Expert: Andrew Pridham – Lessons from the man who became Managing Director of UBS by 28

HOSTS Alec Renehan & Bryce Leske|9 December, 2021

Meet your hosts

  • Alec Renehan

    Alec developed an interest in investing after realising he was spending all that he was earning. Investing became his form of 'forced saving'. While his first investment, Slater and Gordon (SGH), was a resounding failure, he learnt a lot from that experience. He hopes to share those lessons amongst others through the podcast and help people realise that if he can make money investing, anyone can.
  • Bryce Leske

    Bryce has had an interest in the stock market since his parents encouraged him to save 50c a fortnight from the age of 5. Once he had saved $500 he bought his first stock - BKI - a Listed Investment Company (LIC), and since then hasn't stopped. He hopes that Equity Mates can help make investing understandable and accessible. He loves the Essendon Football Club, and lives in Sydney.

Andrew Pridham AO is the co-founder of Moelis & Company, where he currently serves as the Vice Chairman and was previously the Chief Executive Officer. Andrew was previously Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking, Australasia at UBS. He was appointed Managing Director at 28. He spent years working in London and Singapore as global head of real estate at UBS before returning to Australia in retirement aged 34.He then founded a boutique investment banking business called First Provident. In 2004 JP Morgan acquired First Provident and Pridham was appointed as its Head of Investment Banking and later Executive Chairman. In 2009 he left to establish the Australian arm of US Investment Bank Moelis & Company. Moelis & Company Australia is a 50/50 joint venture where Australian executives, including Pridham, own 50% of the business.

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Bryce: [00:00:15] Welcome to another episode of Equity Mates, a podcast that follows our journey of investing, whether you're an absolute beginner or approaching Warren Buffett status. Our aim is to break down your barriers from beginning to dividend. My name is Bryce, and as always, I'm joined by my equity buddy Ren. How are you going? 

Alec: [00:00:29] I'm very good. Bryce. I'm very excited for this interview. We've spoken to some big names in our time, but for me and for my family, probably no bigger name than this big swan supporting family. The Ren dad's midlife crisis was to find AFL and to find the source. And so this is a real, real big moment for me. 

Bryce: [00:00:49] That said, it is our absolute pleasure to welcome Andrew Pridham to Equity Mates. Andrew, Welcome.

Andrew Pridham: [00:00:53] Thanks, guys.

Bryce: [00:00:54] So Andrew is the co-founder of Mollis and Company, where he currently serves as the vice chairman and was previously the chief executive officer. The reason ALEC is excited is because he is also the chairman of the AFL club Sydney Swans and has just released his book What Matters? Secrets of Great Leaders, Business Builders and Professional Investors. So we're going to be unpacking all of that over the next 40 minutes or so, and we can't wait. 

Alec: [00:01:21] Yeah. And Andrew, I promise, is not all going to be Swans chat because you've had a pretty incredible career before the Swans, and we really want to unpack that to start with. But at the very start, we want to go all the way back to the beginning. We want to we like to start these interviews by hearing the story of someone's first investment. We generally find there's a good lesson or a good story that comes out of it. So to kick us off today, can you tell us the story of your very first investment? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:01:46] Very well. That's a long time ago. I don't know what it would have been. My first investment. 

Alec: [00:01:53] Maybe the first one. You remember them the first? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:01:56] Well, I can't remember. Look, I think my first my first investment of substance probably was my first house, which I remember buying for. I think two hundred twenty five thousand dollars, it was a freestanding house with a garage in Cremorne, and I regret ever selling it. And that was that was a real stretch. I was very nervous when I bought that back in during the recession in 1991. I think it was, you know, I've had a love affair with with houses and residential ever since. I think they're great investments, no doubt. 

