Retail & Business Banking
Bendigo’s leveraged finance doyenne spearheads new strategic initiatives
By Alexandra Cain
Published Thu 16 Jul
4 mins read
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s new head of its margin lender Leveraged Equities, Lily Elliott, is using the start of a new financial year as an opportunity to bed down strategic initiatives.
<p>Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s new head of its margin lender Leveraged Equities, Lily Elliott, is using the start of a new financial year as an opportunity to bed down strategic initiatives. </p> <p>Elliott took the position earlier this year after heading up CommSec’s customer engagement team. She’s worked in equity markets for more than 20 years and started her career at Westpac. This is her second time at Leveraged Equities, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. </p> <p>“I've always worked in a sales and service capacity, as well as looking after governance and analyst reporting teams. I'm in that great spot where I get the best of both worlds, I'm passionate about leadership and strategy and also get to work in the equity markets.”</p> <p>In her current role, Elliott is responsible for margin lending, online trading and cash investments and manages a 100-strong team. The business deals mainly with advised customers and some retail investors. </p> <p>“I want to expand our offering and consider the next generation of investors. These are investors who may not be immediately positioned to get a mortgage and buy a property but who are looking for an alternative way to build their wealth,” says Elliott. </p> <p>“Nonetheless our established partner and platform relationships will continue to be an important priority for the business. I want to shift our approach to be more consultative with financial advisers and help them build wealth for their customers,” she says. </p> <p>The business will continue to support wholesale and sophisticated clients’ needs, in particular around international shares. “Our focus is on offering a lending solution that introduces a foreign currency loan feature with better and simpler ways of international investing with gearing,” says Elliott. While this feature will initially be targeted to the wholesale market, it may be adapted to suit retail investors. </p> <p>Leveraged’s average customer is a high-net-worth professional in his fifties, although younger customers are also increasingly using leveraged finance. “These are up-and-coming professionals looking to build their wealth,” says Elliott, explaining this group will be a focus in the future.</p> <p>A new financial year means the start of a new strategic plan. “The challenge is to maintain our growth momentum and at the same time control our costs. We’re looking at our priorities and concentrating on areas that will create value now, also making sure we don't lose sight of the longer-term vision.”</p> <p>Bedding down industry partnerships is part of the strategy. “We're really an independent player in the advice space,” says Elliott. “Their customers know they are safe in our hands and there's no competing priorities. So we want to build on that.”</p> <p>Elliott says being positioned as a leader is vital to success. She believes one of the secrets of great leadership is building relationships from within. </p> <p>“A lot of leaders forget to do that. You need the right people to advocate for and support your business plan. Don’t wait until you need something to pop your head up; always connect with people and make sure they understand your business as much as you do.”</p> <p>She says there’s also potential for her business to step up within the industry. “One of the reasons I took this role was to expand on our proposition and take it to a new level. That's the opportunity in the short-term. Long term, it’s about expansion.”</p> <p>Elliott’s team is currently working remotely, which has been a change. “We’re very dependent on video and technology. The sales team is heavily reliant on those channels to continue to work with our partners and advisers. Learning how to work remotely and build rapport with customers and advisers has been invaluable. You don't always need to get on a plane. There's ways around that.”</p>