Money men bonded by mate­ship

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

WHEN a mate is down and out, what does he need the most?

A sym­pa­thy visit and an in­spi­ra­tional rugby book, ac­cord­ing to KPMG big­wig Martin Blake, who dropped around to the Mos­man man­sion of AMP ex-boss Craig Meller yes­ter­day.

Mr Meller, who re­signed in the wake of dev­as­tat­ing rev­e­la­tions of AMP mis­con­duct at the bank­ing royal com­mis­sion, didn’t pop his head out to greet James Bond fan Mr Blake, who rolled up in his con­vert­ible Mercedes — num­ber­plate 007BND.

Mr Blake’s gift was a copy of for­mer Fiji rugby player Waisale Serevi’s bi­og­ra­phy, King Of The Sevens, which tells of the star ath­lete’s long road back to health from un­em­ploy­ment, de­pres­sion and heavy drink­ing.

Mr Blake, who is the NSW chair­man of ac­count­ing giant KPMG, lived up to his yachtie im­age, wear­ing boat shoes, shorts and a cap em­bla­zoned Brind­abella — the maxi-yacht he crews in his spare time.

Judg­ing by Mr Meller’s $4.8 mil­lion salary last year and a pala­tial home worth a touch more than that, it’s un­likely the banker will fol­low in the foot­steps of the hero he’s read­ing about.

The ges­ture fol­lowed a hor­ri­ble week for AMP at the bank­ing royal com­mis­sion. Mr Meller, who said he didn’t know about the lies de­spite be­ing at the helm since 2014, stepped down, say­ing he was “per­son­ally y dev­as­tated” by the is­sues raised.

Mr Blake and KPMG both h de­clined to com­ment.

Martin Blake ar­rives at Craig Meller’s house. Pic­ture: Jenny Evans

Waisale Serevi’s bi­og­ra­phy.

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