Bryce: [00:02:28] I remember my dad, he has always said, if you manage to get a property, especially in the cities, never sell because we had some down in Richmond and sold them and what could have been. But yeah, a defining point in your career. Andrew was leaving UBS to co-found the Australian arm of Mollis. Take us back to that time. What was it like striking out on your own? How did industry receive you and how did that sort of how'd you go about building the arm of malls here in Australia? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:02:59] I had done it before because I left UBS in two thousand and one. I think it was chosen to do it then, too. And I intended to retire. I thought that I'd had enough and I joined the Sydney Swans board so we can get on a footing now. And I thought that this is going to be great. I'll just retire and and do some footy stuff. I love footy. Then I, to clients would call me and say, you know, can you look at the silhouette? So I just started helping clients and and very quickly was very busy. And that became a boutique invits investment bank, which is called First Provident, which I then hired some some people in the two key employees were Chris Wyck and Julian Begin's, who are now the co-CEOs of my financial group, which was Mollis Australia. JP Morgan acquired that. That business knocked a couple of years of running that, and we went and I went and Ren JP Morgan. And so having gone from UBS Boutique JP Morgan and then after the the financial crisis was a really difficult time for everybody. And and JP Morgan, if you remember back in the middle of the GFC, was one of the very few global banks that really thrived and it was very, very strong. Jamie Diamond laid it magnificently and we were in the middle of everything that was going on. It was crazy. Yeah, every day would come into by the end of that, I was pretty exhausted and I actually intended to retire. That was my my plan. And Gillian Biggins and Chris were very entrepreneurial guys, much more than me. They wouldn't be wearing a tie like I am. I was open shirt that they were really keen to build a business and they convinced me ultimately to join them. So we, we got together in our business plan was really simple and that was get some good people together, get some capital and do stuff that was out. That was their business plan. I didn't even we didn't even write it down. And so we started very small. In 2009, we had five people and now we've got over 400 people, you know, market caps, one point five billion, 1.4 billion. One of things I'm really proud of is that since starting the business back then, we didn't know where it was going to lead. It was an investment banking business. We've delivered and shareholders 35 per cent per annum compound return for 12 years, which is so if you invested $100000 when we started it now with 10 million. So we're pretty, pretty proud of that. It's snakes and ladders building a business just like investment. And you go you guys slowly up the ladder and quickly down snakes and and over a year that happens over many years, that happens. As long as you're getting better every year, that's the exciting bit. Mm-Hmm.

Alec: [00:05:39] So you've you've had a few cracks at retirement and none of them have stock. So I'm excited to say, you know, the next step in the step after that, you've just mentioned some of the investment banks you've worked for, some of the biggest in the world. JP Morgan, UBS, Mollis, what have you learnt from that experience? And we'll we'll unpack a lot of it in when we talk about the book, but just the high level. What are some of the big learnings? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:06:04] Look, I think global investment banks, you know, they serve a pretty important role in terms of capital formation and in the world. I think one of the things I'd say is that the big global banks are all very similar, but they're different. But they're similar and a Swiss culture, I guess, of a UBS and a JP Morgan, which is a very American culture. They're different, but they're the same and they've got many great aspects to them. They're great organisations and they do, you know, a lot of good things. A lot of good people think the difficult parts about it. And ultimately, what drove me not to want to work in those in that in those environments was more self-determination, if you like, because you're very much at the whim of people in in you, whether it's in New York or London or Hong Kong and you get caught up in, you know, all that bureaucracy and. And Ken Molas, who's who's our business partner who founded models and companies are based around UBS and he's an inspirational guy. And his his joke about partnering with us is Australians are unknowable and that he may he means that, you know, Australians, I think by just by character, we're free spirits. We don't like to be told, particularly by Americans or English or anybody what to do. We like to do things the way we want to do them, and by and large, Australians do things really, really well. And that's the the big difference in what we do. What we are now is an Australian owned business, which is a, I guess, a division of a conglomerate, global financial services based. 

Alec: [00:07:35] You started at UBS. You just mentioned Ken Molas was ex UBS, the Barrenjoey guys. I'm pretty sure their clubs as well. Yeah. Is there something in the water? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:07:46] I don't know. I don't know. Looking at in Australia, I joined UBS was really my first proper job, if you like, in banking. Back in 1990 eight and it was a tiny, you know, it started its its its evolution into, you know, becoming a market leader was pretty interesting. It's had a lot of great people go, go through it. I mean, you know, the big Barrenjoey guys and you've got Chris McKay is one of the Magellan founders. That's a pretty good alumni. Yeah, come out of it. So I think that happens in organisations. And as with footy clubs, it happens, you know, you get just some success comes through. It tends to success, breeds success. And if you're around good people, you people tend to to get better and then they become more successful. So I think there's a bit of a network. I mean, sure, you had each other, but 

Andrew Pridham: [00:08:41] we don't we actually don't have to pretend we do. But yeah, there's there's a lot of guys around, 

