Sir Michael Hintze Delivers Keynote Speech at Melbourne Foundation for Business and Economics Annual Dinner

Speaking to an audience of leading business people, policymakers, academics, and investors, Sir Michael Hintze delivered the keynote speech at the Melbourne Foundation for Business and Economics Annual Dinner on March 8, 2018. During his speech, Sir Michael shared his personal journey, recounting his family’s history and explaining his strong connection to Australia:

“If there’s one word to sum up my family’s journey, it would be Complexity. The Hintze family history originates in Germany. My forefathers moved from Hoxter in Westphalia, to Finland in the late 1700’s. From Finland, my part of the family moved to Russia. Both sets of my grandparents left Russia for China courtesy of the Bolshevik revolution. My parents were born and married there. I too was born in China, in Harbin on July 27, 1953. For your interest, that was the day the Korean War ended. Post all the trauma, the family left China. We were stateless refugees. Australia welcomed us. I believe we won the lottery! I owe Australia an enormous gratitude. It was our safe harbour and a place to thrive.”

Sir Michael then turned to his career, explaining how he has always sought to find an investment edge:

“Let me talk about the challenge of creating value. You start with noise – a plethora of prices, news and events. You have to structure that noise into data sets to be able to create information and do more work on it to create knowledge. The problem is that because of education and data services, many can get to that knowledge…True Alpha lies in insight and the only way to create insight from knowledge in through imagination. For that imagination to be effective, you need context and deep analysis.”

He also shared the three principles that have shaped both his career and his philanthropy, noting:

“The first is protection for the most fragile in society; the second is fostering aspiration; and the third is respect for institutions.”

He concluded with a call to action, urging the audience to work together to address global challenges and threats:

“On our part we, we must recognise that the world does not owe us a peaceful existence or a living. We will need to work hard. We need to be honest. We must pursue excellence. The pursuit of excellence has always been my focus, as I’m sure it is yours. At heart, I am an optimist. I always have been. But optimism is not an excuse for complacency. The solution lies in education, the fostering of enterprise, the creation of aspiration and for all of us to work hard for the common good.”