Co-Founder & Partner
Sydney — Australia
What’s the first thing I do when I meet a company?
I get excited; these meetings are the best part of our business.
Why? Because we get the chance to hear from–and maybe invest in – founders who are driven and highly capable. I always learn something from these meetings, and I am almost always impressed by some element of what they do. Then rarely, I walk out of the meeting and say to my team – she was amazing, we have to follow that up hard! That is a fricken invigorating feeling.
What made in my childhood made my career trajectory possible?
Firstly, that implies I have had a career trajectory – that sounds like BS to me. To the question of how did I get here today?
Like anything, there is a combination of reasons and defining influences. One of my co-founders and I have known each other for 40+ years now, so that’s a start. I’ve known another of my co-founders for 20+ years too.
I’ve always been driven, and I’ve had it impressed upon me from an early age that you don’t get gifted success. There’s a pretty famous Calvin Coolidge quote about the ingredients of success – it talks about the omnipotence of persistence and determination; my old man had the quote on his desk at work. I don’t fully agree with the omnipotence point, but really believe that persistence and determination are crucial.
Something you may not know about me?
I love warm weather, but I really hate hot air.
Something about Square Peg that you wouldn’t know from outside?
There’s a lot – it’s a very different environment from any other I have worked in. I’ll summarise it in a couple of points:
We are constantly trying to improve and there is zero defensiveness to internal discussions about “how do we get better”; there is a necessity – and a self-belief backed up by hard and smart work – that we can make great judgements about new areas of business and enterprise. I have learnt a lot on this from my colleagues who have had a longer and more significant entrepreneurial background – you have to have the confidence to make decisions and to make mistakes.
Where did I learn the most in earlier career?
I’ve worked in three continents, travelled vastly with work and been part of some truly great organisations. Actually, I think my learning curve has steepened in the last 10 years – increased responsibility really helps encourage decisiveness which requires you to draw on experiences in a way I hadn’t before. My time in Asia in an investing role with Macquarie was fascinating in learning to understand different economies and cultures. In a very different way, the years I had on Wall Street in the early to mid-‘90s were really valuable – it was those years where I learnt the importance of quality of thought and accuracy of output were vital to contribute to scaling an organisation.