Bryce: [00:08:47] maybe Andrew one, you know, we're all sort of outside outside observers as to what happens in these big institutional banks. What is something that you think retail investors often get wrong about the institutional side of the markets? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:09:01] The institutional side of the market? I don't know what the retail investor would even want to know about the institutional side probably don't need to know too much other than that they're big and they do lots of stuff. Yeah, I think all investors, whether it's retail or even institutional investors, you know, I deal with a lot of institutional investors. I think there's a general simplification and misunderstanding of how things work in in the financial markets generally. And I'm talking about we're not talking about investment banking. So how are mergers and acquisitions transaction a takeover? How that actually happens? You know what leads a company, a company to buy a company B? What's the process for it to happen? You know, why does a company raise money in equity on the stock market? Why does it do a bond issue? How does it do it? How long does it take, what's involved? I think if you're not involved in it in a really mechanical aspects of it, firstly, it's probably pretty boring to even care how it happens, because her case, it just happens. But it's also very complex and there's a lot of things that go into it and that it's not just the technical aspects of the legal side and the accounting and tax and all those sorts of things. But it's also the the human aspect of it that. What we call the social issues, for example, and which I talk about in the book applied for social issues, it only impacts about 100 per cent of public takeover deals, for example, which is and the social issues are who's going to be the CEO, who's going to be the chairman, who's going to stay on the board, who's going to be the CFO? When you merge two companies where you end up with two of everything. And what I think investors generally don't understand is how that process occurs, and things aren't always as natural. I think everyone there's a tendency for investors to have a simplified view of life that it made sense that companies will buy that company. And that's this will happen. And and it's never that simple. Yeah. And things that might appear to have been logical to have occurred may have taken years to have happened and only happen by, you know, the finest of margins because, you know, finally, one of the CEOs said, Alright, I'll, you know, pay me enough money and I'll leave sort of think until you've been in it and understand that human emotion drives the dealmaking in the markets as much as the numbers do. Really? 

Alec: [00:11:19] Yeah. So, Andrew, in your time at across investment banking, have you developed a personal investing philosophy? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:11:28] Absolutely. And it's been a very expensive process of fine tuning and fine tuning my investment process. So I can tell you, look, I think that the lessons of, you know, that I've learnt in investing are, you know, many and what suits me suits me but doesn't suit everybody, I think generally. My advice to people, whether it's friends or family or often footballers want advice on money and God knows why they come to me, but they do. They also ask me how to do it, talk from 60 year buddies, often commenting, Do you think I'm holding the ball right now? Anyway, I 

Alec: [00:12:00] digress. And Andrew's apparently taking the biggest Becky at the Swans ever. 

Andrew Pridham: [00:12:04] Yeah, I've got actually.

Andrew Pridham: [00:12:05] I've get my fun and show you that you can put it on your website. It's unbelievable. And I think for most people is really diversification so that they're not putting all their eggs in one basket. And and I think buying a house for examples, you know, really important. You know, and I genuinely believe that that's that's a the cornerstone for most people to invest in and a house and then leverage it appropriately and then use that leverage to go and do other things. You know, superannuation, all those sorts of things is important. I think finding the right people, it's it's more important for most people to find the right people to manage their money for them rather than try and do it themselves. And the biggest mistake I think most people make and I've made, I don't make it too much anymore at all anymore is the old. You get a tip. Someone says, Look, you know, this is great. You know, it's like horse racing or something. You know, this company can't lose go and you can't buy bitcoin or gondo. This kind of if you don't understand it, it and don't just don't do it because you know, the snakes and ladders analogy is a really good one because you know, you'll make some wins and then you get seduced into doing more and more. And you, you know, you put more bigger and bigger bets and then bang, you'll lose it all. And you know, I've done that repeatedly and you know, I've seen people do it repeatedly. And I think that the key is finding the right people to help you manage the money, give it to them. And if they're doing a good job, just leave it there. Don't don't panic. Don't say what? I think the market's going to collapse tomorrow. I read an article in the newspaper. I'm going to do this, you know, just get the right people and leave it there and assess it every few years. And if they're not doing a great job, maybe you move, move it. Don't give it all. One person spread it around all sort of things. Personally, I'm a very different investor, which is, you know, I tend to have a relatively small number of things. I invest in real estate one of them, but also stocks where I will take large positions and just sit on them. I talk about in the book a study that was published in The Washington Post many years ago, and I thought it was the best ever investment paper I've read, and I tried to recreate it, so might slightly better. I did pinch it from somebody, but now it's been updated. But and it was all about the great companies, you know, in the last 20 years. And I'm talking about the the apples, the Microsofts of the world, and these trillion dollar companies have repeatedly and regularly halved and then halved again and then doubled. So on their journey from 10 cent shares essentially to Apple, where was, you know, a good example through, you know, where it is today, a trillion dollar company. It's it's been a rollercoaster. And if as an investor, if you're reactive and every time you read bad news or the market falls or you sell, you're just going to miss. You're not going to time it. You're not going to time it to stick. 

Bryce: [00:14:53] What's your portfolio positioning in bitcoin? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:14:57] It's a very interesting one. I don't have any that I'm aware of. You know, I just sold my Tesla. I look like bitcoin's mysterious beast to me, and my instincts are it's it's it's real. It's not something it's not something I've invested in, but that's probably because I don't understand it, but I wouldn't I wouldn't discount it in the future. I think it's I think it is real. I think it's here to stay. 

