We need to reconnect money to those who would make business a route to wealth, inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs who understand that wealth creation will have a big impact by solving bigger societal problems.
I Was that Annoying Kid
at School Always Trying
to Sell You Stuff.
Building businesses is in my blood, but several experiences poured fuel over the fire in my belly. First, it was the death of my 14-year-old brother when I was 10. The sudden loss gave me massive anxiety around my mortality. Ultimately, I channeled that fear into a determined drive to live to my fullest potential.
I saw school as a marketplace rather than a place to study. It wasn't long before I began running a market-stall on the weekends, selling watches and trinkets, which turned out to be my first trading experience. At 15, I left school to run my first business.
Four years after leaving school, my business got into financial trouble, and I closed it down. Humility was the most important lesson from this experience.
Fast-forward to now. I'm a globally renowned expert in Mergers & Acquisitions, and the founder of Unity Group, a firm specializing in buying and selling businesses, as well as attracting capital investments, and creating opportunities for small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME) to scale.
I'm A Bona Fide Deal Junkie!
In 1997, I owned a telecommunications company. Other companies were soliciting me, trying to acquire my business, and they all shared a commonality - they weren't going to give me any money upfront, but rather, would pay me through an earn-out. It occurred to me that I could buy a business myself without any money. When I did my first deal, it was a huge epiphany. I grew by a year's worth of sales in an afternoon without investing any of my money or borrowing from the bank. It was a distressed deal, and I basically bought the company for one dollar.
Now I'm hooked on doing deals.
If it's a good deal, I pursue it. I've acquired businesses in telecommunications, health clubs, spas, a music school, IT support, training, business process outsourcing, cleaning, air conditioning, and a cooking school, to name a few. With investments in 12 countries, you can say I'm business-sector agnostic.
It's Not About the Money.
As my reputation grew, people began chasing me to work for them in some capacity so they could acquire companies for no money down, too. I can't work for other people; it's just not in my blood. But being pursued by entrepreneurs gave me one of my best business ideas ever. In 2009, The Harbour Club was born.
Harbour Club is my solution to cheesy seminars that have all the razzmatazz but are skinny on content. It provides experiential training to entrepreneurs, along with real tactics for buying, fixing, and selling businesses. Savvy entrepreneurs can buy competitors or a different business instead of starting one, and do it without the need for capital, debt, or expensive advisors. It's a relatively obscure – but vital – niche of entrepreneurship, which makes it a game-changer in terms of personal wealth and satisfaction.
With more than 1000 active members, The Harbour Club has become a change engine for good - we help entrepreneurs become great at wealth creation so they can be problem solvers in their communities.
It's My Mission to Democratize Wealth.
I help small- to medium-sized businesses unlock shareholder value and go public through a governance structure I created called Agglomeration™. This trademarked structure allows small companies to own collectively and control a fully-reporting public company and gain access the capital markets.
I speak worldwide on the 14 acquisition deal structures that allow you to buy and sell businesses. I'm still in awe to have been invited to Buckingham Palace and The British Houses of Parliament to advise on business and enterprise matters. My commentary has been featured in the UK in The Sunday Times, Financial Times, and numerous other publications, as well as appearing on The Money Channel.
I'm honest. I'm passionate. And I don't tell you what you want to hear – I tell you what you need to hear. I know that when wealth creation is connected to the people creating the business, rather than the already-wealthy for no reason, equalization becomes possible. Wealthy entrepreneurs can solve the most significant problems, unlike struggling entrepreneurs. Wealth should not be exclusive. Participation in good business creates jobs and that should be rewarded. This concept gets me out of bed in the morning. I'm living proof of what I preach.
I call Singapore home with my wife and two children. We love to travel and have homes in Mallorca and Ukraine. I also love boats, art, and doing deals with fellow entrepreneurs who don't take themselves too seriously. When I'm not in Asia, you might find me at Art Basel in Miami or bobbing around the Mediterranean.