Michael grew up in Armidale NSW, an important cattle region of Australia. Without the necessary capital to go on the land, he went to University and became a banker which seemed like the right way to build a base. This led Michael to travel to Switzerland and then in 1990 to Tokyo where he worked for three years as head of Capital Markets Asia for Morgan Stanley. An amazing opportunity and his first exposure to Wagyu.
Michael was Chairman of ING bank until January 2020.
In 1993 Michael returned to Australia as head of Institutional Banking at CBA and in 2001 acquired Clear Hills as a small cattle business.
In 2003 he and his wife, Frederique, bought their first Wagyu bull for our Angus heifers.
In 2004 they bought a few more full blood heifers and started an embryo transfer program.
With over 200 full blood Wagyu cows their Wagyu business, trading under the brand: Koolang Wagyu Australia, has become a very successful operation.
Michael and Frederique on their property.
They continue to run a self-replacing Angus herd of about 400 cows which are also used to produce F1s.
In 2009, Michael was invited to join the Council or Board of the Australian Wagyu Association.
This was a huge honour and an amazing learning experience. They struggled with the key issues of the day which were about protecting the brand and building the reputation of Wagyu in Australia and beyond.
In particular, Michael met Pete Bishop and Joe Grose who became great friends.
Later Brian Angus and Michael shared some terrific bus rides at the AWA Annual Conference.
Meeting the famous Takeda San in Japan in 2008
Putting together QGI has been exciting.
The combined experience of the four principals is amazing. A shared belief in the power of genetics and selection pressure to improve outcomes for the industry from breeders to processers to consumers is fantastic.