Cricket chiefs stick together
Talk about continuity at Jolimont Street.
Not only is acting Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings the former deputy of his pilloried predecessor David Peever: the two are in business together.
Margin Call can reveal Peever’s investment vehicle Maroochy haven is a 5 per cent shareholder in Eddings’ Melbourne-based risk management consultancy Riskcom.
Eddings owns 35 per cent of the business, which, says its promotional material, helps “turn your risk issues into improved business outcomes”.
While that sounds like a useful service for the administrators of the disgraced national summer code, we gather any risk management services offered to Cricket Australia by Eddings have been given as a director, without any extra charge.
The commercial relationship between the boardmates underlines a clubbiness that has been thoroughly documented by
Simon Longstaff and his Ethics Centre in their review on Cricket Australia’s corporate culture.
A “core complaint” identified by the Ethics Centre was that Cricket Australia “does not respect anyone other than its own’’. Seems that also applied to investment opportunities.
It also perhaps illuminates how it is that Eddings — who has been a director on the board of the fractious sport for more than a decade — is now being tipped as a possible permanent successor to Peever.
As previously noted, the other internal option, Jacqueline Hey, also has a business relationship with her now former Cricket Australia chair Peever.
The pair sit on the board of the $7.3 billion listed fund Australian Foundation Investment Company.
Hey is also a director on Richard Goyder’s Qantas board and Graeme Hunt’s AGL board, which could make the chair gig at Cricket Australia a stretch.
In the pipeline
David Peever remains a board member of the David Irvinechaired Foreign Investment Review Board, which recently advised Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on CK Infrastructure’s $13bn bid for gas pipeline business APA.
Bizarrely, the Hong Kong behemoth CKI — which is controlled by billionaire Li Kashing’s family — chose not to employ a government relations firm to help on its politically fraught takeover of the critical infrastructure.
So this week the Hong Kongers were apparently surprised when Frydenberg advised the infrastructure giant to come back with an arrangement that wasn’t impossible for him to approve. It seems that means either CKI brings in a local partner or agrees to carve off a major chunk of the 7500km east coast gas grid.
Either way, it looks like a few more all-nighters for CKI’s Morgan Stanley investment banker Julian Peck.
And it should give a certain frisson to the Christmas Party that APA is throwing for clients on Thursday at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Wonder if any operatives from Garry Weaven’s IFM Investors — which is positioning itself to swoop on APA as CKI stumbles — will be along in the crowd?
Sure, they’ll have to endure another night of managing director Mick McCormack banging his bloody drums, but the cocktail deal chatter could make up for that.
To happier Morgan Stanley news: Steve Harker, Richard Wager and fellow veteran at the investment bank Ian Chambers yesterday celebrated the 20th anniversary of the American-headquartered firm’s sales and trading business in Australia.
And where better for the Friday lunchtime knees-up than Bondi Icebergs?
The Morgan Stanley crew — who now have an 8.5 per cent market share in local equities trading — were joined by some of the doyens of the funds management scene: John Sevior (now an employee at Magellan Financial Group), David Dixon (the equities boss at Colonial First State Global Asset Management) and Chris Kourtis (of Ellerston Capital and recipient of the “Hall of Fame” award at this year’s Australian Fund Manager Awards).
A smaller field
One of former Labor headkicker Stephen Conroy’s key rivals in the race to chair the Football Federation Australia board has vacated the field.
Judith Griggs — a fancied candidates in the field of 12 — has withdrawn her candidacy.
Griggs — who chaired the review that informed last month’s radical constitutional shake-up on soccer in Australia and who, problematically, is based in Switzerland — cited her international responsibilities and lack of soccer experience as she told the FFA she was tapping out.
Griggs was a favourite of ALeague club powerbrokers Simon Pearce (who hasn’t had the best week thanks to an interesting report in Der Spiegel on his relationship with his billionaire Abu Dhabi paymaster) and Greg Griffin, the Melbourne City vicepresident and former Adelaide United chair respectively.
There had been a hope the former Australian Grand Prix CEO would rearrange her Europe sports rights business affairs to succeed Steven Lowy (who in 2015 controversially succeeded his billionaire father Sir Frank Lowy) in the plum sporting gig.
The FFA chair now looks to be a race between the former Labor Victorian senator Conroy and Sydney-based PwC managing director Joseph Carrozzi, who is well-connected in Liberal circles.
Griggs’ withdrawal will also boost the other two female candidacies: ex-soccer official Heather Reid and Linda Norquay, the CFO of Lachlan Murdoch’s private investment company Illyria.
APA Group managing director Mick McCormack