Robert Milner, Chairman of Washington H. Soul Pattinson & Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL) and Brickworks Ltd (ASX: BKW), recently humbled me by taking some time to sit down for The Australian Investors Podcast and talk about his life, the journey to becoming one of Australia’s most renowned business leaders and, of course, his investment process.
What would you ask?
When you’re afforded the time to talk with one of Australia’s true business leaders, arguably the best capital allocator in the country, the head of one of Australia’s most affluent families and a key decision-maker behind so many of the great Australian companies we know and interact with daily… what do you ask?
Before I get to that, I need to tell you a story…
I have always admired Washington H. Soul Pattinson (WHSP) and its myriad of holdings in businesses like TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPG), Brickworks, Contact Asset Management (see our recent podcast), Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX: API), the BKI Investment Company Ltd (ASX: BKI) and more.
Naturally, I was more than a little giddy when Rob generously agreed to speak with me.
As usual (but with a little more enthusiasm than normal), I prepped before my chat with Rob. Well in advance I went back to the source notes and learned about him, the WHSP story and his family.
On the day, I got into my office extra early for set-up. Then I dialled him into the call. It was great. It went well. Then…
After an hour or so, I peeled myself off the seat only to realise the quality of audio file was rubbish!
The recording was toast. Talk about technical errors.
Fortunately, Rob is a generous and honest person and, naturally, agreed (yet again) to put more time aside to do the recording. Phew!
What we talked about
In this episode of The Australian Investors Podcast, Robert talks to:
- The Soul Patts story and why it works
- Life growing up with hard-working business people around him
- What he is most proud of as an investor and business leader
- Family pride and capital preservation
- How he and his team assess new opportunities
- What really makes for a good CEO, Founder and manager
- The importance of cold hard cash, dividends and business resilience
- Why patient investors rarely need debt
- His #1 piece of money and investing advice
This is one of my ‘must-listen’ episodes from the Investors Podcast series thus far and I’m thrilled and humbled that I was able to share it with you.
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Thanks for listening.