TT-526 -- Who was Barry Beazley? ebiz news from Japan

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A weekly roundup of news & information from Terrie Lloyd.

General Edition Sunday, July 19, 2009 Issue No. 526


- What's New
- News
- Candidate roundup/Vacancies
- Upcoming Events
- Corrections/Feedback
- News Credits

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For those of us living abroad, late night phone calls from
home are never welcome, because they almost always mean bad
news. Last week we received such a phone call, letting us
know that the patriarch of the family, Barry Beazley, or
"Uncle Barry" to us nephews and nieces and our kids, had
passed away from renal failure.

It's not like we weren't expecting it to happen, because
ever since he'd been diagnosed for stomach cancer about 18
months earlier, we were all wondering if it was to become
more serious. Apparently stomach cancer metastasizes
quickly to the liver in 80% to 90% of cases -- which turned
out to be the case for him. Fortunately, with pain
management, support of his family, and half a lifetime of
meditation to help control his emotions, his suffering was
relatively short.

He died peacefully at 80 years old on July 8th, 2009, with
his daughter, wife, and sister at his side, and his son
living abroad having spent quality time with him just a
week or so before.

God rest Uncle Barry.

[Continued below...]

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[...Article continues]

At eighty, Uncle Barry closed a chapter in the maternal
side of the family. For he was a real patriarch --
respected by all of us for his knowledge of business and
world affairs, his ability to invest for a good return,
and his no-nonsense attitude to life. If something worked
for him -- whether a building system, an investment
methodology, a diet, or a meditation technique, he'd use it
unwaveringly. And it obviously worked. He become a
multimillionaire back in the mid-1970's at a time when just
one million dollars was a lot of money. Amazingly, he built
that fortune literally with his bare hands, in the building
trade, in a region of New Zealand that had never seen such
wealth before.

Uncle Barry was spare with words, but proved with actions
that his way was usually right. As a result, we kids (and
our kids) would timidly but expectantly approach him for
answers to life. It took a bit of coaxing to get him to get
into a conversation, but once he did, his answers would be
memorable -- and highly valued, often to the extent that
he'd wind up changing our lives through one gem of wisdom or
another. Perhaps because we came from the poor side of the
family (true), we listened a bit harder and took his advice
to heart more than most.

Patriarchs usually have had a tough life at some point --
after all, that's the emotional fuel that drives their
engine and gives them the instincts needed to survive and
thrive. Uncle Barry was no exception. He was a direct
connection to the harsh Old World, given that his mother's
side of the family had emigrated to Australia and New
Zealand as refugees from England's late 19th Century poor
houses. Literally, his aunt spent time as a child in a
London poor house, split from her pauper mother and sister
(Uncle Barry's mother) after the husband died young. As a
result, his mother Violet carried a level of
self-discipline and stoicism that epitomized the Victorian
Age, and some of this would rub off on young Barry,
causing him his own angst and internal conflict.

So it was that Uncle Barry left school at 14, with little
formal education, worked various jobs, traveled abroad
including the U.S. for a time, then returned to New Zealand
to start up his own building company just one town over
from where his father, Fred, was operating his already
well-established business. No doubt familial competitive
instinct drove Uncle Barry in the early years, because he
was able to parlay his fledgling operation into a major
building company employing hundreds, in just 10 years.

During the late 1950's he rode the wave of baby boomer
prosperity, building houses for growing families. Then in
the late 1950's and early 1960's, he developed some
revolutionary timber pre-cutting techniques that allowed
him to significantly reduce housing costs and speed up
onsite construction times, all using locally grown radiata
pine. This led to his being able to undercut the
competition and supply affordable housing to thousands of
families at the tail-end of the baby boom. In the end he
sold and shipped more than 16,000 homes domestically.

His success must have soon overlapped that of his father's
rather more sedate company, because as Fred neared
retirement, he decided to make peace with his son and they
joined forces in 1962. Now, with both drive and experience,
their company, now called Beazley Homes, grew even more
rapidly and started entering the international market. They
won for the first time for a Kiwi company, contracts with
major mining companies in Australia (iron), New Guinea
(gold, nickel), New Caledonia (nickel), as well as with
governments around the South Pacific. Beazley Homes
became one of New Zealand's biggest manufactured goods
exporters, and they won a New Zealand Export of the Year
award in 1973 for their efforts.

