Abundance is freedom. Michael Lenihan’s vision for a better world is based on equitable progress.
Michael, what is PT Together Abundance Freedom Group, and where did that name come from?
We’re a group that brings people together in today’s investment space. I know that may sound trite, but our mission is honest. We’re a group of professionals that I lead who are invested in equitable economics. We believe in levelling the playing field, offering abundance and opportunity to anyone who is prepared to engage in progress. Our name reflects this. For me, abundance is freedom. Together we are everything. Alone we struggle – in 2022 there really is no need to look beyond that.
Tell us about how you grew up.
I am the eldest of four boys born to Irish parents living in Castletownroach in rural County Cork in Ireland. My home country holds for me my dearest memories – it was a childhood with long summer days fishing for trout with my uncle Christy and my dad Connie, camping with friends and swimming in the blackwaters flowing from the Mullaghareirk Mountains in County Kerry. My parents instilled in me the ability to thrive and grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, and they also gave me enough street wisdom to hold my own in the changing world of the ‘60s. It was a decade characterised by worldwide economic boom, the rise of population and the emergence of the Civil Rights movement. It was very grounding, and it also taught me that the ground can shift.
When did you first enter business, and what were the lessons you learned?
I started as a trader in commodities with a boutique financial firm in London. My first job after leaving Trinity College Dublin was to take coffee orders from the guys on the trading floor. It was a memory task, a way for the bosses to figure out whether I could handle multiple orders without writing them down. That was honestly my first test in finance, and it served me well. From the trading floor I progressed to private equity finance, right up to 30 million pound positions for merchant and investment banks. Those early days taught me how to handle fear and how to trust my instincts.
How did you then translate that success into helping others?
I guess that started when I realised money has a value beyond paper. I began to take the time to get to know the people whose money I was dealing with, and as a young man I started to realise that we are all susceptible to fear and vulnerability, and that at the core of each of us is a desire to cultivate success. Money can help you or it can hinder you. It’s a question of greed over progress. Once you have enough of it – and this is true, let’s say, of all of today’s billionaires – it becomes important to start giving that money away in a progressive fashion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about profit, but it’s important to recognise that profit is progressive. If you make money, you need to know that the making of it is ultimately about sharing it. If there’s no progress, there’s no profit.
Do you think success is all about how rich you are when you die?
A long time ago in galaxy far, far away, there was a time when I thought success was measured by what I had in the bank – now I know that’s not true. All the investments we make as a company are based on how we can move things forward, and how we can make that progress effective for as many people as possible.
What projects is your company involved with in Indonesia?
The Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2022 says Indonesia’s consumer spending and manufacturing activity has been consistently rising due to the pickup in incomes, jobs, and consumer confidence. Investment is benefiting from expanding demand, improvements in the investment and business climate, and a recovery in credit. Indonesia is entering an exciting phase in its economic growth and significant capital investments are landing onshore with investor sentiments optimistic in looking for unique and diverse industry assets. Our role is to match investment with assets and assets with investments. We’re in education, fintech and a variety of sustainable projects.
How do we make success equitable and profitable for all?
By thinking less and doing more. The equity we bring is a mutual understanding of what profit is and the efforts and rewards that come from it.
What’s your blue-sky vision for the world?
My world is Utopian – a world that gets better if people work to improve it. My blue-sky is a harmony with nature and our fellow humans to work together to strive for better a world that accepts all the diversities we now know exist within it.
Michael, many thanks for your time.
It’s been my pleasure.
Tel: +62 812 36560891