How do I distil forty six years into a short and meaningful summary, as every one of those years contributed to who I am and what expertise I bring to GAG, in order to assist our clients?
I grew up on a 7,000 wheat and sheep farm in inland Western Australia, where temperatures could reach 50 degrees Celsius in the summer. Being raised, as one of six children, where farm work commenced at sunrise and finished when it became dark instilled a great respect for hard work and the importance of results over excuses. It also made it abundantly clear that there are 24 hours in a day and when something MUST be done, then just get it done. During peak times there were a great many twenty hour days, when I was on the farm.
Leaving to gain an education I then joined Woolworths Australia, as an executive trainee, working both in Perth, then Sydney and then back in Perth, this was an exciting time for a young executive in his twenties.
In 1980 I was headhunted to work in Hong Kong for the world wide Jardine Matheson Group, to turn around a small chain of five drugstores, which I did until 1987. Mannings Hong Kong now has 353 stores, throughout Hong Kong.
In 1987 I was persuaded to accept a new role in Taiwan, to commence retail operations, on behalf of Dairy Farm International, this was without doubt the most exciting six years of my corporate career, surviving typhoons, earthquakes and having a contract placed on me by the Taiwan Mafia. At the end of six years, starting from nothing, we had built the largest supermarket chain in Taiwan. Today Wellcome Taiwan remains the largest supermarket operation in the country.
Being promoted back to Hong Kong, to take on the newly created role of Development Director Asia Pacific, I spent the next three years negotiating mergers and acquisitions from Tokyo to Bombay [Mumbai now].
Moving to Tokyo in 1995, I took up the role of Regional Managing Director North Asia, in charge of Japan Taiwan and Northern China. By 1997 I felt it was time for a change and a new challenge, as the “attraction” of living as an expatriate had worn off. For family reasons I returned to Australia for a couple of years, before moving to the UK in 2001.
As I had always dabbled in property investment, I commenced purchasing terrace houses in Liverpool in 2002, during which time I met numerous other property investors. When Bank Base Rate spiked to 5.75% in 2007, numerous property contacts asked me if I knew anybody who could assist them negotiate with their bank, as the Banks were threatening to take the properties off them.
This initial trickle of clients soon turned into a veritable flood after the Great Financial Crisis, which led to the creation of Global Advisory Group.
Today GAG offers very personal business advice and business turnaround expertise, gained during the past forty six years and approximately twenty two countries.
If you have issues impacting your business, which are causing you sleepless nights, why not give GAG a call, for a no obligation chat, over a cup of coffee?