Today an era in my life ended after I signed a contract to sell my investment management firm Sirius Fund Management. My working career is over. I first started work as a 10-year-old chipping Bathurst burrs with a hoe for my stepfather Alex Kelly. I went on to start my own business as a rabbit trapper and shooter and became a careful manager of my meagre cash assets. Interestingly, the contract I signed today was in the offices of a legal firm in George Street just down the road from the Royal Exchange building where I started my career with the chartered accounting firm, Price Waterhouse and Co in 1972 as a university undergraduate doing holiday work experience. I never wanted to be an accountant and in 1974 I was inducted into the firm with the senior partner giving me an introductory speech that included the never to be forgotten lines, “Well, this is the first year that Price Waterhouse has ever employed female graduates or Catholics.”
“That’s very enlightened. If they exclude those people where do they get their graduates from? Must be tough here for a female Catholic,” I thought.I hated working as an accountant. Hated every day at PW. The firm had given me an undertaking that I would never have to be an auditor, a promise they reneged on from the first day. I never trusted them from that day on and spent every spare moment of my early career there in the public gallery of the Sydney Stock Exchange watching with fascination what was going on. When my three year qualifying period was up I left.
So what does the future hold? I don’t know. Everyone tells me that I should have a plan. Well I don’t have one. I have a work out period with the new company getting the clients settled down, then I’m done. The only bigger change in your life than starting work is when you stop.