Pasminco – from voluntary administration to $8billion company with an award winning environmental legacy

Pasminco – from voluntary administration to $8billion company with an award winning environmental legacy

When Margot was asked to work with Greig Gailey, the new MD of Pasminco, he had just put the company into voluntary administration owing $3.2b to 36 different lenders.  Pasminco went into administration the same day that Australia’s second leading airline Ansett was placed in administration. Ansett sold all their assets and let go all their staff. 

Pasminco restructured the lead and zinc industry globally, eventually  becoming 2 companies each worth about $6billion.  In short Pasminco created $15.2 billion in value over a 5-year period. At the start of this journey Pasminco also had a diabolic environmental legacy including a problem with lead-in-blood for the children living near their plants. There was also strife with indigenous communities around their major mine.

3 years on

  • Pasminco was floated as Zinifex with a minimal debt of $300m
  • They won awards for environmental stewardship & community relations
  • 2 years after that –
  • Zinifex had a market cap of $8billion
  • That same year Zinifex merged with Umicore in Europe creating Nyrstar & OzMinerals – both valued at $6billion

Strategy in motion created $15.2b in 5 years.

PHASE 1 – Initially, Margot supported Managing Director,  Greig Gailey (through one-on-one coaching) to become very clear about his desired outcomes.  He decided, in these sessions with Margot, that getting Pasminco out of administration was insufficient as he would need to restructure the lead and zinc industry globally for the company to be sustainable long term.  He believed that to do this he needed new blood at the top and he recruited strong leaders he trusted.  He wanted to achieve all this ethically, humanely and in a way that nurtured the environment and communities around the company’s sites.

PHASE 2 – In partnership with Grieg, Margot then worked with the new leadership team, the administrators and the advisory board to grow relationships, raise levels of adult brain development and find a path out of administration.

PHASE 3 – Margot continued to work with the executive team (and Board) while they turned Pasminco around and floated it, as Zinifex, on the Australian stock exchange.  Zinifex quickly became the number one growth stock on the Australian stock market.

PHASE 4 – Led by the Zinifex leadership team, the strategy in motion process was taken to all the divisions of Zinifex in preparation for the next step – a global merger.  The concept was, to use the turn around as a living case study whereby the Zinifex leaders became world class masters of change in a way that they could apply their learning and experience to the next phase of corporate development.

PHASE 5 – Margot continued to mentor the leadership team and board as they executed the multi-billion dollar global merger.

PHASE 6 – Margot then worked with the leadership team of Nystrar in Europe to settle in the new leadership team.  She also worked with the OzMineral’s board to find a replacement for Greig Gailey who had decided to retire.


For many years throughout this process Margot facilitated numerous board/executive team strategic retreats.  At lunch time on one of these strategic retreats she went for a walk leaving the all-male board and executive to mingle with each other.  When she returned, she was amazed to discover that one board member had switched on music and the group were dancing.  Yes dancing! Having fun on the way to creating that $15.2 billion.

Greig told Boss Magazine about the transformation:-

“It’s an investment that has translated to performance. The proof is of the company’s performance over the last three years. But the prize you get at a senior level is you can get people who relate to people in a functional way – which is quite amazing”.

“It’s not the strongest of the species that survive.  It’s the most responsive.”
Charles Darwin

Media Contact

If you would like to request an interview for a story, podcast or video with Margot, please submit the form below.

Please not that due to the volumes of requests we receive we are unable to respond to all enquiries.

Back to top