Growing up, new MyState CEO Brett Morgan wanted to be a physiotherapist but opted for economics and “a job in a bank.”
Fast forward a couple of decades and Morgan, 49, has built an international finance career that has taken his family—wife of 20 years Leisa and daughters Ashley, 18, and Darcey, 17—from Sydney’s northern beaches to India and now to Tasmania.
“I love chasing opportunities and experiences,” says Morgan, who has ridden a motorbike through the Himalayas three times, would have the Manly rugby league team as his Mastermind topic and took up running half marathons in his late thirties.
What was your first job?
As an 11-year-old, I delivered pamphlets. Spent six hours folding them, then eight hours walking Sydney streets to earn about 50 cents an hour. I did it until one day a dog chased me down the street … I could have been huge!
What are your kids like with money?
They’re clever with it. They both have jobs and are quite money aware. They have accounts for both saving and spending on things like fuel and fun.
Your business and life philosophies?
Being a good person is my overarching one. Work hard and play hard. Have a crack.
Your greatest accomplishments?
I have an absolutely wonderful family and that’s not an accomplishment per se but it’s something I’m really proud of. Landing this job is a lifelong dream. I always wanted to lead a challenger business with significant growth ambitions, so I’m predicting the future and saying this will be my greatest career achievement.
Your idea of perfect luxury?
We had an old caravan called Carol which we spent two weeks in every January on the mid-north coast of NSW with a couple of other families. No power, no screens, kids go off and come back when they’re hungry.
What do you spend money on?
Experiences. I love going to new places. I also love a game of golf.
What would you never do again?
When I was 25 I won the chance to abseil off a tall building in Sydney. I would never do that again. I was so scared.
Advice to your 20-year-old self?
Don’t be as serious as you are. Go out and have more fun.
What’s the most important thing for banks to get right now?
Treating customers well.
What inspired you to choose this path in business?
I was naturally driven by businesses that serve customers. I started with a major bank in Australia and hated being a number. I was lucky enough to join ING before it launched and had the most amazing 15 years of really challenging the status quo. I love being part of a team and culture where we are all fighting the same fight. So it was about finding that again. MyState was on my radar because it was small enough to make fast decisions and make a difference, and human enough to deliver great service.
What’s the biggest strength of MyState right now?
A great team with significant growth aspirations and a really positive vibe. Everyone I’ve met so far is excited and positive about the opportunity we have in front of us.
Describe your leadership style.
I lead from the front. I wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. I spent six years in a fintech where you roll your sleeves up and do whatever needs to be done to succeed, from taking customer service calls to pitching to the government. I’m about challenging the status quo, thinking big, being inclusive, and collaborating.
Your hidden talent?
There’s a couple. I can juggle and I can ice skate—and I can probably juggle while ice skating.
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