22/09/2016

The following is an abbreviation of the opening comments given by Michael to clients at the National Gallery of Victoria on 2 August. …………………………

I’m glad you’re all here because I need to address a rumour going around that I’m going to retire in four weeks’ time. Let me tell all of you the truth that I don’t expect to ever retire. I also don’t expect to arrive in the office on 1 September expecting my desk to still be my desk and everything as it was for the last THIRTY years. For a start, Marie wouldn’t let it. I’ve promised her an easier life and she has a certain way of making sure that what I promise her happens.

What I mean is something different. The word “retirement” does not sit well with me. It conjures up images of me shuffling in slippers waiting for the end. You and I know, I’m not that type of person. What is true is that I’m retiring from work as I’ve known it – the regular round of 9am to 5pm, 5 days a week and beyond. In the same way that we have planned for all of you, we have also planned for Marie and me. Yes, I am retiring from the day to day operations of APC but not from life. I fully intend to go on living.

So from next month, I’ll be starting a new chapter. It will be different but there’ll be much of this one that I’ll carry forward with me. The people I’ve met, the experiences we’ve shared – these are things I’ll remember and cherish. I set up APC in order to make a difference to the lives of those I had the good fortune to have as clients. We have people here tonight who have been clients for almost thirty years of our journey. We have many in attendance tonight who have been clients for over twenty years. There are people here tonight who have known me from my school days and my early working life. To all of you I would like to say thank you for being such an important part of my life’s journey.

I will also never forget the team and the teamwork at APC, and the ups and downs of a thirty year journey. When I began APC there was no real internet, nor websites. There was little automation. What we did over the years, we did together. Without our collective energies, enthusiasm, and will to find new and better solutions, none of the innovations we now take for granted could have happened. To our team: thank-you. I’ve enjoyed being with you and I’m proud of what we’ve done. I know you’ll go on creating, experimenting and moving forward. You can be sure I’ll be eager to follow the changes.

There’s truth in the idiom, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ and we’ve proved it – together. And just for the record, I repeat again, I am not retiring. I’ll be working with just as much energy as ever but on the things I’ve put on hold over the years. There’ll be more time for Marie, our family and our friends, and of course travel…I call that living. I became a grandfather for the first time two weeks ago. This really is the beginning of a new stage of life.

With respect to the future of APC, Rob Sarafov will become a majority shareholder and Hayden Windsor will take up the balance of the APC shareholding. And yes, I will continue to invest my funds in the Classic 100 portfolio. So in conclusion, this is not goodbye, just a change of direction. Thank you all for the richness you have afforded me on my journey.