Probably their biggest coup was the sale and construction
of 275 pre-cut home kitsets to be delivered and constructed
on-site for the Hammersley Iron Company, at their iron ore
mining facility at Mount Tom Price in the Outback of
Western Australia. Despite fierce heat, record floods, and
even an earthquake (1968), during the period 1967-1970
Beazley Homes wound up building over half of the town's
homes. There is an interesting newspaper archive at, which thanks to Google has been
captured for posterity. Reading through the challenges the
company would have had, building houses up in such an
inhospitable environment, its clear that Uncle Barry had
the guts and determination to make a go of it no matter
the odds.

Fortunately this story has a happy mid-point. Uncle Barry
successfully sold Beazley Homes in late 1973 to building
products company Fletcher Holdings, for an undisclosed sum
-- but it was certainly enough to warrant the family's
moving to Hawaii then Australia, and for Uncle Barry to go
into semi-retirement for ten years. Then in 1984, he and
his son Mark made a go of establishing a new company
called Force 10, which featured hurricane-proof homes made
with light-weight steel frames and cement board load-bearing
walls, rather than timber framing.

But for Uncle Barry, one wild ride had been enough, and
after a mild dilution of cash on hand, he and Mark decided
to cut their losses and sell the Force 10 business in the
early 1990's, leaving it to the new buyer to commercialize.
It was a wise decision, because not long after, in 1999,
he got into an altercation with the Australian Tax Office,
which for a while thought he was a drug lord due to his
apparent large cash reserves and no seeming source of
income. The case required him to focus on fighting to
restore his reputation and at one point his personal
freedom. You can read about the case online. It's quite

Eventually the case was resolved after the Tax Office
realized that the loop holes the family had used to
structure their affairs were there for anyone to use if
they wanted -- and penalties were paid on disputed interest
income from the principle. The case resulted in
legislative changes to the Australian tax code, and it was
the pivotal event to shine the public spotlight on Vanuatu
as a tax haven.

So what words of wisdom did Uncle Barry pass on to us kids?
One conversation that comes to mind, and which helped
change the course of this writer's life, came during a
conversation where I was obsessing as a young man about
winning and being the biggest and best. Uncle Barry knew
all about swimming with sharks, especially since they have
a habit of being more cunning and dangerous the bigger they

His advice was simple: "You can swim with the big guys all
you like, but always remember, if you want success as a
small business person, then the smallest fish are the
sweetest." Translated for me, this has meant, keep things
small and modest, diversify, do business with companies big
and small and treat them all with respect, and get to know
those who you do business with, because you need to form a
bond of trust with them.

It's been advice that's kept me in good stead ever since.

So it was with regret that we said goodbye to the family
patriarch. Uncle Barry lived a good life, and a full one.
He tasted success and his courage and fortitude rubbed off
on all of us. At his funeral, there were about 50 or so
people in attendance, besides the family. It was
surprising, really, that anyone had showed up, since he'd
been living outside the country for the previous 30 years.

But what was striking was that the general age of most of
the congregation was 60-80+ years old. It turns out that
many of these people were ex-employees, paying their last
respects to "the Boss". They shared with us stories of the
"old days" in the timber yards, and how Uncle Barry touched
their lives. This really meant a lot to us and we realized
that he was a patriarch not just for the family but also
for the community as well.

Goodbye Uncle Barry.


One last reminder that if you live in the Kansai, we will
be taking the Japan Inc. Entrepreneur's Handbook Seminar
to Okayama and Kobe next week.

More details in the UPCOMING EVENTS section below.


Terrie's Take is proud to be a supporter of The Japan
Helpline. To get help 24 hours assistance with any
problem, whether personal, legal, or financial, any time,
go to and click `help`.

To donate:
Your support keeps The Japan Helpline going.

