Centuria Capital Group’s investor services officer, Lizzie Paton, is the font of all knowledge when it comes to Centuria’s sixteen unlisted property funds. If she’s not fielding calls from investors, advisers and research houses on everything from recent and forecast distributions, to when the next capital raising is coming and what tenants are up to, she’s preparing market research and property outlooks for the distribution team.
Nominated as one of the industry’s Unsung Heroes, Lizzie tells Industry Moves why she loves working in financial services, what she’s learnt along the way, and reveals a couple of hidden talents.
"There’s literally never a dull moment"
What her colleagues have to say...
Doug Hoskins – Diversified Property Fund Manager
Lizzie is set apart by her excellent attention to detail and constant willingness to take on challenging tasks – she doesn’t give up. She brings a positive attitude to our workplace and supports her colleagues and our investors. In her role on the Investor Services Team, she’s the primary point of call for investor queries, concerns, or issues for the entire unlisted portfolio. She takes care of investors, including via highly complex tasks like finessing PDSs for new funds.
Ben Harrop – Head of Distribution
What makes Lizzie great is that she comes to work aiming to spend every spare minute in providing amazing service to our investors, managing complex problems, coordinating multiple stakeholders time to get information out, and preparing material to give our distribution team an edge in supporting advisers. On top of her daily workload, Lizzie is always looking to improve the way we deliver service to our clients. Since starting in our business last August, Lizzie has reviewed and redesigned just about every process in the team, with an eye on making the customer journey better. No one has asked her to do this – she just always takes the initiative as she takes tremendous pride in her role.
Jason Huljich – Head of Real Estate and Funds Management
Lizzie’s contribution to the Group is apparent in her attitude to her work. Centuria places culture at the centre of the business, and the CEO interviews every prospective staff member to make sure that they not only have the right qualifications and experience on paper, but that they also have the right attitude to do their best and look after clients – who are the heart of Centuria. Lizzie through her actions demonstrates the very client-centric attitude that Centuria works hard on developing.
"Since starting in our business last August, Lizzie has reviewed and redesigned just about every process in the team."
Ben Harrop, Head of Distribution
Q&A with Lizzie Paton
What do you enjoy most about your role?
That there’s literally never a dull moment. If I’m not answering calls from investors and advisers, I’m talking to fund managers and preparing research and property market outlooks for our distribution team. It’s a job which really keeps me on my toes, juggling conflicting priorities, and coordinating information coming in from everywhere. I love that the day flies by so quickly.
What drew you to the industry?
I’ve always been interested in financial services – which is why I chose to study a Bachelor of Business in Finance and International Business at UTS as my undergraduate degree. I think one of the most appealing aspects of my career in property at Centuria is the number of different opportunities on offer – there are so many ways to contribute, and diverse areas to work in. Since I started in the industry I’ve been an analyst in superannuation, a relationship manager and now I’m in investor services – and I’ve really enjoyed all three roles.
What was your very first job?
My very first job was not in finance at all – in some ways it was the opposite - picking cherries in Young, in country NSW. I took the job over summer when I first left school - and it turned out to be a pretty good motivator to get to university - gruelling work, for a very modest pay packet! I was up at 5am every day, drove an hour each way to work, and then picked cherries all day in the blistering Australian sun. Amazingly enough, I still love cherries!
Who do you most admire (in or out of the industry) and how have they influenced your life/work?
Now that I am a mother, I have to say that I really admire working parents – both mothers and fathers. I know from firsthand experience that juggling the competing demands of a career and a small (or big) child, can be a challenge, and one that’s hard to get right. I’m constantly inspired by other parents’ ability to manage both.
What makes your heart sing?
Summer holidays with my family, definitely. Most summers, my husband, my son and I try to rent a house at Boomerang Beach on the NSW north coast and just relax. It’s a great way to unwind and start the new year.
With the benefit of hindsight, what would you tell your young self?
Remember to be grateful for the small things along the way.
What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?
That I’m an expert cherry picker? Seriously though, I’m not a particularly secretive person, so I imagine not much – except, maybe that I can speak Bahasa Indonesian? When I was at school, we all had to learn a foreign language, and the only language that any of the teachers could speak was Indonesian – so that’s what we learnt. Maybe one day I’ll actually get to go to Indonesia and try out my skills!
Lizzie at work
Is there someone in your organisation that deserves recognition for going above and beyond? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate your Unsung Hero!