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FuturePlus CIO is  crowing  about new  office  Artie Beetson.  Arguably the greatest  prop in rugby  league’s post-war  history. The first  Aboriginal to captain  Australia in any  sport. State of Origin  hero. Bringer of  The Biff. And most  importantly for our  purposes here, glue in the marriage of  Michael Block, the chief investment  officer of FuturePlus.  Back to Big Artie in a moment. 

As you can see from these pictures of  Michael’s office at FuturePlus, the man  is cock-a-hoop for the club that most  associate with Beetson, the Eastern  Suburbs Roosters.  If a nook or cranny of his Margaret  Street digs are not stuffed with one  piece of Easts memorabilia or another,  they are stuffed with family photos,  although many of the family members  are depicted in Roosters clobber and/or  posing with Roosters greats. 

Among the prize items in Michael’s  collection are the original supporter’s kit  he got as a kid back in the ‘60s, a 1970s  pokie coin cup from Easts Leagues  (adorned with the old red-bird-in-ablue-  shield logo that Michael prefers),  and autographs from just about every  Easts immortal you’d care to name, Jack  Gibson to Brad Fittler.  There’s even some gear with an  industry connection. Doug Bickerton  (brother of Bruce Bickerton, Lazard Asset  Management’s relationship manager)  is a painter with a penchant for  chickens and eggs, and a couple of his  rooster originals have found their way  on to Block’s walls. 

So why does Michael have all of this  priceless memorabilia at work? His wife,  a big Parramatta Eels fan, can’t stand it  being at home.  “At least we’ve got Artie Beetson,”  Block reminds himself, referring to  big Artie’s stint in the blue-and-yellow  toward the end of his career.  Colleagues at FuturePlus have taken  to calling their CIO’s office ‘The Coop’,  but Block says the way the Roosters are  playing this season, it should probably  be renamed “The Mausoleum”.  Mayor of Chicago tries  the Aussies again  A delegation from Melbourne’s  Centre For Investor Education were  wondering to what they owed the honour  when Richard Daley, the Mayor of  Chicago, addressed them on their recent  visit Stateside. 

But investors in Macquarie Infrastructure  Group would not have been  surprised.  The boss of America’s third-largest  city would have been salivating at the  chance for some face time with Aussie  fiduciaries, given at the height of the  credit boom he’d leased the Chicago  Skyway to Macquarie  partner Cintra) for a cool US$1.83  billion.  That meant Macquarie also needed  to control the Indiana Toll Road, the  major source of traffic for the Skyway,  so with Cintra they signed a 75-year  lease on that blacktop for a whopping  US$3.8 billion. As if that weren’t  enough, in bargaining with Indiana  Governor Mitch Daniels the Big Mac  was mandated to make US$400 million  of improvements, such as installing  electronic tolling. 

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