With the Australian share market slumping and talk of a financial crisis building, one man who’ll be the centre of attention over the coming days is CommSec market analyst Tom Piotrowski.
Delivering daily market wraps on news services around the country, Piotrowski’s analysis will be prominent as investors stay abreast of events.
Piotrowski is no stranger to the television screen, gaining fame as a regular guest on the Rove show in 2009.
Prior to his career in the public eye, he was a trader in Fixed Income and Currency markets after studying at the University of Newcastle.
Since then, he’s been delivering market wraps and, in recent years, impressive facial hair.
If ever there were a poster child for the “dandy wildman” men’s style trend, Piotrowski is it.
The Sydney-based economist started his career as a clean-shaven, short-haired gent, but soon grew a mullet and a beard – becoming a rugged, long-locked version of his former self.
“There was very definitely nothing intentional about what happened here,” Piotrowski told The New Daily of his look.
“It was a pure accident. It fits in with my whole approach to personal grooming, which is on the minimalist side – apart from deodorant.”
For some viewers, the minimalist grooming approach isn’t quite working.
“Ok ok ok. I think #TomPiotrowski from @CommSec has now fallen that far into a vat of #Hipster he may never recover,” one Twitter user declared.
“Please someone make Tom Piotrowski get a haircut and a shave. He looks like a homeless man was given a chance to be on tv,” another demanded.
The Tom Hanks character comparisons also came in hard and fast.
“That late night cross to @CommBank guy Tom Piotrowski reminds me of Forrest Gump at the end of his running campaign,” one Twitter user commented.
“Whoa, CommSec’s Tom Piotrowski looks like he is about ten minutes away from making friends with a volleyball called Wilson,” another wrote.
It really is only a matter of time for Tom Piotrowski from Commsec… pic.twitter.com/RxPGhYA9va
— Sam Wilkinson (@WilkoSam) April 27, 2015
But the insults have fallen on deaf ears, with Piotrowski’s hair and beard only getting unrulier by the day.
Even a lack of female attention hasn’t halted the economist’s descent into full-on wildman territory.
“When your hair gets to a certain length, women stop noticing you,” he admitted.
Not everyone is against the look, however. Several fan groups have sprung up on Facebook celebrating Piotrowski for his brazen defiance of classic corporate hair codes.
One describes Piotrowski as “the beard, the mullet, the legend”.
The most-liked Facebook page, with 311 fans, is called ‘Tom Piotrowski’s beard turns me on‘.
So, does the man who is fast becoming an internet meme now get noticed when he hits the streets?
“No I don’t, I can conduct my business as a private citizen. I’m not in the Kardashian camp,” he told TND.
Whether good or bad, there’s little doubt Piotrowski’s look is a drastic departure from your typical economist, so kudos to him for pushing the boundaries.
However, he has a way to go before he gets to Gump level beardiness.
– with reporting by James Fernyhough