Adrian Buddle

Adrian Buddle

Adrian Buddle graduated from the University of Sydney with a BA (Languages and Politics) in 1990. Like many, he wasn’t sure of the path he would take and fell into a graduate job at the Commonwealth Bank. Since starting his career in finance, he has never looked back. Spanning a 22 year career in the banking sector, Adrian has worked everywhere from London and back. In 2010, Adrian joined the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ as the Managing Director of Corporate Finance.

Adrian often says he prizes the soft skills he learnt whilst at university. This year, the Bank of Mitsubishi-Tokyo is looking to partner with the School of Economics to offer overseas internships in Japan, exclusively to current students within the Faculty. They are also looking to support our ArtSS Career-Ready program, which operates locally. The program aims to pair our highest-achieving students with the best and biggest corporations in Australia. The program rewards those very skills that Adrian found useful in his career.

We sat down with Adrian to find out a bit more about him.

Please may you tell us more about yourself and how you ultimately became the Managing Director of Corporate Finance at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.
Born in Sydney with an English father, I attended North Sydney Boys High and then completed an Arts degree at Sydney Uni in 1990. I am a keen player and follower of various sports, and enjoy reading and listening to live music and sampling wines from around the world.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do upon graduation from the University of Sydney but Commonwealth Bank was offering graduate trainee positions across many different career disciplines within the bank including journalism, marketing, investor relations and of course finance. I applied and was lucky enough to be accepted and started full time work immediately in early 1991. I started at Bondi beach branch doing small business lending and home loans and then moved to Edgecliff branch doing the same which was a lot of fun but realized that I wanted to pursue larger business and corporate lending. So after 3 years with CBA, I moved to Westpac and pursued qualifications in business and applied finance at both FINSIA and UTS. I studied at night and weekends, which was a challenge with a young son.
After a 3 year stint at Westpac, I moved to the UK to use my languages (German and Italian) and finance skills in the European region. I was there for six years and my footballing obsessed younger son was born there. I returned to Australia in 2003 and worked for a Dutch and then a Belgian Investment bank financing large-scale infrastructure before deciding to join Japan’s largest bank -The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ- in 2010. This has been a great decision as BTMU has been in Australia for 30 years and I have helped play a role in building the business over the last 5 and a half years into the largest foreign financier to Australian corporates. I find my education and passion for life helps me connect with my clients, which is my core role as Managing Director Corporate Finance.

What are your happiest memories about your time here as a student?
The University of Sydney was always an inspirational experience for me and I enjoyed every day on Campus. I met so many interesting people at Uni including my future wife. I’m sure she would want me to say that was my happiest moment! I also recall many great nights at Manning Bar listening to classic Aussie bands at the time including Hoodoo Gurus, Radiators and a Sydney band called the Hummingbirds.

Who was your favourite Professor while you were a student at the University of Sydney and why?
My favourite Professor was Dr Udo Borgert from the German department. He could see what made you tick and knew when to push me to achieve my potential. I also admired his passionate academic interest in the history and semantics of the German language.

What is your proudest achievement?
Wow that’s a big question! My proudest achievement would have to be watching my two amazing boys grow into wonderful young men. They both teach me so much and inspire me on a daily basis.

Who inspires you?
My whole family, starting from my very supportive wife and my two young men. My youngest son is currently training 5 days a week and playing twice a week whilst he finishes his A-levels in the UK. He is chasing his dream to be a professional footballer and his drive and dedication have given me renewed purpose in my own personal and professional life.

What is the mantra you live by and what drives you?
Passion is my mantra. Passion for job and life. We only get one life, live it to the maximum and above all have fun.

What has been the most memorable success you have had?
Whilst working for German bank WestLB as a Project Financier during my 6 year stint in the UK, I led the $500m financing of the power privatisation process in southern Oman alongside French bank BNP. Against a very tight deadline my team worked 44 hours straight and we signed the deal with minutes to spare with the ruler of Oman and featured on the front page of the National newspaper!

What are your plans for the future?
To continue learning as much about banking and life as possible and to help bring on the next generation of bankers.

What advice would you give to students graduating from the University of Sydney?
If, like me, you are unsure where best to apply your education vocationally, take up as many internship opportunities as possible in as many different vocations until you find a job that can inspire you and that importantly you can feel passionate about. Also don’t necessarily stop learning and pursuing qualifications. An Arts degree is an excellent foundation for further study.