Proof that things change. Are you ready for it?

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A poignant reminder that things change. By Karn G. Bulsuk

A poignant reminder that things change.

By Karn G. Bulsuk

In Melbourne, inside the Royal Botanic Gardens, the restoration of the Rose Pavilion in 1993 (pictured above) was funded by corporate sponsors and immortalised in a plaque just below it. It lists out 13 companies which contributed to this cause.

What is interesting about this is that out of the thirteen companies listed, only four remain recognisable in any shape or form, having been bought out, merged or simply gone out of business in the decades that have passed:

  • Arthur Anderson was wiped out following the Enron Scandal in 2001
  • Gavin Anderson and Company merged in 2009 and is now known as Kreab Gavin Anderson
  • EL & C Baillieu merged with F W Holst & Co Pty Ltd in 2012, and is now known as Baillieu Holst Ltd.
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) still exists and still does management consulting
  • Centaurus Corporate Finance Pty Ltd appears to no longer exist. Google only reveals the company deregistered, but the circumstances surrounding its fate is unknown
  • Freehill, Hollingdale & Page merged with UK law firm Herbert Smith in 2012, and is now Herbert Smith Freehills
  • KPMG Peat Marwick is now known simply as “KPMG”, and is still a major audit and consultant player
  • Gardner Carton & Douglas no longer seems to exist. It looks like it merged with law firm Driner Biddle & Reath.
  • William M Mercer Pty Ltd still exists, and is simply known as Mercer. It still does HR Consulting as it did two decades ago
  • Potter Warburg seems to have undergone a number of mergers in the decades since 1993, and what is left of it is now UBS Investment Bank
  • Richard Oliver are underwriters and still operate in Melbourne
  • Zilkha & Company is a bit of a mystery – it appears to have been deregistered in New York in 2001, but the internet has no other information on it
  • Pacific Dunlop was a major Australian conglomerate manufacturing everything from food to condoms. It seems to have undergone financial difficulties and became defunct in 2002. Selling off many of its divisions, what is left of it is now known as Ansell and focusses on latex product manufacturing.
We often take for granted that things will stay largely the same, but that can’t be further from the truth. The landscape changes, and organisations that appear to be rock solid today could easily disappear thanks to mergers, automation, outsourcing or simply because the product is no longer relevant in the world.

The lesson here? People outlast companies. Things change. And most importantly, are you prepared for that change?


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Karn G. Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Proof that things change. Are you ready for it?
Proof that things change. Are you ready for it?
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Karn G. Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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