Ahmed Fahour’s $3.2b reckoning – Australian Monetary Overview

Ahmed Fahour’s $3.2b reckoning – Australian Monetary Overview

While no one person will also be blamed for Latitude’s failure, Fahour’s role has been dissected greater than someone else’s.

Barely any put a query to

True a few weeks ago, Fahour, who declined to be interviewed by AFR Weekend, used to be telling of us that it wasn’t price his time to hunch on the global roadshow this implies that of there used to be so unprecedented native put a query to. A minimum of 50 per cent of the e book used to be lined by retail, he told one person.

Because it turned out, those shut to the deal voice there used to be barely any put a query to from both native traders or those offshore.

And in most standard meetings with home fund managers, he used to be so eager to chat down elevate-now, pay-later juggernaut Afterpay in his converse to promote Latitude that there might perchance be a ask attendees simply tuned out.

After all, a range of those he used to be presenting to personal wide holdings in Afterpay and personal made signficant returns on the investment.

Ahmed Fahour and John Stanhope seemed sooner than Senate Estimates in early 2017 to converse excessive salaries on the authorities-owned firm.  Andrew Meares

No topic the proper reasons in the reduction of the drift’s failure, Fahour is shaping up because the indispensable scapegoat in the failed IPO, which the market is now gleefully dissecting.

“It’s doubtlessly beyond the usual Australian tall poppy syndrome … it did no longer reduction what he used to be getting paid used to be incorrectly characterised,” says one person, relating to the $22.5 million in bonus shares that Fahour used to be region to receive if the drift priced on the tip cease of the vary, a “ridiculous extra than one”.

“He is a correct operator … he’s undoubtedly purchased the ethical angle and he doesn’t lack any self belief.”

Yet another person inquisitive about the deal used to be less flattering, suggesting that brokers can personal to peaceable personal more than seemingly kept him on a tighter leash in front of traders.

Salary records

For the total supreme tales about Fahour – which embody an Australia Put up consumer outing to the London Olympics, complete with substitute-class airfares and five-star lodges – a key put a query to stays: is he basically any correct as an executive?

Extra particularly, is he as correct at working companies as he’s negotiating his hold salary packages?

To the final point, more than seemingly no longer. Fahour has successfully region extra than one records for pay in no longer less than three excessive-profile roles, and whenever, faced a public backlash.

In 2004, the then 37-year-historical joined NAB because the Australian chief executive with a serious-year equipment price $18.8 million. His salary used to be publicly and roundly criticised by historical NAB chief executive Nobby Clark on the monetary institution’s 2005 annual meeting, forcing then chairman Graham Kraehe to release a assertion the following day defending it.

In 2016, as Australia Put up boss, Fahour again region a salary document. This time, he grew to alter into the nation’s most highly paid pulic servant by taking house a $5.6 million salary equipment, including a $1.2 million bonus, sparking criticism from then top minster Malcolm Turnbull and triggering his resignation.

In 2017, it used to be published his pay for the excellent year working the community would be $10.79 million.

He genuinely believes he’s price the price he demands.

— John Stanhope, Australia Put up chairman

Most currently, he’s made headlines – and upset some possible Latitude traders – with the bonus he negotiated.

“It used to be attention-grabbing what he stood to invent during the IPO used to be about the connected to the three underwriters on the drift,” says Merlon Capital Partners’ Hamish Carlisle.

“Whether you regard his role as an agent of the shareholders to promote the substitute or trudge the substitute for fresh shareholders grew to alter into rather blurred with the context of the monetary alignment.”

Now not all people appears to be postpone by the tubby bonuses.

Regal Fund Administration’s Phil King this week stated he anticipated him to carry out a “worthy job” as Latitude chief executive, including his fund would personal sold Latitude at $1.78 a part had the drift purchased up.

Australia Put up chairman John Stanhope, who did no longer rent Fahour, says he’s very correct at his job. Nonetheless Fahour is furthermore very correct at selling himself, he says.

“Fragment of Ahmed’s background and functionality is that he’s magnificent unprecedented a correct gross sales guy, and he sells himself very successfully … he genuinly believes he’s price the price he demands.

