Andrew Charlton Rookstool Interview

Andrew Charlton is the co-founder and director of AlphaBeta Strategy & Economics, bringing a wealth of experience to a company centered on providing insightful and actionable advice along with rigorous and highly detailed market analysis. A Rhodes Scholar who earned a doctorate in economics from Oxford University, Charlton has served as the senior economic advisor to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as well as the senior government official representing Australia at the G20 economic summits. With his experience in the public sector during a worldwide financial crisis, Andrew Charlton understands the value of using thorough research and detailed analysis to guide relevant business decisions.

A prolific author focusing on some of the more nuanced aspects of economics, Charlton’s essays have proved prescient on more than a few occasions in which he proposed a contrarian perspective to widely accepted beliefs, perhaps most notably regarding the growth of China’s economy and its influence on Australia’s own growth. In addition to articles and essays published in international journals, Charlton has also authored Ozonomics and Fair Trade for All. Published in 13 different languages and featuring Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz as co-author, Fair Trade for All presents an argument for globalization yielding a wholly positive outcome for developing and powerful countries alike.

As the director of AlphaBeta Strategy & Economics, Charlton now oversees an organization committed to guiding its clients to prosperity through the combination of strategic and economic skillsets. With the ability to adapt to changing markets influenced by a variety of factors, clients are better equipped to thrive by leveraging the economic forces that affect the whole of the market. Providing highly specialized insight on strategy, economic modeling and forecasting, policy development and analysis, natural resources management and transaction evaluation, the company co-founded by Charlton is poised to assist businesses in any industry adopt a more efficient and effective approach.

What was your best/favorite subject in school?

While economics has long been an area of expertise, I also enjoyed many of the courses I took related to history and science. As for my favorite subjects in my field, trade, development and international economics have always piqued my interest academically.

What was your first job?

My first job in business was at the Boston Consulting Group. After earning my doctorate from Oxford, my first academic job was at the London School of Economics. My first Job in government was as economic advisor to Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister of Australia.

Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?

I have made a number of connections with like-minded professionals throughout my career and, after discussing several different concepts with my co-founder, we decided to create AlphaBeta Strategy & Economics.

How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?

I’ve been lucky to have a range of experiences across corporate, government and academia. This wide experience across a number of sectors gives me a multidisciplinary perspective on the issues we work with.

Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.

I deeply value any instance in which I am involved in trying to untangle a truly difficult situation. This happened in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis, and there are few things as satisfying as being entrusted with a precarious situation.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I like to stay busy with new and unique challenges, and I am always interested in listening to the novel concepts and ideas espoused by others.

What kind of business ideas excite you most?

I am most excited by ideas based on sound research and analysis, particularly when those ideas are guided by a pragmatic approach.

Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?

No, our marketing strategies have been fairly straightforward and rely primarily on the strength of our work.

What personal achievement are you most proud of?

Having the opportunity to co-author a book with Joseph Stiglitz was a wonderful experience and I am quite proud of the work we did together in writing Fair Trade for All.

What wisdom you would have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?

I would tell myself to maintain an open mind to opposing viewpoints while remaining confident in beliefs gained through diligent study. Much of my professional success has been due to my willingness to present a contrarian position even when the prevailing belief is so widely held.