Bryce: [00:15:22] So Andrew, let's turn to the business of sport because you have been involved in the Sydney Swans for almost 20 years. You've been chairman since 2013. What have you learnt about the business of sport in this time?

Andrew Pridham: [00:15:35] Sport and business are completely different animals, and a lot of people I see when they get involved in professional sports, when they've had a business background, they'll suddenly become chairman or president of an AFL club, for example. And if they say, I can do this because it's just like business, you know that they don't know what they're talking about. If you're a supporter of that club, be very worried because it's it's completely different. There are clearly parallels between sport and business, and I love using sporting analogies for, you know, everyday life. I use it all the time, but they're completely different. I mean, sport is about, you know, there's far more about passion in this powerful passion in it. And the story off of the analogy I often give is if if you're running a football club, your customers are fans, they're passionate. They might have had multiple generations. You know, they bleed for your club. They love it. They know the players they love to play. If you lose year on, year in, year out, they'll keep coming back. I'll keep coming back because it's in their blood. They love it. And for them, success is winning a game on a weekend and hopefully some finals and hopefully premierships. But that's what success is delivering a profit. Ninety nine point nine per cent of fans wouldn't know whether you were profitable or not, and they wouldn't care less. What they want is for you to win. They want you to have great players and they want to. They want to be inspired. And that's what sport's about. It's about the passion. And in a business, you know, shareholders. Yeah, you know that they don't really barrack for you.

Alec: [00:17:11] Bryce was barracking for Afterpay. Pretty hard.

Andrew Pridham: [00:17:15] Bryce is one of the exigé. I find shareholders, you know, they they barrack for you as long as you're winning. Yeah. And if you start losing, they suddenly back for another team pretty quickly. So it's far more transactional, I guess business in the sense that that shit fair enough to be, that's money involved. Shareholders are in it for returns. They want dividends, they want share price appreciation. It's very different in that sense. A lot of the business principles that you would use in business can be applied to the business of sport. But at the end of the day, what matters in sport is winning and that's and you can never lose sight of that. And I think, you know, football clubs and any sporting organisations at time and you say, you know, you know, with cricket, you know, in recent times, lose sight of what what it's about and what it's about is winning. That's as simple as that, and you can pretend it's about changing the world and everything else. That's all important. And that's part of the social contract of sport that you actually do good things and help advocate for causes. But at the end of the day, it's about winning and business is about profits. Yeah. 

Alec: [00:18:22] The Swans have one of the best reputations in the league in terms of how well run the organisation is. And you know, I think a lot of that credit lies with you, and I think a lot of the lessons in that are in the book, what matters? Can you unpack unpack it a little bit. How did the Swans get that reputation? How, how, what have you learnt taken from your business career and from your experience at the Swans to really get the Swans organisation running really well? And I guess most importantly, what can a team like Bryce as Essendon bombers learn from your weight in this one? 

Bryce: [00:18:55] Anything premier? Twenty twenty four 

Andrew Pridham: [00:19:00] having a week off? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:19:01] Yeah, the bombers, I 

Andrew Pridham: [00:19:04] thought, 

Andrew Pridham: [00:19:06] look, I think there are many parallels in sports at firstly, where did this, you know, where is the reputation and the success of the Sydney Swans come from? The Swans have been around for almost 150 years. The baton is passed year after year and I think in its time in Sydney, there's, you know, had many opportunities to go broke, had many opportunities go broke before it came to Sydney. And it was it really a succession of great people who have taken, you know, the club from from where it was to where it is today. And you know, people like Peter wanted basil sellers and a guy who who's actually chairman of our asset management business, Richard Collins looms pretty large in that he was chairman for 20 20 years. I think it's about just building on success and it's about great people and just getting better every year and making sure that you have the right culture and cultures to manage everything. But the lessons I've learnt in sport apply very much to business where it's all about culture, it's about people, it's about playing people in the right position. A big believer in that, someone that's great and I use the. Algae often in use in the book, but I use it often just because, you know, someone's a great fall forward and that might be the greatest fall forward of all times. You know, Tony Locker, for example, try and apply them in the backline, but be hopeless. Put them in the midfield. Terrible. So you've got to play people in positions. And if that's how people reach their full potential. And I think the culture of the Swans, which is, you know, built up over a long period of time, is really about excellence and just having a good culture, good good people doing the right things, doing the basics and not trying to over promise. And I think that's that's something we've, you know, been pretty careful about and we don't we don't make bold predictions. We just try and achieve, you know, gradually and get better.

