Over 30 years, Tony Sage has risen to become a global resource industry leader. With a reputation as an 'uber-dealmaker', Tony is tirelessly starting enterprises, advising business people, negotiating trades, managing funds and raising seed money for projects across Western Australia and the world.
He's worked hard, he's been lucky, he's sacrificed and he's succeeded. Through the decades, Tony has ridden the resources boom. It was a boom that made scores of anonymous millionaires, but Tony chose not to be one of them. He understands that good fortune carries a duty to give back – come what may.
The story of Tony's corporate success is well known. After graduating from a local university in 1980, he built his skills and experience until he had the opportunity to be a founding director of International Goldfields Limited and Hamill Resources Limited – now merged as Cape Lambert Resources Ltd ASX: CFE.
Today, he's a prominent business and cultural figure Western Australia's busy capital city. Beyond Australia's mineral fields and boardrooms, Tony has also worked in South America, Africa, China, South-East Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe.
His achievements include industry recognition as:
He has found further successes in publishing, fashion, broadcasting and, famously, in sport, as the owner of Perth Glory FC.
Also a family guy, Tony and wife Lucy strive to teach their kids – Jessica, Emily and Matthew – that it's not where you've come from but where you're going that makes a life.
Bcom – Bachelor of Commerce, Edith Cowan University
FCPA – Fellow of Certified Practicing Accountants Australia
CA – Chartered Accountant
FTIA – Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia
Football fan Tony owns Perth Glory FC – a founding member of the topflight A-League tournament. Based at nib Stadium in Western Australia's capital city, the Glory competes in the men's, women's and under-20 leagues.
After stunning success in the early 2000s, management instability meant the club had lost its way by mid-decade. Tony took sole ownership of the club after the 2008-2009 season and has held the position ever since. The club has now rebounded to become a regular finals force.
Several Glory players say Tony's rousing half-time pep talks have inspired them to push through the pain barrier of a game's closing stages to bring home the win.
As much as he is a football fan, Tony is also a fan of Perth itself - the city that became his home town after a roaming childhood. He knows cities come together around their sporting teams, yet for so long Perth lingered outside many “national competitions”. It's part of why Tony feels so strongly that his beloved Perth must remain an A-League contender.
The Glory builds bridges off the field too. Its strong community, football skills and teamwork programs reach out to more than 20,000 children each year.
Building from deep funds management experience allied with a detail-driven ethos and the daring to be different, Tony is renowned for turning long-term trends into short-timeframe results.
A stunning example comes from 2008, when Tony invested $50 million to turn a $20m acquisition into a $400m deal. He pulled it all off with 24 months and at the height of the Global Financial Crisis. A further example comes from the continuing returns on the acquisition of $135 million of CopperCo's assets. So far, the return on the initial investment is 52 per cent.
Because of his hard-won reputation for making money for companies and their shareholders, Tony is highly regarded within the global resources sector.
He currently has a wide variety of business interests and projects, including Cape Lambert, Cauldron Energy, Fe Limited, Kupang Resources, Gold Rush Charters, Global Strategic Metals, European Lithium, Caeneus Minerals, International Petroleum and the National Stock Exchange of Australia.
Perth-based Cauldron Energy is a mineral resource development company with operations in Australia and Argentina. Closely involved in clean energy's most promising and most misunderstood resource – uranium – as well as other metals, Cauldron is looking long-term. The company's Yanrey (WA) and Marree (SA) projects in Australia and Rio Colorado and Las Marias projects in Argentina hold great promise in meeting the world's future energy needs.
Fe Limited is an Australian minerals company that explores and develops resource projects around WA and Queensland. With a focus on iron ore, Fe Limited's large portfolio of mineral resource projects also includes gold and nickel, and covers interests and rights in approximately 300 licences covering nearly 7,000 square-kilometres.
Tony's flagship business, a diversified resources and investment company, was founded in 2001 in Western Australia. Originally focused on iron ore, Cape Lambert has expanded into other mineral resources. Employing nearly 50 people, it's a great Aussie success story: a business that started small and local and then grew from strength to strength. Cape Lambert now has interests around the world, including groundbreaking projects in developing countries.
“There are needy people out there that I don't think government helps enough.” Tony Sage, Today Tonight, October 2012
Swags Team Perth is a small charity founded by Sarah English when she was in her early 20s. Its goal is to provide self-contained swags for each of Perth's estimated 760 homeless. After two years of fundraising, Sarah was only halfway to her charity's fundraising goal.
On hearing about her challenges, Tony (in disguise) accompanied Sarah on one of her Saturday night walks to visit people preparing to sleep rough. After talking to many homeless people and seeing their problems for himself, Tony wrote Sarah a cheque to cover Swag Team Perth's fundraising needs.
Tony also helps out kids in need through his leadership of Perth Glory. The club has become a partner of Parkerville Children and Youth Care – an organisation that cares for children who have experienced trauma from abuse. Parky Day and Kids Go Free are annual fundraising and awareness-raising traditions at Glory games.
Tony is also involved in helping Breast Cancer Care WA, a charity that supports people who have been affected by the cancer. It is a cause very close to his heart, having lost his mother to breast cancer at just 56. Using his corporate clout and connections, each year Tony pitches in to raise money and awareness for the disease. Even if it means donning the iconic purple bra himself!
“I believe we are on the cusp of achieving great things at the club and I'll be here for the long haul.” Tony Sage, foxsports.com.au, February 2009
Tony Sage has an eye for style. Frequently noted for his snappy suits, Tony is a Director, part owner and major sponsor of the Perth Fashion Festival and is the former publisher of high-concept fashion magazine Kurv.
He says he wanted to be involved in promoting Perth's fashion scene for some time and when the opportunity presented itself in 2008 he jumped at the chance. The following year, the festival's number of participating designers near doubled – to 130 – and a record 33,290 people attended. The success continued in 2010, with that year's festival being declared the most successful in the event's history.
While fashion and style are personal pursuits, Tony says sponsorships and corporate support also ensure Perth's cultural life continues to thrive. Adding his own signature style to the Perth scene, Tony even launched the high-rolling Onyx Bar – specialising in fine dining and lush cocktails - in 2005.
Farther afield, Tony was a founder of Red FM – a unique radio network that broadcasted quality programming 24 hours a day to remote mine workers across the vastness of Western Australia.