Hometown: Adelaide, South Australia
Studied: Commerce and Accounting, University of Adelaide
Joined CLSA: 2014
There’s no such thing as a typical working day as Head of Group Finance. I have a very broad job description that makes every day different and interesting! I am responsible for anything finance related, falling outside of Financial Control, Treasury and Tax, so I report, analyse, interpret and explain our numbers, ensure budgets are in place and management are cognisant of how we are performing against these targets. As a key member of the Finance Management team, I support the Group CFO, Executive Committee and business heads in providing a complete picture of all financial matters in order to understand trends and drive performance while helping support strategy and decision making.
My role helps CLSA understand how we are performing, what areas are doing well and what areas need some more attention by reporting, analyzing, and explaining what the numbers mean.
I use my academic qualifications a lot in my daily work. Having a degree in Commerce (Accounting) plus being a qualified CPA opens a lot of doors in your career, and it’s provided me with technical skills I need to handle all the situations I face. As an added benefit, my qualifications give me access to several networks, professional resources and publications.
Don’t say no to an opportunity if you’re a graduate seeking a career in finance, as you never know where that opportunity may lead. Seek as much advice as possible about working in the industry and stay informed. I know it’s a cliché but your career is a marathon not a sprint, so don’t be in a rush as things take time to work out properly and fall into place.
I first heard about CLSA through its forums and how much fun they sounded, and people spoke very highly of CLSA and its people. Its fantastic reputation in the marketplace, the opportunity my role was going to give me, and a move from Singapore to Hong Kong, all contributed to my decision to join CLSA.
Learning new things every day and helping my team members develop, grow and challenge the status quo are two of the most rewarding things about my job.
If I was to use one word to define CLSA’s culture, it most definitely would be ‘Celebration’. In this challenging and stressful world we live and work in, it’s such a great thing that CLSA recognises the need to reward and celebrate our hard work and success. Its culture is so unique, we have a flat structure and no corporate titles, so all staff are treated equally and everyone’s roles and responsibilities are very clear. Anybody can get access to very senior people, which is a major difference between CLSA and other banks.
It’s absolutely possible to have work/life balance and CLSA are excellent at that. We’re encouraged to spend time with our families and friends and to get involved in things like the Chairman’s Trust and not to spend every waking hour at our desks.
Outside of work I focus on my family, exercise (especially running), playing team sports, going to the beach or an island off Hong Kong, listening and occasionally playing music, appreciating red wine and exploring Asia. I have also recently completed the Not-For-Profit Director Program (sponsored by CLSA and the Australian Institute of Company Directors) so I am looking forward to getting involved with some charities or not-for-profit organisations. When I get the opportunity, I also love reading a book to my daughters before bedtime.