Alec: [00:20:55] Well, you say bold predictions, Bryce and I make bold predictions on the show every year, and one for me is often that the Swans win the Premiership. Yet to be right, but I think I will say 

Bryce: [00:21:06] I'm also just imagining Tony Lockett playing in the midfield. It's quite a funny sight. 

Andrew Pridham: [00:21:11] Yeah. Well, yeah, 

Andrew Pridham: [00:21:14] I've got many stories, but yeah, but playing in position is really important and something I've learnt in certainly have applied a lot in business is you can have somebody who isn't terribly, isn't succeeding in a certain role. And if you can move them to another role which they might be more suited to in and they flourish, and that's that's the the art of management, I think I think it's, you know, it's a great learning from sport is if you can get people and allow them to play in their best position, then they can reach their full potential. We play them in the wrong position they want. 

Alec: [00:21:46] A key part of the book is around great leadership and in preparing for this interview, we found an example that required leadership probably like none other, at least in the AFL's recent history, which was in the midst of Covid. In 2020, the AFL assembled a war cabinet of which you were part of Gillon McLachlan, Eddie McGuire from Collingwood, Peter Gordon from the Bulldogs, yeah, Gill and then Richard Goyder. 

Andrew Pridham: [00:22:14] Jeff Kit. Don't forget Jeff Kennett. 

Alec: [00:22:17] He would not forgive that. A pretty powerful war cabinet. But I imagine a time where you had to make some really difficult decisions. And you know, a lot of the leadership lessons that you write about in the book were really required at that moment. Can you take us into the room at that time and talk about what was required then and what it's been like over the last 18 months? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:22:39] Yeah. Look, it was it was an extraordinary time and it happened as we all know so quickly and that that was the the amazing aspect of it is just how quickly things unravelled in, you know, the whole business world and society generally. And AFL was no different than we were in. We were in Melbourne, and it was the season launch that presidents get together with the CEOs and in the AFL commission and they have the season launch. Then that evening and the debate on that day was, I don't know what we were debating something but something trivial in, you know, in retrospect. And I was quite focussed on this thing called coronavirus. I don't know where of it, but quite now it's quite quite bad. And I was I was focussed on it because I actually got involvement with University of South Australia. And if you remember, the universities were the first real industry that seemed to be hitting promising all the universities, it's really hurting them because of foreign students. And so I was quite aware of it, and I was sort of thinking at the time and talking to Richard Goyder, who's the chairman of the AFL. This kind of student could be a problem. And by the time the meeting ended. The season was in turmoil, the call to come through from the Victorian government. It was turmoil, so it unravelled extremely quickly. No one there was no rulebook. No one knew what was going to happen. And the AFL, you know, it was just unfathomable that we couldn't play games. There couldn't be crowds, you know, very, very quickly. That led to a whole lot of issues which which were extraordinarily serious. And I think that football being football people probably didn't grab onto them as quickly as they could. And they were issues like if you don't play games, you know what happens with membership revenue, what happens in television rights? How do we pay the bills? I mean that most, you know, the majority of clubs are only know a few months away from insolvency, really. So it was pretty chronic issue. And you know, there was no there was no rulebook. So we had to wait that war cabinet met for, you know, we were meeting very early in the morning. I'd talk to Gillon McLachlan, you know, 5:00 in the morning sometimes and again at 2:00 a.m., you know, 2:00 in the morning, midnight. It was extraordinary hours. It was very stressful. And there was a genuine prospect that clubs and even the AFL could could fail go into administration. So it wasn't a wasn't a great experience. I can tell you it was. It was very difficult and just extraordinary how the industry has come through it and everyone pulled together and it didn't last for long. Obviously never does for it, but everyone pulled together and and there was a, you know, I think, a real collegiate approach to solving all of the issues. And that was, you know, from members sticking with their clubs, the media rights deals staying in place, governments facilitating travel bubbles and end games without crowds. Venues and facilitating games without crowds. So there was everyone working together. Government, you know, clearly assisting with financing. And because of that, I think the games, you know, ironically, is genuinely come through in us in a stronger way in the clubs. I think it was a lot of debt, more debt in the system. I think the clubs very strong position now.

Bryce: [00:26:09] Well, as spectators and supporters, it was certainly good to see it get off the ground and looking from the outside, it would have been incredibly challenging. But getting those bubbles in place and still giving the fans the opportunity to support their teams was great. 

Andrew Pridham: [00:26:24] Well, nothing better than seeing Collingwood play Essendon with no crowd.

Andrew Pridham: [00:26:31] But let's get back 

Andrew Pridham: [00:26:32] what supporters drew.

Bryce: [00:26:33] Yeah, looking forward to the grand final being back at the J, though at some point. That'll be that'll be a nice one tactic, right? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:26:41] Yeah. 

