NAOS CEO Insights



December 13, 2019

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 13 December 2019 By NAOS Asset Management

“This is a trend we've seen for some time. The cost reduction of [rooftop] solar has surpassed forecasts, but no one predicted it would be this deep, this fast” Audrey Zibelman, CEO, Australian Energy Market Operator [manager of the National & Wholesale Electricity Markets]

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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Domestic Media & Advertising

“The media [industry] is facing widespread consolidation. This will see some businesses close and regrettable job losses across metropolitan and regional media companies. There are too many operators vying for a diminishing traditional advertising market and that means companies will need to join forces to address the challenges” Antony Catalano, CEO, Australian Community Media & Printing [regional newspaper & media company]

“The economy will bounce. House prices will increase, which will fuel increased consumer spending, increased marketing spend from retailers, and increased spend on brand building by all marketers” Brendon Hill, CEO, Bauer Media Australia Group [Australia’s largest magazine company]

“We have the Tokyo Olympics this [upcoming] year – I think that will be a stimulus for the [media] market. We will be cycling over some lower prior year comparisons and we are seeing some very early signs of certain parts of the market coming back” Grant Blackley, CEO, Southern Cross Media Ltd

Domestic Consumer

“While the economy is sort of showing signs it will be ok, we’re seeing quite the opposite with consumer confidence” Patrick Delany, CEO, Foxtel Pty Ltd

Domestic Housing

“2019 was a year of unprecedented market conditions on the back of what I think was a manufactured slowdown for the property market. I don’t think we’ve seen conditions like that for a very long time. It’s definitely improving, you can see the conditions getting better and better” Owen Wilson, CEO, REA Group

Energy & Resources

“This is a trend we've seen for some time. The cost reduction of [rooftop] solar has surpassed forecasts, but no one predicted it would be this deep, this fast” Audrey Zibelman, CEO, Australian Energy Market Operator [manager of the National & Wholesale Electricity Markets]


“There has never been a more urgent time for further reform to drive down the cost of healthcare in Australia” David Koczkar, Chief Customer Officer, Medibank Private Ltd


“The Australian economy has done very well in the last 20 years and the tech industry is now doing very well” Eric Yuan, CEO, Zoom Video Communications Inc

“There is more data floating around in the internet and data centres than ever before – more than ever before, [in] 2004, 5 petabytes was the total amount of data in the universe. And today, there’s probably 5,000 petabytes” Nikesh Arora, CEO, Palo Alto Networks Inc [multinational cloud computing company]

Global Economy

“As we look ahead, I think one word sums up the current economic environment and that would be confused” Gary Burnison, CEO, Korn Ferry Inc [global management consultancy group]

Global Construction

“Cement consumption [in China] in the fourth quarter has exceeded our expectations. There has been a pronounced rebound in infrastructure construction towards the end of the year” Chen Bolin, Director, China Cement Association

Global Consumer

“Sentiment had come off the peak, but we've now seen a rebound in consumer sentiment. And then on spending, spending [is] very strong as well” Jen Piepszak, CFO, JPMorgan Chase & Co


“Heading into the world of autonomy, and so this is the next great revolution. And we've had no issue attracting really strong talent into the business because they see how exciting the transformation is in the auto business. And it's not just in one particular location, it's a worldwide transformation” Marion Harris, CEO, Ford Motor Company

Global Retail

“The market opportunity for a more personalised apparel buying experience is enormous” Katrina Lake, CEO, Stitch Fix Inc [NASDAQ listed digital retailer]

“Retail is changing rapidly, and customer expectations are higher than ever. Customers are consolidating the number of retailers that they visit on a regular basis to delivering convenience and value through a personalized interconnected experience” Craig Menear, CEO, The Home Depot Inc


“Cattle prices are high… and it (pig swine flu) has impacted probably cattle and sheep prices because demand for that meat is higher particularly because of the pork position” Ian Wilton, Chairman, Elders Ltd

Finance & Lending

“The available addressable market is huge. If anyone thinks Visa and Mastercard are going to just ignore what I call the BNPL [buy now pay later] third platform alongside debt and credit cards you now have evidence globally that Mastercard are going into the area” Ahmed Fahour, CEO, Latitude Financial Services Ltd




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. 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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