monash Children’s Hospital was the inspiration for Chain Reaction and the motivation for each ride,” said Berrick. “The care from the staff was wonderful, but it’s clear that everyone can do with that extra bit of help – even in major metropolitan areas.” Since that first ride, Chain Reaction has gone on to hold another 20 events, with dedicated annual rides in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland raising more than $15.8 million for children’s charities across the country. The 2016 Chain Reaction Victorian Challenge will be the tenth ride for the Melbourne business community. To celebrate this milestone, the 2016 event will challenge riders to climb 10 mountain peaks on a journey from Canberra to Melbourne. The riders will cross the iconic Snowy Mountains and the picturesque Victorian Alps and climb 10 mountain peaks that include Mt Stromlo, Charlotte Pass, Cabrumurra (Australia’s highest town), Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Dargo High Plains and Mt Baw Baw. For anyone who’s ever enjoyed even a social ride, the Chain Reaction Victorian Challenge makes for extraordinary reading. By the time the riders cross the finish line, they will have covered some 969km over the seven days, climbing a staggering 18,795 vertical metres over the journey. These cyclists may not be professionals, but they are clearly accomplished riders who will need to prepare like professionals. “Just to finish an event like this requires a huge commitment and a lot of training – particularly in the hills. In the months beforehand I’ll ride at least 300km each week to get in to shape,” said six-time Chain Reaction Rider Alex King, a partner at law firm, Arnold Bloch Leibler. “However, a great part of the event that I’ll have a team of other riders and we’ll be helping each other throughout.” Supporting the riders complete the journey will be a comprehensive support crew including a pro-tour mechanic, a physiotherapist and a team of massage therapists. The ride will also be documented by a word-

class cycling photographer and a professional videographer. This level of professional detail obviously has an expense. The riders’ entry fees cover the event costs but it’s the generosity of corporate support that keeps the event viable. “The focus of Chain Reaction as an event is really to support children in need and run the best possible cycling experience, and so we rely on corporate partners to bring this to life,” said Chain Reaction CEO John Ward. “We’re grateful that the support from organisations such as Arnold Bloch Leibler, Herbert Smith Freehills, Jellis Craig, Marshall White, KordaMentha, LendLease, PWC and REA will mean that Victorian Chain Reaction Riders will raise more than $1 million to support Monash Children’s Hospital and the Starlight Foundation in 2016.” The 2016 Chain Reaction Victorian Challenge also marks a return to Chain Reaction’s original charity partner, with Monash Children’s Hospital again being selected to benefit from the event. “We are very honoured to have been selected as one of the charity partners this year,” said Monash Health Foundation Director, Debbie Shiell. “Along with the Starlight Foundation, there is a great sense of mutual respect that we should be there at the beginning and then be asked to partner again for the tenth anniversary. “Monash Children’s Hospital will move to a state-of-the-art

dedicated facility in 2017 where we will provide world-class care for children in need. Incredible fundraising efforts such as this help us to create a positive environment or acquire a unique piece of equipment to help children recover better and provide peace of mind to their families and friends. “We know that our staff will always offer the best care they can, but fundraising is essential to help make the experience as good and comfortable as possible.” To make it to starting line in Canberra, each rider agrees to fundraise a set amount. This usually involves riders reaching out to their networks and organising fundraising events in the lead up to the ride. All the donations are tax deductable and are made through the Chain Reaction website. In the interim, the focus for most of the riders will be the physical preparation. The ride will unquestionably be a challenge, but like any good corporate obstacle the riders will know that they have the support of their team to see them through. And as they cross the finish line they should all take great pride in what they have done individually and as a collective, for the physical feat and the benefit to sick children. BFM The Victorian Chain Reaction Challenge leaves Canberra on March 11. For more information or to help Chain Reaction support children in need, you can make a donation at




LOS CABOS - Luxury lover’s paradise Situated on the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos is just a two and a half hour direct flight from LA and boasts over 300 days of sunshine every year. With the plethora of ultra luxury resorts, you can see why Los Cabos has long been the favoured holiday destination of big name celebrities – George Clooney owns a house here and Jennifer Anniston returns for vacations year after year.


os Cabos is surrounded by the stunning blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, dubbed the ‘Aquarium of the World’ by Oceanographer Jacque Costeau, thanks to the abundance of marine life. Here’s a quick overview of 2016’s hottest new luxury destination.

Where to stay? Los Cabos is home to dozens upon dozens of spectacular resorts – from family friendly to adults only, from all- inclusive to exclusive, ultra luxury resorts. The recently reopened Esperanza (esperanza.aubergeresorts. com) is worth the splurge: a private beach resort, Esperanza


is tucked between two scenic bluffs on the Baja peninsula and boasts a world-renowned luxury spa, championship golf courses and a beachfront infinity pool. Everything has been thought of: guests are treated with complimentary yoga and fitness classes, there are personal concierges to tend to your every need, and weekly cooking classes where you’ll collect ‘chocolata clams’ from the sea to prepare a traditional fish and clam ceviche, using fresh herbs from the Chef’s garden and prepare a ‘pescado zarandeado’ over a wood and coal bonfire before enjoying the dishes on the private beach with a mojito in hand.

