Hugh Peck is the kind of guy whose actions speak louder than his words.
As Six Park’s chief operating officer, Hugh is responsible for many of the business’s most complex and important tasks. On any given day you’ll find him checking over client trades, working on new process automation and website improvements, assisting clients, and analysing marketing and advertising performance, while keeping an eye on compliance. That’s after he’s cycled an average 50km before getting to the office.
“I’ve always liked learning how things work,” Hugh says. “Being part of a smaller team has a lot of positives because you get involved in so many aspects of the business, but it’s also important to prioritise and focus or else you end up trying to do everything and achieving nothing.”
Working at an investment company is a natural fit for Hugh – his dad worked in finance, which led the family around the world during Hugh’s childhood. He lived in Hong Kong and New Jersey as a teenager before moving back to Australia when he was 16.
“Young people in Hong Kong have quite a lot of freedom and responsibility, so they tend to grow up young and pretty quickly,” Hugh says. “Life in New Jersey was pretty fun – especially with a car licence that I got to keep when I came back to Australia.”
In New Jersey he played drums in a punk rock band with his brother and their mates, performing basement and garage gigs along with shows at bars. At 14 he was working in a juice bar when the owner introduced him to nutrition and lifting weights. It was the start of a commitment to fitness that has been central to his life ever since.
“I’d always liked sport but I wasn’t a jock,” Hugh says.
He started triathlons in 2006 and also competed on the ironman circuit, which involves a 3.8km swim and 180km bike ride followed by a marathon. Qualifying and competing in Hawaii’s legendary Ironman World Championship in 2012 remains among his proudest achievements.
“I loved the challenge of extending my physical and mental limits,” he says. “I was part of a great club where we liked to push ourselves but also have fun – some people are happy to sacrifice everything for a finisher’s medal but I always wanted that balance.”
That club led to Hugh’s friendship with Six Park co-founder Pat Garrett. Hugh was looking for a new challenge after almost six years as chief operating officer at Lifebroker when Pat invited him to join the company.
“Six Park was still an idea when I jumped in,” Hugh says. “Start-ups require a lot of resilience – it’s tough to build from the ground up – but there’s also been some great milestones and there are more to come.”
His triathlon club was also responsible for introducing Hugh to his future wife, Emma, before they’d even met.
“Before I started at Lifebroker I spent six months riding and surfing around Asia,” he explains. “I’d jump onto Facebook and look at what was happening at the club back at home and started noticing photos of this gorgeous blonde girl.” They now have two children – Oscar is almost 3 and Madeleine is 1.
He loves taking them to the beach and lives for summer, when he can surf and enjoy the warmth of the sun. “I love spending time with family at the beach; there’s nothing like it.”