Our Directors: Adam Micmacher

Written by: Fiona Gruber
It’s rare these days for anyone to stay with one firm for their entire career but Adam Micmacher, has been with Lowensteins since 1988 – when it was Lowenstein Sharp Feiglin Ades – and never felt the tug to go anywhere else.

He says he originally got a job at the firm because a friend’s brother worked there but from such casual beginnings has sprung a lifetime’s commitment.

After attending Monash University and completing his accountancy degree and then a further degree with the Securities Institute of Australia, he toyed with the idea of a career in stockbroking or the financial markets but realised how much he enjoyed the relationships with his clients and his colleagues at Lowensteins.

So how much have things changed over the past 35 years?

Hugely, says Adam.

“It was all a very manual and non-computerised knowledge-based system,” he says, of the days when people would bring in shoe boxes full of receipts; “You had to be good at capturing information.”

Nowadays, he adds, what you don’t know can be found out much more easily but good relationships remain as important now as then. “That’s the one thing that hasn’t changed over time,” he emphasises.

Adam is joint managing partner with Evan Lowenstein and since 2002 has run the Sydney office, as well as overseeing most entity-based work. “Evan and I have had a fantastic relationship over the years and the operation and running of the two offices have been made really easy because of that relationship.”

While nearly all new clients in both cities are word-of-mouth referrals from existing clients or through the firm’s philanthropy work, there are differences between the cities’ client bases, he says.

“Lowensteins in Melbourne has a greater density in the arts, probably in the region of 65 percent, whereas in Sydney it would be more like 35 percent in the arts,” he says,

Sydney also has fewer but bigger clients and a mix that would typically include investment and legal firms, hospitality and hotels and family groups, he adds.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the business but thanks to technology, Adam says they could keep open and carry on as close to normal as possible. We learnt a lot about our working systems and our ability to embrace having a virtual office including using the existing office phone system. “One of the great things we discovered was that you could take the phones home and plug them in to the back of your home modem and then internally buzz each other.”

Spending 80 percent of a work day talking to clients and colleagues on Zoom has taken its toll on his wardrobe, Adam confesses, and his casual attire is something Evan ribs him about.

“Yes, Evan does like to dress more formally but that doesn’t affect our performance,” he rejoinders when asked about his fondness for shorts and tee shirts. “Besides, most of my clothing has shrunk over the past two years”.

A more profound observation, he says would be what the pandemic has taught them all about connectedness.

“We changed how we value relationships; both with clients and in our own lives,” he says. “And we’ve learnt that the human spirit is deep and by working towards a common goal, we can overcome most types of adversity that comes our way..”