Advice for industry newcomers from those who have come before

Thursday 5th October 2017

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the finance industry? That’s the question we've posed to a range of experienced industry executives as part of our regular weekly Q&As. From an industry pioneer about to step down, to an entrepreneur who has left finance for a career in mixed martial arts, we bring you excerpts from their pearls of wisdom for the industry's shiny new recruits.

What they said...

Ming Long Ming Long - Former Managing Director at Investa
The self-confessed black sheep of her family, Ming Long decided against a career in medicine to study economics and law. Her 20 year career in finance included an 11 year stint at Investa, spending time as joint managing director of the business. This year she was appointed to the boards of AMP Capital.

Quote "Take on challenges. In those times you learn about yourself and others. You need challenges so you build resilience, understand your values and what drives you. It is in the most difficult times you learn the most, grow the most and build skills that are more likely to be needed in leadership." Read full Q&A with Ming Long.

Nick Langton Nick Langton - Former CEO at Bridges
Following a two-decade long stretch in the wealth management sector, including as CEO of Bridges and general manager at Perpetual Private Clients, last year Nick Langton hung up his finance hat to pursue his dream job in the world of mixed martial arts.

Quote "You have to take the time to understand the underlying utility in the products and services you are making and distributing. Once you understand the intrinsic utility that accrues to the client who buys them, well then you start to really understand how to position and sell them." Read full Q&A with Nick Langton.

Trish Donohue Trish Donohue - Group Executive, Investment Services & Solutions at Cbus
Cbus investment pioneer Trish Donohue is to leave the fund at the end of 2017 after almost two decades of service. Donohue joined Cbus in January 2000 as the founding member of the investment team and has been a member of the Cbus executive since 2004.

Quote "Put super funds on your list of potential employers – the ability to help all workers out there look forward to a decent retirement is a humbling experience – one that I have been absolutely privileged to have been part of."
Read full Q&A with Trish Donohue.

Naomi Denning Naomi Denning - Former Managing Director and Head of the Asia Pacific investment business at Willis Towers Watson
Last month global advisory, broking and solutions firm, Willis Towers Watson saw the departure of managing director and head of the firm's Asia Pacific investment business, Naomi Denning after 23 years with the firm. She is leaving to relocate to Canada with her family.

Quote "Stay focused on what should be the true purpose of the industry – to provide value to the clients entrusting their assets to you. Alignment of interest is key."
Read full Q&A with Naomi Denning.

Simone Thompson Simone Thompson - Managing Director at ST Consult
What was meant to be a three-day stint at a consulting firm turned into a ten-year role and the start of Simone Thompson's career in the finance industry. Last year, after taking a break from the corporate world to travel around Australia, Simone decided to "take the plunge" and realise her life-long goal to start her own business.

Quote "Attend industry events, soak up knowledge and meet new people. Knowledge is power and the best way to empower yourself is to learn as much as you can, from as many people as you can." Read full Q&A with Simone Thompson.

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