Alec: [00:26:43] One day they say, No, no, 

Bryce: [00:26:45] I no know. Look, before we turn to some of the key takeaways from the book Andrew, we'll just take a quick break to hear from our sponsors. Andrew, you've just written what matters. Secrets of great leaders, business builders and professional investors, so are you able to give us an overview of the book? What was the key message that you were really trying to get across? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:27:07] Yeah, that it didn't start out as a book when I stepped down as CEO of my financial group in the Bear results in February 2000 to 2020, just as Covid hit. So it looked like I was just wasn't that way at all and that we were in lockdown. So I was sitting around and I didn't know what to do, and I was very involved. Obviously, if we discussed earlier with with the the AFL and Christian Julian were doing a great job running the business and going through all of the crisis management. One of the things I'd undertaken to do when I when I stepped down as CEO, I'm still very involved in the business was to establish the GMA academy, which is unashamedly pinched from the Swans Academy. And the concept is that my financial group is is a talent and I look at it as a talent factory and our greatest asset is our ability to hire great people, train them and retain them. And so the whole idea of the MMA Academy was to create a learning institute within the business that would actually teach and train our people from the most junior through to the most senior and teach them not by and in an academic sense, but teach them very practically. This is how things happen. And anyone that's been to university knows that the first thing when you get into the real world, into business, you suddenly realise, Well, yeah, I learnt all this stuff. 

Andrew Pridham: [00:28:32] Yeah, nothing 

Andrew Pridham: [00:28:33] yet. And it's nothing like what we do. And yeah, that's right. So the academy's about teaching people, this is how you do things and this is why and actually get some of the best professionals in their field to teach younger people, and in some instances, have the younger, you know, people coming through teaching that the older ones and that can be with them could be technology II bitcoin. There's a whole lot of stuff you can learn 360, because people have different and different perspectives. And so I thought, Well, I've got to start this academy. I don't really know how to start an academy. And so I just started writing down. These are these are the things I think would be worth teaching, and they became essentially the chapters in the book. And so I just wrote the book and it's not a it's not an academic texts because I wrote it. So you know, you got a fair idea. It's not as a lot of footy in there, but it was really just going through various things that I thought were important lessons, you know, ranging from how to present to people, whether it's in a written form or verbally. What are the important lessons that I've learnt over time? And the most important lesson is when you present to me simplicity, don't over it to me. You know, you said, particularly younger people that come in, come into the business world, they try and overcomplicate things. I use complicated words. They have too much information, too many pages, too many graphs, too many, too many, too many and people just want to know the answer generally. And so one of the lessons is just tell people what they want, and I tell them the answer. And then if you want to then write 100 pages of background, do it, but put it in the background. Yeah. And so that those sorts of lessons and then and managing people, you know, you know, I love managing people. I think that's that's something that's critically important and particularly in banking. Not many bankers are very good at managing people. You know, they tend to be focussed on themselves. And, you know, I love managing people and I think the lessons of how to do that and the importance of actually getting the best out of people that work with you and for you is fundamental because if you can get the best out of everybody when they work in a team environment, there's no stopping you. You know, that's the secret to any greatness, whether it's a football club or a business. If you've got great people and they can all have the ability to reach their full potential and be inspired encouraged given the tools that they need given guidance if they're doing things poorly to tell them if they're in the wrong position to move them, you know, treat people fairly, all those sorts of things that are critically important. If you and if you can get that right. And then through writing the book, people in our business can can learn these lessons and get better quicker. I think it just has a knock on effect in the compounding is really important

Alec: [00:31:23] so that people fame is clearly a key theme in the book, and it sounds like it's also been a key theme in your career. You know, trying to your business plan was get capital, get good people and, you know, look where it became billions of dollars and do stuff to stuff to do stuff. And you know, these days, if you look at the market, it feels like there's plenty of capital around. But the finding great people and then developing great people is the real challenge for businesses big and small, Bryce and all. They're trying to build a business here. Bryce is. Trying to get on that Forbes 40 under 40 list as what? What advice would you have for us in terms of trying to find the best people and then trying to develop them? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:32:05] Probably. The corporate advice I'll give to anybody is everybody in their career becomes in my experience. But they become a carbon copy for those that know carbon copies, but they do become replicas of their mentors. So I think if you guys are good guys and see your high energy, you know you don't take yourselves too seriously. I could say that that that's a core theme that I always try and have. If you are great people and understand what you're doing. They have a deep vision for what you want to do. You'll inspire people to join you and I want to join you and I won't leave. And that's I think the business plan you have to have is has to be really simple. Don't try and do too much too quickly. And I write a lot about that, and I think it's a common mistake that I see. You know, what are the common mistakes people make building a business? One of the simple ones is I try and do everything and you say it all the time. What we're going to do this, we enter this. It's going to just do one thing really well. Yeah, we'll do. It really will get really good at it. And then when you're really good at it and get some people and teach them how to do it, you can then move on and do the next thing and do that really well and and just go step by step. And it's it's it's not rocket science, you know, because only rocket science is their core goal is make sure you got enough capital to do what you want. Just get really good. Be passion about it. Be really good at it and don't go too fast. Yeah. And I think if you do that, most people will succeed. And where people don't succeed, when they run out of capital or or they go too quickly and it's like building up, it's like doing a renovation, building a business. It always takes longer and it costs more. Yeah. And if you remember that you're on the path to kind of mental breakdown. 

