G’DAY WORLD 194 – Brian Watson, Investment Banker

Today, in the next episode of my “Melbourne’s Leaders” series, my guest is Mr Brian Watson. Brian is the founder and Executive Chairman of Georgica Associates Pty Ltd, a private equity asset management and advisory firm in Melbourne. He was based in New York with J.P. Morgan from 1987-1999, as Global Head of Equity Underwriting from 1990-1995 and head of Global Private Equity Business from 1995-1999. He returned to Australia in 1999 and was Chairman of J.P. Morgan Australia from 1999 – 2000 and Managing Director of JP Morgan Partners (JPMP) Australia from 1999 – 2002. JPMP Australia invested across a broad spectrum of private equity opportunities in Australia.

He also sits on the board of the Australian Stem Cell Centre, was Chairman of the Government’s Venture Capital Industry Review, and was appointed to the Board of Guardians of the Federal Government’s Future Fund.

During our chat he talks about the motivations for excellence, attitudes towards setbacks and failure, the state of the Venture Capital industry in Australia, the purpose of the Future Fund, and the future of stem cell research.

Brian Watson photo

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The G’Day World Theme Song is “Save Me” by The Napoleon Blown Aparts.

14 thoughts on “G’DAY WORLD 194 – Brian Watson, Investment Banker

  1. Good show Cam. I really like these “Melbourne’s Leaders” shows because they give me some insight into what it takes to succeed.
    Unfortunately most of the necessary qualifications are stuff I have to work on (confidence and determination) But the shows give me some motivation to work on my confidence and networking skills so its got to be doing some good.

  2. Thanks Mim, I’m glad someone out there is enjoying them. I thought Brian’s tips about finding a mentor were pretty valuable. Now I just need to find someone who has built a bigger podcasting business than me to network with…. anyone got Adam’s number?

  3. I’d definately agree with you with the mentor business… but I think perhaps you’ve already burned the Adam Curry bridge.
    I think he’s abnoxious anyway although perhaps that’s just the American style because I’ve never been able to sit through any American podcast.

    On a completely different note do you ever sleep? It is far to common for you to be commenting at 1am and then again before 8am. No wonder you drink so much coffee!

  4. that’s a very interesting site! I’ve thought about doing polyphasic sleep for years. You know Napoleon did that, right? As it is, I usually only sleep a few hours a night. More know than I used to – doctor’s orders. But left to my own devices I’ll only sleep 3 – 4 hours. I experienced some of the things the article mentions – very fast REM etc. My doctor thought suggested that the latest research suggests that deep, monophasic sleep is critical for developing long-term memory and, come to think about it, I can’t even remember what I did yesterday.

  5. So did Da Vinci apparently. There are suggestions that you can fiddle around with the sleep patterns in order to get a more solid block of sleep every now and then once you’re in the swing of it.

    I’m thinking that I might give it a go. Worst case scenario is I fail and if I start now I should be used to it by the time I get to uni.

  6. Cam, I only just listened to this episode and reckon you are doing a great job interviewing these ‘Melbourne leaders’. I was wondering, do you think you should put it in another podcast as there may be others (not me) who are not as interested in the G’day world religious investigations as they are in the interviews with Melbourne leaders.

    The main problem with investment in business in this country is that investment in property is still tax incentivised and also more often talked about. How many of you have had your eyes glaze over when hearing property values discussed at dinner party or drinks and then raising the question of business investment get a look of lunacy. Surely equity earned by running a business is more real than equity gained by the stroke of a rezoning pen. (end rant)

    On another note, it was interesting to hear the ideas behind the Australia fund. If people are interested in some economic questioning then you should read Henry Thornton’s view . Other economic material I have read put the whole thing in the lack of economic leadership. I for one would prefer either tax cuts or better spending of the dollars rather than it being put to public service pensions. The real story here is the huge increase in the already bloated public service. I may need it explained better but I don’t see why budget surplus should go to public service super when if I employ somebody I have to contribute to their pension fund. Can’t it be the same for government as it is for private? Why do they have to use public funds super liability. In the very least it shouldn’t be politicised by calling it a “future fund” when in reality it is a “super fund”. I don’t see how paying super for public servants is going to help Australia’s future.

  7. true, you do cover a wide range of subjects, that’s what I listen 🙂
    It wasn’t so much for me but for new comers, and atracting new listners.
    I recall you putting a question out recently “what is G’day world about’ and having listened since early on it continues to change. I think most of the different subjects fit well together but do think the series on different business leaders is very different to your normal shoes, if only because you do less talking, which is a sign of a good interview.

    keep up the great interviews.

    As for finding a mentor, don’t look for somebody with experience in podcasting necessarily, look for someone successful in a range of businesses. They can then be objective and provide good coaching. Kevin Burton from tailrank mentions how this has helped in the interview on this web 2.0 show .

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