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The Sunday Age - 'Yesterday, Victoria - now, the world'

Author: Stephen Cauchi
Date: 29/07/2007
Words: 433
Source: SAGĀ  Section: News
Page: 6

STEVE BRACKS could end up on the boards of World Vision, Macquarie Bank, even Telstra, executive recruiters say.

And John Thwaites, with his water and environment background - plus his legal skills - would be a star recruit for companies seeking to improve their sustainability credentials, they add.

A director with Morgan Consulting, Andrew Aston, says: "Their experience in government sees them best suited to working in an advisory capacity with companies looking to do business in the public sector.

"I think they could each secure a number of corporate board positions. They could work with a top 200 company in either the transport, infrastructure or utilities industries. Thwaites, because of his legal qualifications, could easily get a job as a partner in a major law firm.

"These employers will want them because of their connections and understanding of how the public sector works. But neither are likely to be appointed as a CEO or in a similar senior operational role in my opinion."

Mr Aston said the pair could earn about $250,000 a year plus bonuses.

But the chairman of the Beddison Group, Tony Beddison, was more upbeat about Mr Bracks' career and salary prospects.

"He's got impeccable international connections, he's got impeccable connections throughout Australia in each of the states and he's still a relatively young man.

"It is possible that he could run an organisation the size of Telstra or BHP. Any of those top 20 corporations he would have the credentials to run."

Mr Beddison said Mr Bracks could look forward to a big pay rise. "His salary could be between $1.5 and $3.5 million a year. He could be earning 5 to 10 million a year with some of our high-profile merchant banks, Macquarie or somebody like that. He's more likely to be earning his current salary in a month than a year."

However, he suggested that Mr Bracks might refuse big money in favour of the "inner rewards" of running a non-profit organisation such as World Vision. "I suspect he won't chase the higher dollar."

An executive with Derwent Executive Recruitment, Andrew Grant, said Jeff Kennett's post-political career was a good guide as to what the pair might do. Mr Kennett serves on the boards of Australian Seniors Finance and SelecTV. He also chairs the national depression initiative beyondblue and is president of the Hawthorn Football Club.

A director of the Talent 2 recruitment firm, John Banks, said Mr Bracks could work in a communications role for a large organisation. "He's a good speaker, he presents well."

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