Leadership Team

Michael Huggins


Leaders are responsible for ensuring success among themselves and those around them. Great leaders don’t make demands, but instead find ways to bring out the best qualities and skills in those they lead. They unleash potential. We pride ourselves on having the best leaders in the business. One of them is Michael Huggins.

As the head of the Australian practice, Michael has brought over two decades of experience to his clients and colleagues by transforming industrial companies. Specifically, he sets up businesses to drive accountability and results. As a former Rhodes Scholar, Michael spent time as a Strategy Consultant with McKinsey & Company and an Engineer with Rio Tinto before coming to Partners in Performance. He also sits on the board at Coates Hire as a non-executive director.

Michael is married with two children. He loves living by the beach in Sydney and spends as much time as possible taking advantage of his location by swimming in the ocean and playing touch footy with his kids. Michael gets a kick out of watching the smile on their faces when he plays the didgeridoo for them.

Career snapshot

  • Conducted commercial due diligence on 60 private equity transactions in Australia across the following industries: mining services, gas services, health, construction, energy and business services.
  • Increased the earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margin by 14 percentage points at an alternate energy generator. This involved increasing revenue through better contracting, implementing a better operating strategy at five of the sites and reducing maintenance and procurement costs.
  • Identified a 10% capital-reduction opportunity on examined projects, after embedding value engineering into a major miner’s $US25bn capital programme.
  • Increased coal output by 20% at an open-pit coal mine by working on the truck and shovel fleet, driving accountabilities to the front line and implementing improvement ideas.
  • Increased output by 15% from an underground nickel mine by de-bottlenecking the process plant and improving the mine output (planning, accountabilities and productivity).
  • Identified a AU$20m-per-year opportunity at a coal power station, to be realised through increasing yield, reducing penalties and reducing costs.
  • Delivered AU$30m per year in 15 months at a zinc smelter. Major levers for this improvement included reduced costs (AU$18m) and a 12% uplift in production (AU$12m). During this time, the site moved on the cost curve from 50% percentile to 10%.
  • Increased revenue at a metals business by 15% by improving planning, development, production and availability.
  • Identified AU$150m in capital savings opportunities in a value engineering exercise for a major coal seam gas capital project in Australia.
  • Doubled the speed of projects through the pipeline at a major Australian electricity transmission company by helping them improve their planning and capital pipeline process.
  • Increased tonnes by 15% in a nickel and processing business, enabling the client to achieve budget for the first time in five years.
  • Reduced capital cost by 10% and increased net present value (NPV) by AU$200m for a major iron-ore mine in the Pilbara.
  • Increased NPV by AU$1bn for a AU$6bn copper mine, processing, township, power and port greenfield project.
  • Reduced supplier costs by 5%, in 12 weeks, while tackling the non-strategic spend of a major mining company.
  • Reduced contracting costs by AU$20m at a large minerals processing plant by outsourcing and renegotiating key contracts. Reduced costs for one contractor by 30%.
  • Increased profit by AU$30m per year at a large open-cut mine by increasing tonnes and ensuring operational control.
  • Delivered a AU$20m-per-year EBIT improvement, in nine months, at a steel mill client by increasing revenue by 44%.
  • Delivered a AU$20m annual improvement, in nine months, at a synthetic rutile business by increasing production by 17% with less than AU$1m in capital expenditure. Also delivered AU$8m per year in cost savings.
  • Delivered an AU$18m-per-year benefit for an integrated processing business by implementing improvements, focusing on maintenance systems and capabilities.


Degree in Engineering at the University of Queensland (Hons) and BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University (Hons).