Why it’s important to have skin in the game

Why it’s important to have skin in the game

Why it’s important to have skin in the game 150 150 Andrew Gratton

My dad taught me from a young age that it’s important to have skin in the game.

Dad left school when he was 13 and started working as a milkman and then as a mechanical engineer, but went back to night school and retrained at the age of 18. He studied financial services, worked in the city gaining knowledge and experience before starting his own business.

That business grew quickly into a strong company, but in the late 1980s an employee did something illegal that cost the company its licence and its clients, sending it under almost immediately. Dad had no choice but to start again.

While this was devastating, it taught him a lot of lessons that I’ve also adopted. The major one is that you’ve always got to be in control of your own destiny. Dad started, failed, and started again, but was always in control of his own and his family’s future.

Through this experience, dad also learned the importance of working in a business that understands the implications of compliance with the law. That’s one of the major reasons that attracted me to come and work for Viridian.

My journey to get here is a bit of an unusual one. Back in 2015, I had a great job at JP Morgan in London but was burnt-out by the long hours and lack of work-life balance. I started looking for a change of lifestyle when I saw an ad on Seek for a position at Viridian in Australia. It offered a significant pay cut but the opportunity to own equity in the business. I’d never seen that before in financial services.

So my partner and I packed up our lives and moved to the other side of the world in pursuit of new opportunities. What I’ve seen and been part of during my time at Viridian has made me realise that the gamble was worth it.

Despite the up-front pay cut, the opportunity to take ownership in Viridian has put me in a position I would not have achieved back at JP Morgan.

But more importantly, it’s put me in an environment with like-minded people who also have ownership in the business and so they believe in it and strive hard to drive it forward. This is one of our core principles at Viridian, and it plays out in the day to day running of the business. It’s woven into the framework that’s been built around compliance and legal structure as well as the focus on clients and staff.

I’m very proud of what this business is and what it’s become over the last four years. I’m grateful for the opportunity it’s given me to take control of my own destiny and I’m confident that it’s set for success for a long period into the future.

Andrew Gratton is a Portfolio Manager at Viridian Advisory

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