James Spenceley may be the most important man in asset management and stockbroking in Australia many have never heard of.

Spenceley’s Vocus Communications has laid 140 kilometres of fibre optic in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Some of it is in Sydney links the finance community with Chi-X Australia Ltd. and ASX Group’s Gore Hill data centre.

But most of those in Sydney’s Governor Phillip Tower and Chifley Tower have no idea Vocus is laying as much as 10 kilometres of low latency optic cables underneath Australian streets every month.

A Vocus fibre optic line between Australia and Singapore has mostly been taken up by finance companies.

“There is a massive amount of demand for this,” says Spenceley, perhaps the only chief executive who gets his jeans dirty before work from climbing into holes to check fibre optic cable.

His office is dishevelled: lengths of fibre optic cables are propped against walls next to multiple pairs of Birkenstock sandals.

When he was a small child Spenceley took delight in building a large drain and smaller ones, watching the water flow down the main drain and off its tributaries.

At aged 15 he built an irrigation system for his father that was computer controlled.

Spenceley says finance and plumbing are similar. “Finance is only as good as its telecommunications,” he says.

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