BY CATHERINE FOX
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF COMPANY DIRECTORS MAGAZINE
When Adara Group founder Audette Exel went to see director David Gonski AC FAICDLife in 2014, she was keen for his thoughts on a novel idea. Exel had already run a successful global advisory business to fund her not-for-profit (NFP) development organisation. Now she had hatched a plan to get top investment bankers and dealmakers to donate their fees from a range of corporate financial transactions to support good causes.
His reaction was forthright. “I thought it was fantastic,” he recalls. “Audette came to see me with the essence of an idea, which was basically that people may like to use their skills for a higher purpose instead of receiving fees — with the returns going to help people in need. I thought it was a terrific idea.”
Gonski was impressed not only by the scope of the “business for purpose” model, now known as Adara Partners (see page 42), but also Exel’s leadership and passion. “She looks at things from a world basis, as a world leader who isn’t just sitting in one country. She straddles two worlds [finance and not-for-profit] but uses enormous energy in both,” he says.