Liz Williams, a quiet achiever who is excelling in her chosen field, joined global investment manager Nuveen's Australian office in 2014 before jumping at the chance to transfer to the London team in 2017. She now manages and oversees all the firm's events across EMEA and the Asia Pacific with a cool head, positive nature and the kind of intense organisation skills that don't go unnoticed by colleagues.
"The grass is always greener where you water it."
What her colleagues have to say...
Gemma Young, Head of Marketing, EMEA & Asia Pacific
Liz relocated from Sydney to London, and into a brand new role, in 2017. Since that time, she has consistently taken the new role and responsibilities in her stride. It is a challenging role which involves a constant balance of many simultaneous activities, extreme forward planning and a positive outlook. However, her organisational skills, cool head and positive nature have earned her the respect of those across the business at all levels, and allows her to perform the role in an apparently effortless manner!
Kara Eigl, Head of PR, EMEA & Asia Pacific
Liz and I often work alongside each other at events and I am constantly impressed by her organisation, leadership and ability to stay calm under pressure. Liz is a true ambassador of our values, especially 'deliver excellence'. Her positive attitude makes her a real joy to work with.
Nick Evans, Executive Director, Head of Real Estate, Australia
Liz was our first hire to join the business in Australia several years ago taking a leap of faith to join a start-up business from a well-established legal practice. She knows what it takes to build a business from zero to ‘unsung hero’ experiencing the ups and downs of a satellite office with a handful of people.
Liz managed our very first international regional employee seminar in 2015 and has helped build a corporate brand and culture.
Her commitment, attitude, quiet self-confidence embodies the values of our organisation and I’m delighted to see her grow professionally in our London office.
"She knows what it takes to build a business from zero to ‘unsung hero’"
Nick Evans, Executive Director, Head of Real Estate, Australia
Q&A with Liz Williams
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The variety of the role - no two days are the same. The different styles of events, locations and people – since commencing my role at Nuveen, I’ve managed events across Europe, APAC and Americas from research seminars to exhibitions and parties. This has enabled me to build relationships with lots of our key internal and external stakeholders and really test my organisational skills!
How do you find navigating its global remit - timezones, cultures, etc?
In my role, you are constantly challenged in working effectively across timezones. Clear and frequent communication, as well as an organised project plan for all events, helps to ensure deadlines are met and all stakeholders are well informed in respect of what’s required regardless of the timezone they are in. I find it very interesting working with a number of different cultures and understanding the different customs in each of the regions. Whilst this can be a challenge at times it’s one of the most interesting parts of being involved in a global business.
"When the opportunity came to move to London with Nuveen in an events executive role I jumped at the opportunity"
What drew you to this line of work? Have there been sliding door moments along the way?
Two of the Diplomas offered at my business college were Business Administration and Events. I ended up studying Business Administration which was what I wanted a career in however I was fortunate that the course also covered aspects of corporate events management. I gravitated towards the events management side of the course, however upon graduating found a role working in a law firm.
When the opportunity arose to move to Nuveen, based out of the Sydney office, it gave me the opportunity to be involved in not just office management, but also to take responsibility as the local lead for many of the Australian events including our first Asia Pacific Employee Seminar, Office Launch Party and our Australian Real Assets Roadshows. I always enjoyed working this element of the role and when the opportunity came to move to London with Nuveen in an events executive role I jumped at the opportunity. I really enjoy that every day and event is different, and the constant challenge of ensuring the same roadshows, exhibitions and conferences get better and better every year.
What was your very first job?
Pulling beers at a pub in the Rocks.
"I really enjoy that every day and event is different, and the constant challenge of ensuring the same roadshows, exhibitions and conferences get better and better every year."
Who do you most admire (in or out of the industry)?
My close network of friends and family. I love catching up with those close to me and hearing how they have grown and what they’re doing in their lives. Being able to use them as a sounding board for work and non-work ideas and feedback, and receiving their support is something that I really value. I also enjoy hearing their stories and things they’re achieving in their lives that push me to ensure I’m being the best I can be.
What makes your heart sing?
At work, it is seeing a successful event through from start to finish. I take great pride in being able to look back at what I’ve been able to achieve personally, but also what we’ve been able to achieve as a team and as a business. In my personal life though, what I really enjoy is travelling and the ease of being able to see new amazing cities and cultures, as well as being able to explore what is still my new home in London.
Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I grew up in Sydney, Australia which was of course very different to life now in London. Growing up I had two older brothers and a large extended family that all lived relatively close by which meant lots of family barbeques in Summer. We spent lots of time by the water learning to sail, and I stayed active representing my school in volleyball. I have very fond memories of growing up in Sydney and would like to move back there someday.
"I love catching up with those close to me and hearing how they have grown and what they’re doing in their lives"
With the benefit of hinsight, what would you tell your younger self?
The grass is always greener where you water it. When I first heard this saying I took it as meaning I should be investing time into myself and focusing on my health, however more recently I take this to mean that if you put the work, time and dedication into something you will receive the rewards. It really resonates with me as it’s crucial that you work hard to achieve things personally and professionally, as they won’t just be gifted to you.
What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?
A few years ago I built a home for a family in need in Cambodia which I’m overdue to do again.
Liz at work
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