Frank Costa was the embodiment of conventional household values, for him household was every thing. On the identical time he was a enterprise chief means forward of his time. He practiced values based mostly management lengthy earlier than it grew to become a trendy administration buzz phrase. Likewise was his mantra of “Rent for character, prepare for ability”.
Frank might discuss all proper however when he spoke folks listened and have been swayed by his ardour, imaginative and prescient and optimism. Most of all he was genuine. Leaders who attempt to be genuine are likely to fall brief. Frank didn’t need to make an effort to be genuine, he simply was. With Frank what you noticed and heard was what you bought and he made you are feeling higher simply by being in his firm.
It has been uplifting to listen to so many individuals recounting their tales about Frank all testifying to his distinctive character. In my time at NAB, my crew was lucky to have the Costa Group as a significant consumer. Most of our dealings have been with Frank’s youngest brother Robert. Frank was clearly the lead singer within the Costa band however Robert was the drummer who stored issues tight. As a lot as Frank cherished the limelight, Robert shunned it however they complemented one another brilliantly. Robert will miss his oldest brother terribly however it’s hoped that he and all of the household take consolation within the data that they don’t seem to be alone.
My very own favorite story of Frank factors to his irrepressible character. I as soon as hosted a lunch for Costa executives within the hallowed board room of the unique NAB State Workplace at 271 Collins Road and it was the primary time I met Frank. It was memorable for a number of causes not the least being the absence of alcohol as a result of Frank was a non-drinker. I’ll always remember Frank delivering a charming dissertation in regards to the significance of household and partnerships just like the one the Costa Group loved with NAB.
I had been warned that though Frank was a real charmer his negotiating abilities have been to not be underestimated, in all probability from a lifetime’s expertise dealing within the fruit and veges market. Anyway, on the finish of the lunch as everybody was heading for the lifts, Frank quietly drew me apart, put this arm round my shoulders and ever so politely identified that a few of his enterprise mates who have been additionally main NAB purchasers have been getting a barely finer lending margin than what we have been charging Costas. Within the warmest doable method he merely and quietly posed the query “would you see what you are able to do for me?”
It was essentially the most irresistible hit-up I ever acquired and naturally how might Frank not have gotten his means? Many occasions I considered how otherwise different financial institution prospects went about pursuing their agenda with their financial institution. I by no means earlier than or after skilled something like the way in which Frank dealt with this. From that first assembly I used to be in awe of Frank.
There are different tales about household, religion and soccer that I’ll cherish. In 30 years in banking, I by no means met anybody extra reliable, real, humble, optimistic and downright likeable than Frank. What a legacy he has left us all.
Deepest sympathies to Shirley, his daughters and all of the Costa household.
Might his reminiscence be a blessing.