Interview: Ed Ludbrook, financial entrepreneur
It had been a disappointing week for New Zealander Ed Ludbrook, seeing England knock the All Blacks out of the Rugby World Cup tournament that they had been expected to win. Ludbrook is a big chap who wouldn’t look out of place in his national team’s line-up, though he has a small confession to make. “I was actually born in England…in Hastings.. and I married an Englishwoman,” he says. “We’ve no hard feelings towards the English. What people don’t realise is that our main rivals are the Springboks. Yeah, I’ll be cheering on England in the final!”
Ludbrook is a global finance entrepreneur and adviser and he’s just flown in from New Zealand to meet prospective customers in Scotland who want to buy into his new venture in cryptocurrency that he believes will be a game-changer in the next few years.
He has been around the industry for more than 30 years launching and floating companies, advising on company restructuring and now evangelising on new opportunities for ordinary investors to make money.
He was just three when his family left England for a new life on the other side of the world. After training at a military college and a short spell in the army he returned to England and a job in derivatives with a City investment bank.
“It wasn’t really me. I’m a people person,” he says. He moved into direct sales, and in the 1990s helped launch Telecom Plus, a customer acquisition company. Since then he’s been buzzing around the world, helping firms with new projects and getting involved with cryptocurrencies, his new baby and something he’s now passionately extolling to those looking for a decent return on their investments.
“I founded a billion dollar company and am currently building a second one”, he says, with a confidence that refutes any possibility of failure. His specialisation is working with high-performance communities – crowds – that pioneer new industries, in which he leads from the front.
That includes two million sales of eight books in 20 languages and career stop-offs as an adviser, two companies listed on stock exchanges and a regular column in the Evening Standard.
He’s CEO of Dacxi, a company that operates in a sector he calls “crowd finance”, serving those looking for “new wealth opportunities” to make money because the classic routes – property and shares – are “at the top of their cycle.”
He believes cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are the new gold rush, the “hottest” sector in the finance industry. He points to the current moves in China to create the crypto-yuan.
“It is going to change the world,” he says. “Asia will not need to use the US dollar any more. When President Xi said China will support blockchain projects the value of Bitcoin leapt 20%.”
Xi has this week stated that he sees blockchain as a key to infrastructural and technological development and the world is taking notice.
Ludbrook shakes his head at those questioning Facebook’s attempts to set up the libra currency, stating: “The media focuses on the few companies who have opposed it, but 1,500 have applied to join.”
He says that while institutions and countries move into the Bitcoin space it is a sector that has largely excluded the public.
“The public have not done well out of the digital boom,” he says. “I have spent 30 years helping people get involved with new wealth opportunities and I am excited by the possibilities.”
At a workshop in Edinburgh he drew a small number of interested individuals who included a sales manager with a television company, a part-time accountant and a lorry driver.
Did any of them sign up as investors?
“Yes. All of them,” he says.
It seems the revolution may have begun.
Occupation: Founder and CEO, Dacxi
Education: Royal Military College, New South Wales
Career Highlights: Captain, Royal New Zealand Engineers; Proprietary trader, Elders Finance Group; network marketer; a founder of Robbins Research Europe; founder Telecom Plus; growth coach, strategy director; founded Dacxi, pioneering the global Crowd Finance sector.
That’s quite a list. Is there anything else?
I was an aerobics instructor. The most fun job I have ever had.
If you were to invite three people, past or present, to a meeting or dinner who would you choose?
Jesus… for inspiration
Genghis Khan… the greatest ever conqueror
Thomas Edison…a great innovator