At brand new beachfront resort The Cape ( hotels/The-Cape-Los-Cabos) every room overlooks the iconic Arch and the Bahia San Lucas horizon. The clean, contemporary lines of visionary Mexico City architect Javier Sanchez converge in a relaxed 1960s Southern Californiameets-Baja aesthetic. Two pools and a duo of outdoor spa cabanas seemingly spring from the natural rock formations, and a rooftop lounge six stories above provides some of the best views over the sea. Enjoy the outdoor infinity pool and bar, salt water pool, and hot tub or a sundowner on your private terrace. Culture lovers should try boutique



If you tire of lazing by the pool, there’s plenty to do for the active – and not so active traveler. Snorkeling and scuba diving in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez, horse riding along the beach or ATV rides through the deserts. Those looking to take things at a slower pace can enjoy a cocktail sunset sail trip with Cabo Adventures to spot whales – the whale season here runs for almost half the year; release baby turtles into the wild at sunset or meander through the local artist market in the historic Old Town of San Jose del Cabo.

hotel El Ganzo, ( an art and music lovers’ utopia. El Ganzo features artist installations, an in-house recording studio, as well as a bustling schedule of musicians playing on-site. El Ganzo also features a one of a kind artist in residence program that invites artists from all over the world to create masterpieces and use El Ganzo as their canvas. Artists are given absolute freedom to create works of art inspired by the property and its unique atmosphere and creative vibe. Laze in a cabana by the brag worthy rooftop pool and glass enclosed Jacuzzi or borrow one of the hotel’s bikes for an adventure into nearby San Jose del Cabo.

Latin America’s premier golfing destination Los Cabos is renowned as one of the world’s premier golf destinations with an ever-increasing number of golfing enthusiasts travelling there to play. Los Cabos boasts 14 golf courses including award-winning courses designed by masters of the game including Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Tom Fazio and Roy Dye. There are plans for an additional two Greg Norman designed courses to open before 2017. Golf Magazine’s prestigious Top 100 Courses in the world list includes two Los Cabos courses: Diamente (Dunes) at 52 and Cabo del Sol (Ocean) at 97. The Tiger Woods Design course, El Cardonal at Diamente is the

only Tiger Woods Design Course officially open anywhere in the world. The par 72 layout features stunning water views from every hole as it meanders through rolling sand dunes near the seas. Gastronomy Ceviche so fresh it almost jumps off your plate? Authentic tacos using all local ingredients? Top end Italian dining? You could eat somewhere different every night in Los Cabos, and still not make your way through the list. For a meal with a view, you can’t go past Sunset da Mona Lisa,

with breathtaking view of the sun setting next to the Arch, and an Oyster and Champagne bar on the Taittinger Terrace. Looking for a hands on experience? Organic farm and restaurant Tamarindos in San Jose del Cabo grows a vast array of produce, from heirloom carrots to rainbow tomatoes to native Mexican herbs. Their renowned cooking classes will teach you the secrets of Mexican cooking, before enjoying the meal you prepared – and learning a thing of two about the local mescal and tequila. BFM For more info:




A little excitement goes a long way

For those of us old enough to remember the Tom Cruise film, Risky Business, one of the lines that summed up the movie was: ‘Porsche – There is no substitute’.


f course, there are many cars the equal of this German giant these days, but there is still a place for Porsche in the hearts of many luxury vehicle drivers. The new 911 Carerra S, lives up to the standards you expect. It is fast, furious and luxurious. Some of the technical ingredients that generate even more dynamic performance and driving fun: 430 hp power, the Sport Chrono package and the PASM active damper system which lowers the car’s ride height by ten millimetres. Improved efficiency has also led to quicker accelerations and higher top speeds, but combined fuel consumption figures remain unchanged at the favourable level of the S models. When combined with the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK), the 911 Carrera GTS sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 4.0 seconds (Cabriolet: 4.2 seconds). The top speed of each GTS model is beyond the 300 km/h barrier; the fastest at 306 km/h is the Coupe with a


manual transmission and rearwheel drive. When adjusted for their additional features, the new top models are attractive in price as well. A number of options are included as standard, such as bixenon headlights with the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) and the sport exhaust system for unmistakable GTS sound. The driver and front passenger also sit in an exclusive Alcantara interior with leather-trimmed sport seats whose centre panels are made of Alcantara as on the other GTS models by Porsche.

Matt black 20-inch wheels are standard The exteriors of the new 911 cars – like all GTS models by Porsche – differ significantly from the other Carrera models. All models have the 911 Carrera 4 body with wideflared rear wheel arches and a wide track. Also standard are 20-inch wheels with centre wheel locks, which are painted in an exclusive matt black. Accentuating the front

end are special trim elements and smoked bi-xenon headlights. Black trim strips on the customised GTS air intake screen and black chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes characterise the rear of the GTS. With the addition of these new top models, the 911 Carrera range now consists of twelve sports cars at three power levels, as coupes and cabriolets, and with rearwheel and all-wheel drive systems. The 911 Carrera GTS and 911 Carrera 4 GTS will be offered in Germany at prices starting at 117,549 euros, including country-specific features and 19 per cent VAT. In Germany, the four models will be available at dealers starting in November 2014.

