That was one of the reflections of outgoing VIC/TAS Regional Council Chair Steve Daniels F FIN after the recent popular annual Members dinner, where the Judo Bank founder took part in a Q&A.
“Having had NAB’s Ross McEwan last year, who has been such a great advocate for professionalism with Career Qualified in Banking at NAB, was fantastic,” he said.
“Equally to have Joseph this year – who is another advocate for professionalism in the industry who shows it not just with words but with investment in his people – is great for our members to hear from.
“And I think it is important to acknowledge both of them - it's a testimony to them as both individuals, and as leaders within the industry. They're engaging people to listen to, and so willing to make their time available to members.”
Reflecting on Joseph’s decision to create a new challenger bank, Steve complimented the Scot on his ability to both entertain, and offer important lessons to the audience. One of those was his reason for establishing a bank in his 50s - because he did not want to reflect back on a life of lost opportunities!'
“I think there's something in that for all of us. Don't for a moment think that you're not young enough or old enough to make a difference,” said Steve.
“For Joseph to want to establish a bank from scratch with a soundly aligned purpose, when others would be thinking ahead to retirement, then it's a fantastic mindset to have.
“The other thing he said, again around mindset, was when he and his business partner David Hornery were travelling the globe looking to get financial sponsorship to support the establishment of Judo.
“He got a ridiculous number of rejections – something like 80. It was a huge number, but Joseph never heard “no” – he just kept hearing “maybe”.
“How many times do you need to be knocked over before you say, I don't belong in this fight, I'm just going to graciously exit.”
The audience was also treated to Joseph’s reflections on his time at NAB during the GFC when he was in charge of business banking. He went to the Board with a Market Share strategy, believing there to be a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to build market share if it was done right.
“He received permission from the Board to deploy capital and lend more, at a time when other banks were winding back, reducing limits and becoming quite introverted,” Steve recounted.
“NAB’s business lenders were given authority to actually go out and build their books and the bank grew its market share as a result.
It was a very bold call at the time, but it didn't break the bank!
“NAB now commands 21.7% of business lending in Australia, and it makes you wonder how much of that market share is attributable to that decision made by Joseph in 2009 to be a contrarian when everybody else was stepping back that NAB actually stepped forward?”
Steve, who has concluded his term as the VIC/TAS Chair, and is being succeeded by CBA’s Zekija Glamocic F FIN, said it had been an honour to lead the Regional Council since 2019.
He added: “The past four years has been awesome, notwithstanding the challenge that COVID placed upon all member based organisations. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to share that journey with the VIC/TAS Council, who are all aligned in a passion to promote professionalism within the finance community. I certainly look forward to continuing my involvement with the Council, and wish Zekija all success in taking on the position of state Chair.”