Exchange of new ideas

Sean Rothsey knows exactly what it takes to make a business successful.

A ship and charter broker by trade, he had significant experience growing businesses through mergers and acquisitions before “retiring” to Noosa in 1995.

In reality he was still a venture capitalist, creating some start-up businesses from his new home, including the highly-successful Blue Gum Group Ltd, which raised $12 million through an Initial Public Offering in 1999 before being bought by California-based Selectron for $185 million the following year.

Mr Rothsey, who now lives at Cooroy, has now been appointed chairman of ASX-listed MDS Financial Group Ltd, of which he is a major shareholder. The company was created by the merger in 2006 of three entities in the financial services space – MDS News Ltd, Bourse Data and Cube Financial Pty Ltd.

Those services include education, online trading, online stock recommendations, private client advice and execution, and market information and tools.

It also has its own television station, the Financial News Network, which delivers market news and information each day, accessible via the internet.

The company runs seminars around the country with top traders and market experts, and also provides live market data to stockbrokers and individual traders. As well as his role as chairman of MDS, Mr Rothsey is also deputy-chairman of NISER (Noosa Institute for Socio-Economic Research). He said, while NISER was a not-for-profit business, there were a number of similarities with MDS.

“We want to facilitate better outcomes for businesses in the region, and the community we live in,” he said.

“NISER is about putting people together to help formulate business plans and grow businesses.”

NISER has worked with the National Stock Exchange to create a Sunshine Coast board on the NSX, with the first company hoping to be listed this year. Mr Rothsey said, with figures showing $12 million of investment funds left the region each week, the benefits of having local firms listed on their own NSX board were enormous.

“At this stage people don’t understand what a regional exchange can do for them,” he said. “Imagine if some of those funds were invested in companies in this area. It brings a whole range of benefits."


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