Andrew Pridham: [00:33:50] Yeah, that's a success. That's good. 

Bryce: [00:33:52] What other characteristics other than sort of that ability to inspire and have a clear vision? Have you seen across really good business leaders that that they share? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:34:02] One of the core things is authenticity. And you know, you'll hear people talk about it and a lot of people talk about authenticity and they're not authentic, which is the irony of that success is life. But being true to yourself and actually people can spot a phoney. And if if you're authentic and you walk the walk, talk the talk and you actually get in there and do stuff, that's what great leaders do and what great leaders don't do. And I've seen this in banking over and it is people they think their leader because their business cards is that they're managing director or they're there. They've been around a long time. They think their leader and they dress well with a tie on like me. And I was nice as mine, but 

Andrew Pridham: [00:34:45] they got time.

Andrew Pridham: [00:34:46] They got shiny shoes, the nice car, they got a good CV done deals and, you know, think they're pretty cool, but they're not authentic and they're not real ladies because they don't do the hard work. They don't value their team. They just tell them, can't do this, and they take all the glory. And if they're not in the trenches and great leadership, I think largely behaving in a way in which people want to follow. And that means you've got to be a good person, be honest, be fair. Fairness is something I talk about in the book repeatedly. I think fairness is grossly underrated as a characteristic in success. If you're fair with people, whether it's staff, whether it's customers, whoever it is and everything seems to work and people get better and the better, the better you treat people, the better they'll treat people, and it's a virtuous circle. And if you treat people poorly, if you don't do the hard work as a leader, people aren't going to follow you. They're going to say, Well, you know, I don't really care. He doesn't really care. Yeah. So, you know, I think doing the hard work. 

Alec: [00:35:50] So you mentioned mentors there and, you know, a big part of looking at leadership. And I guess becoming a leader is is looking at mentors and trying to emulate them. Is there anyone that comes to mind in your life, either, you know, coming up in business that you really tried to model yourself on or was a mentor on these days looking at your career and for the other, any sportsman that you're like, 

Andrew Pridham: [00:36:12] I don't know if I have a career in football 

Alec: [00:36:14] in involvement in for these various 

Andrew Pridham: [00:36:17] tangential involvement 

Alec: [00:36:18] that you look at and you're like, these guys are just excellent leaders. You know that they were who were front of mind when I was writing this book. 

Andrew Pridham: [00:36:26] Yeah, look, I do. And I've had I've had many clients who, you know, I've had that that I guess I've been fortunate to have some great clients over my career like Frank Lowy and to observe how they lead and how they bring the best out in people and how they make decisions, how they take risks because business is really bad. It's a it's a series of calculated risk, you know, risk assessment and making judgements of risk. And then backing yourself and backing others to to execute and don't take too big a risk that can kill you. And I've seen that and I've seen people who've done it really well, I've seen people poorly failed. So from my perspective, I've learnt lots and lots of examples in the book. What matters is the things I've learnt from people in sport, in business, dealing with politicians, dealing with all sorts of people. The good things I've seen and the bad things I've seen and what I try and do is take the good things and don't do the bad. Things are not always. I'm not perfect. So I get, you know, get things wrong plenty of times. But I've still got a number of people who, you know, throughout my career have been very important to me as mentors. And you know, it's not bits of, you know, and that's that's more personal connexion. I mean, someone like Richard, call us, you know, it's been important mentor to me. You know, in a football sense. But he was looking I started off as a client the first time I ever met him. He threw me out of a meeting. Oh, well, yeah, he's been trying to do it ever since, but he's been an important mentor to me. A guy named Peter Crossing, who was just retired a couple of years ago at UBS. You know, he was an important mentor to me. He taught me a lot about banking. I think you take, you know, things from different people in different ways. I think I'm a great observer of people and that's why I love shows like Seinfeld, for example, because they're their observation comedies. And I find that really interesting and I enjoy it. You know, just observing what people do, the good things people do, and just how impactful it is with these people and how they impact other people's lives. As you get older and more experienced, you learn that people do what you do. If you're doing something at a high level that successfully people watch you and you are a mentor, you can't you can't get away from that. And that's why you know, you've always got a big game on and and getting better. I don't sit around. I don't read business books. I'm not into all that stuff. But one of the things I say to myself, it's coming that time of year when I say it is at the end of every year. I do take stock of the prior year and I'm an optimist and I always look, you know, I'm always optimistic about what's going to happen. And I and I do say to myself, Alright, we're going to a new year. I want to be better next year than I was this year. What can I do better? And you know, I'll think about that. I'm thinking about it now, you know, and I actively do it and I'll think last year I did, you know, I did all these good things. I'm happy with that. It's, you know, this wasn't so good and these things I really think I can get better at. And if we can do that every year, you will get better as a person. Yeah, yeah. 