Consumption data 911 Carrera GTS Coupe: Fuel consumption combined 9.5 – 8.7 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 223 – 202 g/km 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet: Fuel consumption combined 9.7 – 8.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 228 – 207 g/km. BFM


‘It is fast, furious and luxurious.’




The Leader’s Bookshelf Reviews by Daniel G. Taylor

Melbourne-based copywriter:

Becoming Steve Jobs: How a Reckless Upstart Became a Visionary Leader. By Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli.

The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. By Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer.

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom. By Tony Robbins.

Spectre, 2015.

HarperCollins Publishers, 2015.

Simon & Schuster, 2014.

Brent Schlender wrote this biography to challenge the general idea that Steve Jobs was a tyrant. The public opinion did not fit with what he knew of Jobs from their 25-year long working relationship. In Becoming Steve Jobs, Schlender explores Jobs’s journey as a leader. During his first run at Apple in the 1980s, Jobs was the tyrant. While he succeeded in giving computers a human touch, he alienated the people closest to him. When he was fired from Apple by a CEO he hired, you can only imagine how humiliated Jobs felt. His tyrannical approach continued at NeXT Computer, where he again tried to reinvent the computer industry. Jobs found his salvation in the special-effects company he bought from George Lucas, Pixar. The smartest thing he did at Pixar was staying in the background while CEO Ed Catmull lead successfully led a creative team. Watching Catmull at work taught Jobs how to get the best results from creative people. Those lessons prepared him to be a leader as well a visionary when he returned to Apple. The rest, as we know, is history. iMacs. iPods. iPhones. iPads. More than anything, this biography reveals the humanity of Jobs. It offers hope that even the worst leaders can learn how to become great.

In an interview, Jack Canfield said he wrote this book because no other book covered every success principle. He intended for The Success Principles to be a comprehensive guide, and he’s come up with 67 principles. Since the first edition came out ten years ago, two big changes have impacted the world. First, the ‘discovery’ of the Law of Attraction in 2006 through The Secret (Canfield was one of the movie’s teachers). Second, the rise of social media, now the number one thing people do online. This book starts with the 24 fundamental success principles. If all you were to do was master these basics, your results would take a dramatic turn for the better. If you’re ready for more, however, you’ll find guidance in a range of other areas: creating change, building a team, creating relationships, money, and a new section, ‘Success in the Digital Age’. The first payoff you’ll get from reading this book is that you’ll feel good. But the greatest reward will come when you take action. It can be overwhelming, however, to know where to start. Here’s a tip: Create a spreadsheet with a list of all 67 principles. Score yourself out of 10 for each of them. The principles you score lowest on are the ones that most need your attention.

No matter how well you think you’re doing financially, only one question matters. Are you on course to achieve your dreams? MONEY Master the Game is Tony Robbins’s first book in two decades. In it, he uses his celebrity status to interview the ultra-rich. While many teachers claim to reveal ‘secrets’ of wealth, most of those secrets are available to anyone using Google. Robbins, however, reveals real secrets. He starts by asking readers to make a big shift in thinking. To switch from being a consumer to being an investor. No matter how high your income, you can never earn your way to wealth. Next, he show you how the ultrarich invest and makes it easy for you to alter your financial habits with this knowledge. He ends by showing how the future is brighter and more prosperous than you probably think. Before reading MONEY, I thought my partner and I were doing well. Instead, I discovered that while we’re doing well compared to most Australians, we’re off track for achieving our dreams. In MONEY, Tony Robbins has done what Tony Robbins does best: he’s taken the topic of money and made it easy for you to take massive action to change your financial future.


BUSINESSFIRST for Business Leaders


Anytime Anywhere

OUR MBA LED KATE TO NEW HEIGHTS Studying for an MBA at the UniSA Business School helped Kate Thiele secure the role of CEO at Guide Dogs SA/NT. But it’s the knowledge and insight from her MBA that helped her soar to new heights. Taking out top honours as a national winner – For Purpose and Social Enterprise Category - at the 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Awards, Kate was recognised for tripling turnover, growing donors and addressing key issues in the not-for-profit sector. With our landmark inclusion of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course in the MBA curriculum, and our new Women in MBA Scholarship, we support leadership diversity and further strengthen career development for business leaders.


No wonder we are in the top 1% of Business Schools in the world. With 5 star accolades from the renowned GMAA and QS Stars™ rankings, we continue to provide exceptional outcomes for our graduates. “There’s absolutely no question in my mind that studying the MBA at the UniSA Business School set me on a path to success.” Kate Thiele, CEO, Guide Dogs SA/NT.


Profile for Associated Media Group Pty Ltd

Business First Magazine - Feb/Mar 2016  

In this issue of Business First, we have taken an in-depth look at the coaching industry and spoken to some of the major Australian players...

Business First Magazine - Feb/Mar 2016  

In this issue of Business First, we have taken an in-depth look at the coaching industry and spoken to some of the major Australian players...