“The open put a query to is [whether he is] price what he’d use to be paid? At the cease of the day, the those that resolve to exercise him personal to invent that judgement.”

Huge jobs

While Fahour has negotiated some ogle-popping salaries, he’s had masses of diversified less headline-grabbing roles alongside the manner.

After NAB, he lasted a few year because the chief executive of Gulf Finance Condo in Bahrain. Before that, there used to be his chief executive role on the in unlucky health-fated Rudd Monetary institution in 2009.

He is furthermore had directorships at two of Melbourne’s most blue-blooded of establishments: Methodist Ladies’ College, where he used to be inquisitive about the controversial sacking of major Rosa Storelli, and the Carlton Football Club board, where he used to be always touted as a possible president.

He is furthermore been on the board of Rip Curl and Raffy Geminder’s Pro-Pac Packaging Neighborhood. Extra currently, he’s acted as patron and indispensable donor to the Islamic Museum of Australia, trudge by his brother Moustafa.

Nonetheless salary is never always basically doubtlessly the most attention-grabbing, or even doubtlessly the most official, measure of success.

It’s always laborious to think the performance of an executive, particularly one in a personal firm. And Fahour has never headed a publicly listed firm, with the exception of a stint as executive chairman at Pro-Pac. Between 2014 and 2019, the firm’s part impress used to be largely flat except it collapsed in dreary 2018.

At NAB, he in some contrivance did no longer invent the sever. Chairman Michael Chaney appointed Cameron Clyne for the tip job over Fahour, who urged to some folks he used to be the red-scorching celebrated.

“He is terribly correct and he does work laborious and delivers the low-placing fruit,” says one person that has adopted his profession closely. “Nonetheless he doesn’t basically personal the strategic edge.

“The no 1 point of interest is on him and the pay packet.”

Yet another banking analyst parts out NAB has continuously maintained market part and a No.1 space in substitute and small and medium enterprise banking, and continued to carry out so below his check up on. In diversified phrases, he did no longer blow it up, nonetheless nor did he implement the relaxation particularly memorable.

Fahour’s supporters voice missing out on the NAB high job is less a reflection on his executive capabilities and extra a case of the monetary institution taking the conservative option. His detractors voice Chaney sooner or later saw that he did no longer measure up.

Australia Put up legacy

While Australia Put up chief executive, Fahour told AFR BOSS journal: “To lead an organisation at any particular time I think a board desires to use someone whose vogue and manner fits their desires at that moment.

“There are occasions can personal to you are appropriate for something, or I am appropriate for something, and we can all be picked, selected or requested when there might perchance be a supreme match between what you are correct at and what the organisation desires.”

Conception is in an identical contrivance divided about Fahour’s time at Australia Put up.

On the one hand, he’s praised for wrangling the unions. On the diversified, he’s criticised for failing to clear up the proper disclose: programs to reposition a substitute in a structurally challenged substitute.

That’s a criticism Stanhope rejects, saying that Fahour’s implementation contained what can had been far greater losses for the mail division.

It’s even harder to measure his performance at Latitude, where he has headed the firm for roughly a year. He has, severely, brought in a few of his key Australia Put up executives, including Chris Blake and Andrew Walduck.

In between his excessive-profile appointments, Fahour has furthermore gathered a repute because the person in the working for a range of jobs.

Media reports surfaced that he used to be in the working to replace Commonwealth Monetary institution chief Ian Narev, even supposing that never eventuated.

Earlier than Amazon’s entry into Australia, Fahour is imagined to personal kicked off meetings with folks by saying: “Clearly, I might perchance well simply no longer be in a space to chat about the speculation that I’ll be working Amazon in the community.”

Extra currently, he used to be talked about as a that you would mediate of NAB chief executive.

Now, following the failed IPO, some are saying he’s unemployable. On the substitute hand, they stated that after NAB and Australia Put up as successfully.

“Whether he sticks around is the worthy put a query to now,” says Merlon’s Carlisle. “Whether he used to be there [at Latitude] as an agent alongside the underwriters to promote the substitute, or whether he used to be there this implies that of of his abilities as a CEO will in some contrivance be answered after we glance if he’s there in a year or so.”

Will this be Fahour’s reckoning? His song document suggests he’ll be simply magnificent.


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