Alec: [00:39:35] I think it's heartening that someone who's achieved a level of success that you have is still always looking, you know how they can improve and what they can do better. 

Andrew Pridham: [00:39:44] We all can because you're kidding yourself. If you think that you know everything you do is right. I mean, it's not. I mean, you make lots of mistakes. You worry about things that you shouldn't worry about. And we all do that. And you guys, if you know you're building your business, I'm sure you got a thousand things to worry about. But if you if you if you're optimistic. It's amazing how great things can happen. 

Alec: [00:40:04] Mm-Hmm. Yeah. Well, Andrew, the book is what matters. I might Bryce you want to hold it up to the camera for people watching on YouTube. People can get it wherever good books are sold. [00:40:15][10.2]

Andrew Pridham: [00:40:16] Well, that is. 

Alec: [00:40:19] But look, we appreciate you taking the time and we appreciate you putting a lot of your lessons into into this book. We do like to finish with the final three questions, but before we do as well as the book, if people want to follow, you know your work on the May Academy, I think you have a podcast these days. The podcast 

Andrew Pridham: [00:40:38] with Adam Spencer is

Alec: [00:40:39] where should they go? To follow

Andrew Pridham: [00:40:42] her, go to the Make Financial Guess Financial dot com and you'll find all the podcasts and the book and whatever other stuff is on our Internet of Things

Alec: [00:40:53] is great. That's one will get stuck into those final three questions. The first one is, do you have any books that you consider must reads? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:41:02] Well, that's an easy one, isn't it? 

Alec: [00:41:04] Yeah, we should say, except for what matters. 

Andrew Pridham: [00:41:08] All right. Okay. 

Andrew Pridham: [00:41:10] And what great brands do is a book which I talk about probably the one of the more recent ones I've read, great book about great brands and how your brand becomes the compass for decision making. And that's something I I, whenever I do read anything, I bother everyone it in my financial saying, I've just read this and it's really good and we should do this. And that was that's pretty cool. If that book. Not so nice. 

Alec: [00:41:33] The next one is forget valuation or anything like that, just purely on the company itself. What's the best company you've ever come across? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:41:43] Oh gosh, the best company.

Andrew Pridham: [00:41:48] It's a big question, but can I say Equity Mates? Yes. Right? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:41:56] Look, I think it's an impossible question to answer, so I'm not going to answer it, but

Alec: [00:42:00] I will tell you the answer is Equity Mates

Andrew Pridham: [00:42:03] Equity Mates. 

Alec: [00:42:04] And then finally, if you think back to your younger self starting out in investment banking, starting out as an investor, what advice would you give to your younger self? 

Andrew Pridham: [00:42:15] I think in terms of younger self starting out in a career, it would be be optimistic. And don't don't worry too much because I think one thing I think we all do and I observe is people get really what they worry. There's a lot to worry about in the world. Worry, worry, worry, worry. Don't worry too much because most things work out. And if you've got a positive outlook and you're enthusiastic and you put energy and you do the right thing, things will work out. 

Bryce: [00:42:44] Nice. Well, great way to end, Andrew. Thank you so much for sharing your time and your thoughts and can't wait to hear the feedback from our community as they talking to the book. So a reminder it's called What matters? So go and check it out. We'll have a link in our show notes, but absolutely appreciate you sharing your time with us today. 

Andrew Pridham: [00:43:02] Pleasure guy to 

Andrew Pridham: [00:43:03] go the bonus. 

Bryce: [00:43:07] Hey, thanks for listening to this episode of Equity Mates. We love hearing from you, so drop us a line at or even better, go to your podcast player and leave a five star review. Also, a reminder that the Equity Mates content train doesn't stop when you've run out of episodes to binge. We've got a brand new website, a Facebook discussion group where on Instagram, YouTube and slowly making our way as an influencer on Tik-tok. Well, that's Ren. So come and say hello and join the community. We'd love to welcome you. Until next time.

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