Bruce Bryant, the 216th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, has a job that’s easy to explain but hard to do.

Bruce’s company, Stylequity, provides the shareholders of medium-sized businesses with high-level strategic advice about how to grow, sell, invest, merge or make acquisitions.

Most consultants merely tell clients what to do. Some also tell clients how to do it. But Stylequity is one of the few that gives clients a plan, explains how to execute it, and then works with them to make sure they follow through.

So where did Bruce get all this knowledge? 

Before founding Stylequity in 2006, Bruce had experience leading companies, conducting turnarounds, working in corporate finance and doing management consulting, giving him a rare skill-set.

The life Bruce lives today in Sydney is very different to the one he experienced growing up in apartheid South Africa. There was widespread injustice and a constant sense of tension. But that was all Bruce knew, so it seemed normal to assume he would live in that country and environment forever. 

But then South Africa changed – Mandela was released from prison on Bruce’s first day at uni – and Bruce decided to see the world. After four years in London and a backpacking holiday, Bruce arrived in Sydney in 2001.