Tony Holt

Co-Founder & Partner
SydneyAustralia

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.

Companies

Square Peg Capital Pty Ltd (ACN 164 352 229) is an Authorised Representative of Victoria Capital Pty Ltd (ACN 159 228 314) AFSL 428989