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Former agribusiness execs steer investment opportunities

Beef Central, April 1, 2021

Mark Lim and Jack Gleeson from Magnetic Alliance in New York in 2019.

TWO former agribusiness executives are applying their knowledge and experience to helping small to medium sized businesses to grow, while identifying investment opportunities at the same time.

Jack Gleeson and Mark Lim met while working for Elders over a decade ago.

Jack is a former Elders’ general manager, meat and livestock, and prior to that was Elders state manager for Queensland.

Mark Lim, a graduate in commerce and finance, crossed paths with Jack at Elders when he was hired by another executive who happened to be away, so Jack “borrowed him” for a few weeks.

After working together for four years, Jack and Mark went on to continue their careers on separate paths, but reconnected in 2011 and started their own business “Magnetic Alliance”.

“I had a lot of experience, but Mark had a lot of business capability and smarts that I just wasn’t going to learn,” Jack said.

The business started trading in May 2012 with a request from a property development company to help build a team based in the Philippines.

That started the ball rolling to create and develop a suite of services for other small to medium businesses that weren’t being offered at the time.

Magnetic Alliance has evolved to become a “co-pilot” that helps small to medium sized businesses to overcome hurdles to growth, solve problems and create systems and succession plans for future continuity.

Mr Lim said Magnetic Alliance applies its own growth formula internally and has acquired businesses in dangerous goods transport and logistics, radiation, cyber security, insurance claim settlement, home repairs and launching online training with its dangerous goods business and Wisetech Global.

The business has also recently added a global name in George Ross, former Trump Organisation executive vice president, and celebrity apprentice judge as a business advisor. Mr Lim said Mr Ross has described Magnetic Alliance as having’ “formula for unlimited growth” and is working with the company on developing its investment model.

Mr Lim said Magnetic Alliance is now opening up to outside investment in its own business.

“The idea initially was to start a fund because we get so deeply involved in our clients’ organisations that we practically do a 360 degree due diligence while helping them to grow, which goes far beyond what investors get access to and we see all the risks, we flush out all the skeletons, so we know what we’re getting into, and we understand all the opportunities as well,” Mr Lim said.

“We’re setting up our investment arm to be able to take advantage of these deals. Just recently, we’ve been offered partnerships in aquaculture, software, steel fabrication, along with a bunch more and we get a number of opportunities in agri as well.”

“Right now we’re just in a position where we can and are open to taking some capital investors in who like the idea of working with us to invest in high growth, diversified businesses.”

Jack said the COVID experience last year highlighted the importance of investment diversity. “We’re building a portfolio that isn’t reliant on a certain industry or market, we have to be prepared for change, and based on 2020, you just never know what’s going to happen.”

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