NAOS CEO Insights



March 9, 2023

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 10 March 2023

“It is not just the traditional drivers that drive them [Gen Z] to a purchase. They think about sustainability, fair trade, the product and how it was manufactured…Customers are looking to be able to authenticate the products that they’re buying” Andrew Toon, Australian General Manager, PayPal Inc
As part of the NAOS investment process, we pay particular attention to the comments made by company CEOs and business leaders in order to gain a greater understanding of the current investment environment and key trends that may be emerging. Below are quotes from the week which in our view detail some of the most important and prominent industry trends and economic factors impacting their businesses.  


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Payments & Financial Services

“So, payments, you have to realise, payments is the most frequent financial services use case. Nobody does any financial service more than paying. Everybody does that a few times a day” Jorn Lambert, Chief Digital Officer, Mastercard Inc

Mortgages & Lending

“I can’t remember a time when the Australian mortgage market didn’t feel competitive” Melanie Evans, CEO, ING Bank Australia

“It’s quite hard to get an understanding, given what we’re seeing, what level of difficulty our customers will see over the course of the year” Matt Comyn, CEO, Commonwealth Bank of Australia


“The past 3 years have been the most challenging and unpredictable for our industry in more than a generation” Erik Nordstrom, CEO, Nordstrom Inc

“We have not seen any kind of downturn if you like because we are bringing in constant newness, but the growth is slowing. We’re still in growth year-on-year, but it is slowing” John King, CEO, Myer Holdings Ltd

“It is not just the traditional drivers that drive them [Gen Z] to a purchase. They think about sustainability, fair trade, the product and how it was manufactured…Customers are looking to be able to authenticate the products that they’re buying” Andrew Toon, Australian General Manager, PayPal Inc

“In this particular environment right now, every major company, every boardroom with any major brand or retailer, they're trying to figure out their cost base” Harley Finkelstein, President, Shopify Inc

Supply Chain

“Post-pandemic, and with cost-of-living pressures affecting millions of Australian families, the last thing our nation needs is another supply chain crisis” Paul Scurrah, CEO, Pacific National Ltd

Fast Food & Restaurants

“During these times, it’s [business] almost even better…If you get fast food right, it’s recession proof” Steven Marks, CEO, Guzman y Gomez

Media & Entertainment

“In addition, our consumer research indicates that music subscriptions continue to hold up very well in a challenging economic environment. Fans recognised the enormous value of music subscriptions, still a relatively low-cost, high-value form of entertainment” Lucian Grainge, CEO, Universal Music Group NV


“For the first quarter of the year, we expect our yields to be around 20% above 2019 levels, thanks primarily to the demand for leisure travel. This trend is set to continue and even accelerate in the second quarter. Booking levels here are so high” Carsten Spohr, CEO, Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Corporate Sector

“But we don't think, and we see it also in larger companies now more slowly than in the small and medium companies this [video conferencing] way of running a business doesn't work. So, individuals will travel more” Carsten Spohr, CEO, Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Price Elasticity & Inflation

“We found that even small changes in the price have a big effect on demand, very big” Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Inc.

“Within the aggregate result, we now see the first sign that the slower rate of goods price inflation and global markets is being transmitted to Australia. There’s less inflation pressures in global market...we wanted to see that in Australia and we’re finally starting to see the first evidence that it’s being transmitted here” Philip Lowe, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

Building & Construction

“Conditions are the worst I have experienced in my 37 years in the industry. There will be more collapses to come. All the subbies have gone broke, so we are now employing a lot of own tradies” Scott Hutchison, Chairman, Hutchison Builders

Computers & Consumer Electronics

“[We] weren't expecting kind of a client unit volume to come down like it has this year. And so, what looked like a good level of [computer chip] inventory suddenly becomes not so good when demand has softened. But I think demand is generally stabilised” David Zinsner, CFO, Intel Corp.

Indian Economy

“I’ve been going to India for 30 years and sadly, there have been some false dawns. This time it feels different” Shayne Elliott, CEO, ANZ Group Ltd

“Energy independence is impossible for India without renewables, but with renewables it’s right in target” Andrew Forrest, Chairman, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

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Important information: This material has been prepared by NAOS Asset Management Limited (ABN 23 107 624 126, AFSL 273529) (NAOS) for general information purposes only and must not be construed as investment advice. It does not constitute an offer to purchase any security or financial product or service referred to herein. It does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular investor. Before making an investment decision, investors should consider obtaining professional investment advice that is tailored to their specific circumstances. Certain economic, market or company information contained in this material may have been obtained from published sources prepared by third parties. Nothing contained herein should be construed as granting by implication or otherwise, any license or right to use such third party content without the written permission of the owner.

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