Internet Interview - Geoff Colgan


Geoff Colgan




Charter Consulting Inc



A brief explanation of your company and where it sits in the corporate landscape: Charter Consulting is a start-up management consultancy, focusing on business operations, with its core competency falling to the right of strategy and the left of technology. At six years old, Charter has 40 professional staff and, despite the tough general economic conditions and the challenges facing the professional services industry, we have managed a steady growth each year since inception. 

Job last held in Perth and when you left it: Sun Alliance Life Assurance, Ltd. (Purchased by Royal & SunAlliance and recently spun-off into the Promina Group, Ltd.), analyst, 1991.

What is your current role: Primarily responsible for business development and engagement management at Charter.

What other roles do you play in your industry or local business community: President of the Australian New Zealand American Chamber of Commerce, a non-partisan, non-profit organisation. ANZACC organises and supports activities incorporating the arts, academics and business. For example, in August we are hosting the AFL X-Men – a group of former AFL stars who are now promoting Aussie rules overseas.

Explain how you got this particular job:  I was living outside of New York when I married a Chicago lady and ended up commuting from Chicago each week.  Obviously this was not ideal and one of my wife’s staff saw an ad in the local business weekly and forwarded it to me.

Outline your office culture: Charter’s culture is very collaborative and very results-focused. It has an open door policy and encourages the team to reach out internally and externally to get the resources necessary to be successful. It can be demanding and difficult if you are not self-directed or unfamiliar with this type of environment.

How much commuting do you do: When I am not on the road I split my time between the office and home.  My commute to Chicago is about 75 to 90 minutes each way.

Does your job involve travel, if so how much, where to and to what purpose: My job involves quite a bit of travel, mainly within the US midwest. Typically we staff our consulting teams at the client location and I generally spend two to three days with each project team.

How well did your work in Perth equip you for your current job:  A lot of my time is spent serving financial service companies so my insurance experience provided a good baseline to build from. It was also a great introduction to the value and importance of developing business relationships – not superficial contacts but long-term business relations based on trust. This has been key to my ability to successfully build a network in the US, especially considering I started out knowing not a single soul.

Can you see yourself returning to Perth, if so how long and under what circumstances: It is a tough choice because no matter where we live, someone has to leave home. That said, I would be interested in increasing my involvement with Australian business while maintaining my base in Chicago, which is a good compromise. Australia is a wonderful country and Perth is a fantastic city – when the right opportunity presents itself I would have to consider it.

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