RFG boss seeks redemption with a franchisee road trip
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RFG boss seeks redemption with a franchisee road trip

Retail Food Group investors are feeling as impoverished as its franchisees after the stock went from $5 to 50c in less than a year, so it was obviously time for the new RFG boss, Richard Hinson to hit the road.

And what better way to lay the groundwork for the big roadtrip than to send out a video to let the franchise folk know he is one of them.

“I firmly believe for RFG to be successful, you need to be successful,” said Hinson with a vision that represents a complete about-face from his predecessors like Tony Alford and Andre Nell.

Hinson promises the franchise operator plans to provide a forum where “you can provide open and honest feedback.”

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Which is good because we suspect some honest feedback will be coming from franchisees who have survived a brutal business model that has sent many to the wall, as reported by CBD colleagues Adele Ferguson and Sarah Danckert.

Richard Hinson

Richard HinsonCredit:John Shakespeare

CBD would like to know if RFG plans to post videos of these open forums on YouTube for franchisees who cannot make it to the spectacle.

But there shouldn't be too many who can't make it given RFG is really laying out the red carpet. The company is offering financial aid - including accommodation - to franchisees "living more than 2.5 hours from the nearest roadshow location."

That beats all-you-can-eat doughnut stalls and free coffee.

NAB Bromance

It's a few years now since Mike Baird sent social media into a meltdown playing with puppies in the Premier's office.

It was on social media that Baird introduced his own puppy - Malachi - to the world.

I'd like you to meet Malachi!

A post shared by Mike Baird (@bairdmike) on Aug 22, 2017 at 3:56pm PDT

But since then it has not been all sloppy kisses and "naws" from his followers. At an Australian British Chamber of Commerce event in Melbourne it was revealed that Baird - now part of Andrew Thorburn's crew at NAB - has had some disciplinary issue with with his two dogs.

Seems that Malachi is in the dog box after chewing the Yankees-loving banker's favourite baseball cap.

Baird was sharing the stage with his boss Thorburn at the event so he got to share the pressure when the ABC's Elysse Morgan sprung a pop quiz on the pair to test their street cred.

NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn and NAB CCO Mike Baird at ABCC lunch in Melbourne.

NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn and NAB CCO Mike Baird at ABCC lunch in Melbourne. Credit:Josh Robenstone

They breezed through questions on the average wage, house price and mortgage rates - getting close enough to the pin to avoid any blushes.

But they were tripped up when Morgan passed on a query from her friend asking how much they'd pay for a box of 100 nappies. Thorburn left Baird holding that baby and he had to admit to having no idea.

For the record Morgan put the price at $30. That's $5 more than Woolworths is selling Huggies 100 packs for, but probably close enough.

Later on, Baird showed he had lost none of his political nous when it came to dodging sharp questions like - does he want Thorburn's job?

Ducking like a true politician, Baird said he was very happy doing the job he was doing.

He probably said the same things about being Premier before getting that gig, but of course Baird's promotion in that case was aided by a magical bottle of Grange that may or may not have appeared on the front doorstep of his predecessor Barry O'Farrell.

For his part, Thorburn said it was great for people to have ambition - a quality that has been given a bad rap but is an essential element of leadership.

It sounded a lot like he was about to say "absolutely" when asked if Baird had the qualities for the CEO job before saying it was a decision for Ken Henry and the rest of the NAB board.

Beached as

The good news is that Thorburn and Baird had a very receptive audience at RACV Club with a lot of NAB employees obviously not having much else to do on a dull Melbourne day.

Joining the NAB-heavy crowd were Macquarie executives Paul Donnelly, and Tim Joyce who for some reason have not joined the mass exodus to Europe.

As Richard 'Coppo' Coppleson said on Monday in his final Coppo Report for many weeks, “I’m not exaggerating but I reckon half the mkt (fundies and some brokers) have gone to Europe”.

He even spilled the beans on where our financial masters hang out. This includes the beaches of Mykonos in Greece. Italy looks very popular with the finance gurus preferring Positano, Sicily and Tuscany. The south of France and London were the other spots favoured by the Fin crowd.

"So the next three to four weeks will be dead quiet and boring," said Coppo who obviously isn't scared of tempting fate.

Follow CBD on Twitter. Got a tip? ckruger@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Colin Kruger is a business reporter. He joined the Sydney Morning Herald in 1999 as its technology editor. Other roles have included the Herald's deputy business editor and online business editor.

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