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Mark Pownall

Mark Pownall has around three decades of media experience. Prior to becoming CEO of Business News he ran the content operations of the business and was integral to the implementation of all the company’s digital products –twice daily email newsletters, weekly podcasts, deals database and BNiQ search engine. Mark has a Commerce degree from UWA and a post-graduate qualification in English from Curtin University. 

Targets are fine, just not on your back

Sustainable growth based on realistic projections and outcomes can help business avoid the pitfalls some in the timber and wine sectors have experienced.

CEO lunch with Nick Bayes

Nick Bayes says The Brand Agency diversified its offering and took on work other agencies avoided to push through the recent downturn.

Costs cruel manufacturing vision

Is it overly optimistic to believe WA could become a centre for battery manufacturing?

Mark my words podcast

Podcast: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss lithium's $2 billion plus expansion, iron ore revival continues, Charlie Bass, digital health, Brendan Gore, and our oil and gas features reveals 15 projects.

CEO lunch with Brendan Gore

Despite his non-linear career pathway, Brendan Gore’s resources sector roles have provided invaluable experience for his leadership at Peet.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss positive signs in the property market, new mining and gas projects, a 'staggering' oil discovery, and our annual review of WA's arts companies.

Change a constant as city grows

Opinion: Sensible development is the only way forward for a city beset by urban sprawl such as Perth.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss GST changes, house prices, contract news, Mining technology, airfares, and total shareholder returns.

Not too little, not too much, but just right

Opinion: Too many governments spend their time trying to be all things to all people, rather than seeking to deliver a couple of landmark reforms.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss defence contracts, Scarborough high rise, Landgate and TAB privatisation, Atlas Iron, 2018's RIsing Stars, and our special report on Indigenous business.

HBF boss outlines his plans

In a wide-ranging video interview, HBF managing director John Van Der Wielen has sat down with Mark Pownall to discuss the group’s future growth strategy, along with his diverse career and regulatory challenges facing the finance sector.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss Perth house price outlook, Atlas Iron takeover, BGC asset sale starts, WA job vacancies, population growth and an interview with the CEO of HBF.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss BHP’s new iron ore mine, plus more good news on lithium and nickel, the battle over Atlas Iron and shipping rights at Port Hedland, Perth house prices – which suburbs have delivered the best long-term returns, and our special report on infrastructure.

Hohnen a reluctant ‘entrepreneur’

David Hohnen has been at the top of his game for two decades, and is one of many quality local businesspeople named in the Queen’s Birthday honours this month.

CEO lunch with Hayley Cormann

Hayley Cormann has a clear idea of what she wants to achieve during her (short) term as president of The Law Society of Western Australia.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss FMG expansion, Quintis, Cooper & Oxley, defence contracts, Immersive Technologies, and our special report on distilleries and breweries.

Money managers face trust deficit

Opinion: Federal government inquiries are shaking the superannuation tree. What will be interesting is how the different players respond.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss BGC, Wesfarmers, National Lifestyle Villages, battery plant speculation, blockchain, and our special report is information and communications technology.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss defence contracts, LNG developments, high density housing, master entrepreneurs, The West Australian, lithium and our special report on philanthropy.

Emotive issues all talk

A renewed activist focus on the carbon sequestration efforts on Barrow Island is, like many populist arguments these days, abusing language to stir up emotions.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss the state and federal budgets, three byelections in WA (or maybe four), regulator activity, and our special report this week is the wine industry.

CEO interview with Nev Power

Former Fortescue Metals Group CEO Nev Power’s new career as a non-executive director has started with Perth Airport.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss Belmont Park apartments, Lithium projects, Fringe Festival, Chris Sutherland, and BN's special report on universities.

The cost of complacency

Will financial services companies wish they had taken a different path all those decades ago, when superannuation nest eggs looked so attractive?

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss $3bn federal infrastructure boost, Perth’s urban sprawl, Burrup gas projects, global LNG production, Westin Hotel opens and mining projects.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall, Matt Mckenzie, and Katie McDonald discuss Gorgon stage two, corporate tax debate, defence contracts, employment data, fracking ban, tourism, and our building and construction feature.

CEO lunch with Andrew Hall

A survivor of the tech wreck, Andrew Hall tasted success in the venture capital space before launching his own new startup, Formalytics.

Union of convenience may be a step too far

Past overreach on IR and current political realities combined to mute the federal government’s options in terms of the new ‘super union’.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer and Mark Pownall discuss house price recovery, lithium contract win, automation in WA, remuneration report, GST, indigenous contracting, our feature on corporate finance includes big recent takeovers and the trends in other mergers and acquisitions + a capital raising wrap-up.

