Steve Vizard’s complex business affairs and high profile public life
have landed the former Late Show host in the news again, despite the
best efforts of his PR company.

Steve Vizard’s shock NGV resignation

Sealed section – 28 May

What’s going on with Steve Vizard? On Monday his face was seen smiling
from pages of the Herald Sun beside an interview-profile with John
Ferguson, but by Thursday he was in the news again with the surprise
announcement that he would be quitting as president of the National
Gallery of Victoria’s Council of Trustees.

Vizard said he was leaving to spend more time with his five children
and other commitments, describing the decision as, “one of the tougher
and more difficult decisions I’ve had to make”.

Could it be that Vizard used his interview Ferguson as last ditch
attempt to resurrect his reputation in the eyes of the Trustees, who
were keen to put some distance between the NGV and Vizard’s
controversial business dealings? More likely, Vizard has probably
decided himself that these high-profile public gigs are unsustainable
when he’s dealing with police raids and allegations of insider trading.

How long will it be before the Victorian Major Events Company, the
Commonwealth Games and the 2007 World Swimming Championships also lose
the services of Vizard?

Steve Vizard in the Fin Review

Sealed section – 31 May

We haven’t heard much about Steve Vizard and his financial troubles
since last year when his former bookkeeper, Roy Hilliard, was charged
with stealing $3 million from Vizard’s company, Performing Arts
Services.

On the weekend, however, the Fin Review took a fresh look at the Vizard saga.

While Vizard had the time to speak to the Herald Sun’s John Ferguson
last week, he cancelled his interview with the Fin, after initially
indicating he would be happy to talk.

Indeed, it almost looks as if Vizard granted the Herald Sun interview
to try and get some positive spin out before the Fin’s profile.

Vizard had reason to be concerned about that might be written as
earlier this year, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
attempted to have a Fin Review reporter, who was covering the Vizard
court cases, provide information for its investigations. However, the
attempt did not succeed.

The Fin also delved into the Vizard’s extensive property portfolio.

In addition to their Orrong Road mansion in Toorak (formerly the home
of stockbroker John Baillieu), which is owned by a Vizard company
called Serene Residential, the Vizard’s have owned several properties,
all in the name of Vizard companies.

Last year Vizard sold his Landale Road mansion in Toorak to new IOOF
chief executive Ron Dewhurst for more than $6.4 million. Previously he
had sold Roxby Park, an historic 1247-hectare homestead west of
Geelong, for $5.51 million.

The Vizard Foundation also owns two terrace houses at 68 and 70
Clarendon Street in East Melbourne, where its office is housed, plus
two blocks of land on the surf coast, west of Melbourne.

While Vizard’s Performing Arts Services, owns a beach house at 2 Shasta
Way (off Back Beach Road), in the highly sought after seaside town of
Portsea.

All in all, Vizard’s complex business affairs belie the easygoing nature presented by the former Late Show host.

Peter Fray

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