Lee-Browne employs 27 people across two offices in London and Melbourne. “One of our first employees is a Melburnian,” Lee-Browne says, “and he came to me and said ‘I’ve found my English wife, I’m resigning and going home’. I didn’t want to lose him so got him to set up in Australia for us.”
But it wasn’t that easy to launch an operation in the Victorian capital. Lee-Browne says they soon found out the regulatory and banking environment in Australia is far tougher than in the UK.
He says: “One of the challenges was finding an Australian bank that matched our requirements and standards. As it now happens, we’ve found a way of using our British bankers. We now use RBS on a global basis.”