Mainsheet sails away

CORPORATE advisery firm Mainsheet Corporate has set sail from its big brother, with management buying out 50 per cent shareholder Freehills.

Mainsheet is now wholly-owned by managing director Maurice Argento, who is based in Perth, and executive director Shane McEwen, whose Sydney consultancy merged with Mainsheet early this year.

The recent change of ownership has not led to significant changes in Mainsheet’s operations but is expected to open up additional opportunities for the firm.

Mainsheet will continue to operate from Freehills premises in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne and Freehills partner Bruno Camarri remains Main-sheet chairman.

Mr Camarri founded Mainsheet with former Mallesons Stephen Jaques partner Mick Bolto, who continues as a specialist adviser based in Melbourne.

They recruited Mr Argento in early 2000 and the firm now has about 30 staff and consultants and annual revenue of $5.5 million.

Mr Argento said the main benefit of the management buyout was that it would remove potential conflicts of interest.

Mainsheet would now have the freedom to pursue new clients without having to worry about potential conflicts with Freehills’ clients.

It would also have more scope to work for other law firms, who may have been deterred by Freehills shareholding.

Freehills was originally the sole shareholder in Mainsheet but reduced its stake to 50 per cent when several executives acquired a stake in the business.

Mr Argento said he and Mr McEwen intended to dilute their shareholdings by implementing a staff ownership plan.

Mainsheet provides corporate strategy, performance improvement, corporate finance and leadership services. It works for both established organisations and emerging businesses.

Western Australian clients include logistics company Toll, mining company Rio Tinto, builder Multiplex, government agencies such as Westrail and the Water Corporation and Freehills.

Interstate clients include oil company BP, Treasury and Finance in Victoria, defence contractor ADI and Oil Search Australia. It has also recently established an alliance with private equity fund manager Hawkesbridge.

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