CEO lunch with Peter Harold

After some early travel for work and moves within the resources sector, consistency has been a hallmark of Peter Harold’s career.

Rubber meets road on health

Opinion: The business community’s embrace of cycling fundraising events provides benefits way beyond just the dollar value raised.

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Mark Pownall's Picks

Recent reading

For the Aussie history buffs. Like a lot of things if you think polarised society, royals behaving badly or domestic terrorism are new things ... think again. Steve Harris is an accomplished journalist and media entrepreneur, so this a little different although his home town of Melbourne features prominently.

The Contiki story. It is a racy read with plenty of business tips from a backpacker who took his business global ... and pretty much lost the lot. The business journey is outlined in extraordinary detail. A must read for anyone who has travelled on the cheap to Europe.

Great management text if you are looking for someone to make sense of all the models and theories that sometimes attain cult status. Co-author is Perth-based Paul Culmsee.

Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem, a great historic introduction to many of the Middle East's current issues. In fact, when you see what goes on there today, a lot of it is explained by this book

Another fascinating read was Peter Rees' book Bearing Witness about Australia's great WW1 war correspondent Charles Bean. I note there's a competing biography by Ross Coulthart which I haven't read yet.

Also worth reading was one I dragged out of my father's library. William L Shirer was a foreign correspondent based in Berlin in 1930s and, due to America's late entry into WW2, was there during the early part of that conflict. His book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is half way between and academic work and the modern histories we are used to which are more entertaining. His book is awesome in its documentation and given a human element by the number of eye witness accounts he provides.

I really enjoyed The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin which was not only about the US presidency at the start of the 20th century, but the unique role investigative journalism played in reform. It reviews the incredible reporting backed by gutsy publishers who serialised stories on concerning issues with both economic and social implications. These journalists also had unprecedented access to the presidency, especially the progressive Franklin Roosevelt. As the circulation-boosting power of this style of journalism rose, however, some went too far, making up stories and spitefully attacking political leaders - leading to the expression muckrakers. The tabloids of today have historical precedent!

Sir Bob's visit

Some of the VIPs who really did have lunch with Sir Bob.

Recent reading

Just got through this great book by Bob de la Motte, well known in Perth finance circles. Its about his life, growing up in South Africa and competing in the 90km Comrades Marathon.

Another book worth mentioning is Njinga by a good friend of mine Kate Leeming - she's also just released a film on her trans-African cycling trip and is preparing to turn it into a TV documenary series. Her next project is Antarctica.

Find it here: www.kateleeming.com

Executive remuneration

Worth checking out our CEO/executive/director remuneration list here. There are thousands of WA names on it ... 59 pages of salaries if you are up for it.

Bitcoin

Meanwhile, I am awaiting a copy of this (not a Christmas hint - review copy coming I am told) which I expect will help decipher much about the mysterious world of bitcoin. This has been co-authored by a friend of mine and former colleague Michael Casey who has been writing regular columns on bitcoin for the past year or more. I have passed on a few tidbits to him about activity in Australia, but I have no idea if that was useful.

My all-time favourite business and political books are here on my Facebook page.

Most-read

Visionary medico wins 40under40

This year’s First Amongst Equals winner is a passionate medical specialist but he’s also a visionary entrepreneur who has a lot in common with successful business leaders.

Vale Geoff Rasmussen

Western Australian corporate leader Geoff Rasmussen passed away on Friday night after a long battle with cancer.

Builton fails, administrator appointed

One of state’s biggest residential construction firms, Builton Group, has succumbed to the financial stresses engulfing the sector, appointing an external administrator earlier today after reports of the company’s financial troubles emerged last week.

Builton failure a costly housing hit

The collapse of yet another Western Australian residential builder appears set to further upset the delicate state of the sector, with financiers, insurers, 350 trade creditors and as many as 130 home owners facing losses.

most commented

Shark cull outcry overreaction

The current shark cull is a politically challenging issue, but one where Colin Barnett is right to dig in because he has time and momentum on his side.

Daylight savers may have to wait awhile

Daylight saving may be the victim of Western Australia's election - further bemusing those who watch us from a distance.

Time to stop slaughter in our backyard

While the public spotlight on the offshore ill treatment of animals bred for slaughter is commendable, why does the RSPCA shirk such action when it comes to our own backyards, literally?

Fitness freaks need more Jacob’s ladders

I note the fuss made around the recent closure of Jacob’s Ladder, a stairway to Kings Park which, due to its popularity as an exercise venue, has earned the ire of local residents.