14/02/2006 - 21:00

Andrew Forrest through the looking glass

14/02/2006 - 21:00


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It is the little things that underline Andrew Forrest’s claims of an egalitarian, down-to-earth style.

Andrew Forrest through the looking glass

It is the little things that underline Andrew Forrest’s claims of an egalitarian, down-to-earth style.

There are no titles on the business cards of all who work for Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, of which he is chairman and managing director.

The company headquarters in West Perth’s Kings Park Road houses about 50 in a big, open-plan office. The cubicles are all roughly the same size, have the same facilities and come only to eye level when its occupant is seated.

It’s an office designed for easy, direct access.

“If something comes up and you need a top-level answer, a couple of steps will take you to the source,” one FMG executive told WA Business News.

Mr Forrest’s close family and outback upbringing has given him an easygoing, friendly demeanour that masks an inner drive that has taken him through the world’s financial and mining markets.

Here’s how some in the business world view the Forrest style.

“Andrew’s often labelled as a salesman. Why is that seen as a bad thing, to talk about a project and company he is so deeply involved with. That’s his job.” FMG department head

“Once, when he gave us some pretty tight deadlines, I thought ‘we are never going to make that’; but we did.” Senior FMG executive

“He is a visionary, clearly able to articulate his vision and leave no-one in any doubt as to his expectations.”

“He is interested in challenging conventional wisdom at every level. He believes challenging norms is the way to achieve successful outcomes.” Peter Meurs, managing director, WorleyParsons

“He’s driven. He puts big challenges in front of you, asks you to try hard and leaves you to do that. But he doesn’t necessarily take no for an answer.” FMG department head

“He’s a great marketer, but he does have a project.” Perth stockbroker

“He’s told me to go away and do the job, but said that if you need me to make a presentation or meet someone, I’ll be there.” Senior FMG executive

”I’ve never heard of anyone, anywhere, bring in a 45 million tonne a year iron ore project in three years.” Independent engineering consultant


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