...The information janitors/


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+++ NEWS

- Nifco recovers slightly in Q2
- India receives greatest amount of Japanese investment
- Hisamatsu to buy U.S. Pharma company
- Porn jamming mobile networks
- Sekisui House to start operations in Australia

-> Nifco recovers slightly in Q2

Auto electronics connector manufacturer Nifco will report
that its financial position is improving, according to
the Nikkei. The company, like most other auto-related
parts suppliers in Japan, has been badly hammered by the
collapse in the market since the end of 2008. The company
should report a net profit of JPY2.6bn on sales of
JPY21.8bn in Q2, versus a loss of JPY400m in Q1. ***Ed:
Unfortunately for Nifco, it also publishes the Japan Times,
and although the actual cost of running the daily
newspaper in light of the advertising drought is not
clear, we imagine that the red ink being incurred must
be politically sensitive for Nifco's shareholders at
present.** (Source: TT commentary from,
Jul 18, 2009)

-> India receives greatest amount of Japanese investment

For fiscal 2008, ending March 2009, India was the greatest
recipient of Japanese direct investment, surpassing China.
The overall amount invested was about JPY809bn, versus
JPY679.3bn in China. Amongst the larger investments were
Daiichi Sankyo's takeover of Ranbaxy Labs, NTT DoCoMo's 26%
investment into Tata Teleservices, and Nomura's acquisition
of a large Lehman back office contingent. Overall FDI into
India last fiscal year was JPY852.3bn, so the Japanese
contribution has been particularly conspicuous. ***Ed: We
think it unlikely that this huge wave of investment will be
repeated this year -- especially since Daiichi's public
whipping over the loss of shareholder value after its
investment value in Ranbaxy plunged so badly with the share
market shakeout.** (Source: TT commentary from, Jul 18, 2009)

-> Hisamatsu to buy U.S. Pharma company

Pain-patch maker Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical has announced
that it will buy out Miami, US-based Noven Pharmaceuticals,
for US$430m. The offer prices Noven at a 22% premium to the
company's last closing price. Hisamatsu reckons the
acquisition will help it gain better access to the U.S.
market. ***Ed: Looking at the Noven share price, back in
March it was just US$8/share. One wonders why Hisamatsu,
which must surely have been doing due diligence for at
least 3-6 months, didn't lock the price in at that
time...?** (Source: TT commentary from, Jul
14, 2009)

-> Porn jamming mobile networks

Bloomberg reports that Japan's 3G telcos are having
problems maintaining network speeds on their 3G networks
in the evenings, because the number of people downloading
porn on their phones is growing exponentially. Apparently
dozens of major porn sites are signing up to 1,000 new
members a day, some paying up to JPY10,000 as a joining
fee. One such company, Soft On Demand, says that its mobile
site revenue rose 40% over the year ending March 2009,
earning the company JPY15m a month currently. There are now
91m 3G users, so the network congestion is becoming a major
headache for carriers. (Source: TT commentary from, Jul 06, 2009)

-> Sekisui House to start operations in Australia

According to the Nikkei, house builder Sekisui House is
going to invest up to JPY200bn (US$2.13bn) creating a home
building business in Australia. The company plans to build
around 4,000 condos and homes, using a similar process as
it does in Japan -- namely that of buying land and building
to its own specs, then putting the properties up for sale.
This is Sekisui's first foray abroad, and it will
apparently focus on high-population areas, such as Sydney
and Brisbane. (Source: TT commentary from, Jul
17, 2009)

NOTE: Broken links
Many online news sources remove their articles after just a
few days of posting them, thus breaking our links -- we
apologize for the inconvenience.

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------------ Terrie's Take in Okayama, Kobe ---------------

For the first time, serial entrepreneur Terrie Lloyd brings
his extremely popular business seminars to Okayama and to
Kobe. The Okayama seminar, entitled Innovative Business
Leaders Seminar, will be held on Saturday July 25 at the
Kurashiki Chamber of Commerce.

On Sunday July 26, Terrie will hold his Enrepreneurs
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>From JR Sannomiya Station it's just a short 5 min walk down
Flower Road. To register, email
For more information please go to:

------------------- ICA Event - July 30 -------------------

Event: Summer Networking Party! Open to all

Details: Complete event details at
(RSVP Required)

Date: Thursday, July 30, 2009

Time: 19:00 - 21:00 Open Bar and Finger Food Included
Cost: 1,000 yen (members), 2,500 yen (non-members)
Open to all - venue is Zest Iikura

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In this section we run comments and corrections submitted
by readers. We encourage you to spot our mistakes and
amplify our points, by email, to

=> No corrections or feedback this week.

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