HANDS-ON EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
Completing a carpentry apprenticeship and learning the fundamentals of planning, process and productivity was the foundation from which Brian has learnt to build business and create value. Originating with constructing houses and small commercial projects it was the financial distress and economic uncertainty of the period through the 1987 stock market crash and the 1990’s recession that led him to the Centrelink jobs board and a career in construction management and commercial projects throughout Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Managing people and projects throughout Australia created an opportunity for Brian at 28 to relocate to New Zealand and establish an overseas branch of this same subcontractor, creating a business that employed more than 100 people across across the country. Upon returning to Australia an opportunity to move from subcontractor to head contractor saw him join Melbourne builder APM Group initially managing commercial fit-out and construction projects, then business development, estimating and general management roles. An offer was extended to buy into the business.
From an initial shareholding Brian took over as managing director and major shareholder of APM Group in 2004, and over 4years without external capital or shareholder equity transformed a $34M small business into a $110M successful SME, more than doubling the amount of profit, growing retained earnings 8x and net cash flows 10x. In 10 years as managing director he expanded the business through constructing $1B in projects, overcame the Global Financial Crisis through aggressive turnaround, grew capability through Joint Venture, and as a business was awarded awarded Victorian Master Builder of the Year in 2013
Following the fallout of the 2008 GFC Brian led an aggressive and ultimately successful $7M turnaround returning APM to profit inside 9 months. At the same time negotiating a $250M revenue joint venture & separate business with a subsidiary of Leighton Contractors (now CPB) one of the world’s largest contractors at that time. As he had structured the Joint Venture to distribute unencumbered nett profit quarterly, this revenue had not only continued to fund transformation, it enabled APM to enhance its reputation, underpin sustainability and restore its competitive proposition.
Throughout the APM turnaround and transformation phases Brian sought professional development through the Australian Institute Of Company Directors and the Advanced Management Program at Melbourne Business School. After transacting an exit from APM in 2013 he then overlaid his hands-on turnaround experience with academic principles, through achieving a Master of Enterprise degree at the University of Melbourne, and completed Strategy in the Age of Digital Disruption at Insead Business School.
It was this aggressive APM turnaround period having to contemplate immediate multi-million dollar losses and then deliver an aggressive and ultimately successful turnaround that became the foundation for writing this book. Stop The Bleeding is written from the Managing Directors chair and from the perspective of thinking and doing everything differently. It is about creating a compelling reason for being in business, about authentic leadership of people, about being adaptable in an environment of extreme disruption, and it is about balancing risk and opportunity without dropping the ball. It is about not giving in.
As a recent advisor Brian’s portfolio of experience is approaching $2B in managed value including global expansion, termination and exit, property development, cost recovery, dispute management, transformation and start-up business. He is a non-executive director, managing director, general manager and an independent advisor with over 20 years executive and board level experience across commercial and not for profit sectors with particular experience in construction, property, leisure and education.