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Brad Olsen named 2020 Young Wellingtonian of the Year

Infometrics is very proud to see Senior Economist and Director Brad Olsen named as 2020 Young Wellingtonian of the Year.

“We are all proud of this recognition of Brad, but most of all we are proud of his commitment and professionalism in all he does” says Dr Amanda Lynn, Infometrics Chair.

Photo of a young Brad

Originally from Whangārei, Brad attended Whangārei Boys High School, graduating in 2014. Brad joined Infometrics in July 2015 as a part time data analyst while studying at Victoria University of Wellington. In 2019 he completed his undergraduate studies, finishing with a BCom and BA (majoring in Economics, Public Policy, International Relations and Political Science).

Since joining Infometrics Brad quickly became involved in all areas of the business. Initially as an integral part of the macro economic forecasting team, Brad developed a strong relationship with the media and rose to prominence commentating on a wide range of economic issues.
He also has a strong interest in regional economic analysis, and is in wide demand to address councils, chambers of commerce and strategy teams, and business leaders on regional development issues. He has completed a wide range of consulting projects with clients that range from political parties to property developers.

“He brings a wisdom to his work that is well beyond his years” says Andrew Whiteford, Infometrics Managing Director.

During the COVID-19 crisis his profile rose dramatically, as a leading commentator on the impact of the pandemic. His clear communication and thoughtful insights have become a media staple for many New Zealanders. His work, and rise to prominence, was covered by The Spinoff in 2020 in the cheekily-titled Who is Brad Olsen, boy wonder and economist extraordinaire? (a “title” that is roundly mocked among friends and colleagues).

In previous comments to The Spinoff in that same article, Infometrics Chief Forecaster Gareth Kiernan noted that “he’s pretty tough on himself and sets high standards, so that gives me confidence. And it’s nice to have a younger person commenting on the economy sometimes”.

Brad Olsen and Ashley Bloomfield

In mid-2020, Brad was appointed to the Infometrics board as a Director. This appointment reflects the confidence his colleagues, and the Board, have in him.

“Brad makes a strong contribution to Infometrics through his commitment and professionalism and is a valued colleague” according to Dr Lynn.

When not working Brad leads an exciting and varied life. He is currently New Zealand’s youngest Justice of the Peace (JP). He serves in many Wellington community organisations, like the Global Shapers Community Wellington Hub, Wellington City Youth Council, the Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network, the Wellington District Licensing Committee and volunteers frequently with Take10 in Wellington’s CBD on Friday and Saturday nights. In 2016, he was announced as New Zealand’s Queen’s Young Leader and has met with the Queen on three occasions.

“This award is a recognition of Brad’s qualities as a principled and caring leader. Brad’s life is a life of service to his city, community and country” says Andrew Whiteford.

Photo of Brad with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
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