Apart from being CEO, Mark is regular opinion writer at Business News. His background is in editorial, having run the editorial and research team for the better part of 17 years. Mark has more than 25 years' experience in newspapers and online media in Perth and London. He has a bachelor of commerce degree from UWA and a graduate diploma in English from Curtin University. In addition to writing, Mark has shared radio segments on business with some of WA's leading on-air broadcasters. For those who want to listen to Mark, try out the BN weekly podcast.
Thanks to all the well wishes as I took the reins at Business News. It is exciting to have a new challenge. I leave editorial in good hands, there's plenty of experience there and, obviously, I am not that far away. After almost three decades of observing CEOs and their actions, it is now my turn to have a go at running a business.
The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is on a major fundraising drive to bolster cardiovascular research in Western Australia, to further localise study of this major killer and head off a leakage in philanthropic donations to eastern states institutions.
In this Business News podcast, Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss property in Scarborough, Claremont, Elizabeth Quay and the Hyatt, Private capital boosts HealthEngine and Muscleworx, distilleries win gongs and March quarter deals environment.
Offshore oil & gas: Woodside Petroleum’s February launch of a new supply ship that can use liquefied natural gas as a fuel is an early move in what could be a larger focus on driving new market demand.
As management and staff at Woodside Petroleum keep a watchful eye on the development of their new digs at Capital Square, the company is not waiting to move to its high-tech building to develop digital capability.
Its been a while since I updated this. Most recent reading was Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem, a great historic introduction to many of the Middle East's current issues.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.