Jeremy Harbour, Owner of Unity Group

5 Years ago I attended a weekend with Jeremy Harbour.  He transformed my ideas of what can be accomplished in business.  5 years later and he is still doing it to me!  Every now and then Jeremy puts together 10 business owners in a room over a weekend and shares with them the Mergers and Acquisitions strategy he has used to buy and sell over 40 companies.  Every business owner should be doing whatever you can to be one of those 10 attendees!
What’s your story?
Started first business when 14, I realised that business is better without staff and customers, and that you can grow a business by buying your competitors without needing any money, now I am 40 and I have bought and sold over 40 companies, and specialise in building by acquisition and exiting either through trade sale or public quote
What excites you most about your industry?
I get to work with many different industries in many different countries, I could be buying music schools, banks, hotels or cleaning companies, you learn so much about business, and the more industries you work in the less differences you see in different businesses.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am singapore resident, I have a hotel and a land investment business in Indonesia and hold global investments through my asian businesses
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, many people complain about the high compliance, I see it as an advantage that  helps you do business safely in the rest of the region, add to that the lifestyle and things to do, and ease of travel, it is a real force to be reckoned with globally not just regionally.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Some of the best deals are the ones you walk away from
Who inspires you?
As a british passport holder I would have to say Richard Branson, not just for the business exploits but the sheer joy to life attitude.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I learn a lot every year and I am always challenging my self, I have learnt a lot about investing and wealth management in the last 12 months, but I would say by biggest new ‘toy’ is buying a bank and understanding how the regulation and balance sheet works in banking, I think everyone understands there is money in banking but until i really got inside i had not fully appreciated the enormity of it
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing, I have learnt lots of lessons, but i would not trade any of them
How do you unwind?
Boats are my guilty pleasure, I have two right now a Sunseeker and an Azimut, truly awful financial investments and I love every minute of ownership
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Well i have a hotel in Bali, just a small one in centre of seminyak called Bali Yarra Villas and so we do like to spend some time there and enjoy the night life and restaurants around, but we also like the muay thai bootcamps in Thailand where you train all day, after a week you really feel like the best version of your self.
Everyone in business should read this book:
If you want to start a business, read my book ‘Go Do’
Shameless plug for your business:
Entrepreneurs don’t make money running businesses they make money when they sell, and if you want to sell you should be as big as possible and to get big fast you should acquire, if you feel you have gaps in your knowledge in any of these areas get in touch
How can people connect with you?
find me on linked in, or go to my website and reach out or message me on twitter
Twitter handle?
@unitygroup (maybe don’t follow if you are one of those easily offended sensitive types)

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia.  He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries.  He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence.  A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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