FINSIA’s two new Board members have spoken of the ongoing need to focus on professionalism.
Carolyn Kidd F FIN and Andrew McNeil SF FIN, who were elected to the eight member Board at the AGM, both spoke of their passion for FINSIA’s long held strategy.
Westpac New Zealand Chief Risk Officer Carolyn said: “I am a passionate believer of the Institute’s focus on lifting professional standards of competency and conduct in financial services.
“To my mind that is absolutely at the heart of ensuring the strength and stability of our sector, and to earning the trust of our customers.
“We are in a unique position in being able to support customers with some of the most important moments in their lives.
“Knowing that they are being supported by professionals who are highly capable, competent and have their best interests at heart is vital.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to contribute to the Board in building further strength, trust and pride in the FINSIA community and across the financial services sector, and particularly in representing our New Zealand members and the needs of our customers and communities.
“It is more important than ever that, as a sector, we are continuously raising the bar on ourselves, and making sure we are best placed to support our customers and communities with their needs as they continue to grow and evolve.”
Rapid digital transformation that is creating opportunities for closer, personal methods of engagement with customers - and the different dynamics created by new players into the sector and increasing globalisation - highlight the need to ensure that the knowledge, skills and capabilities of our bankers are in tune with the changing needs of our customers, says Carolyn.
“FINSIA already has good support in New Zealand and as a NZ-based Board Member I would love to play a role in helping our membership here continue to grow and flourish,” she adds.
“We know that Kiwis place a very high value on trust. It’s so important that we represent the special character of our market, our customers and communities.
“To understand what ‘professionalism’ means for us, and what is expected of our sector from all of our stakeholders as we continue to evolve the services we offer and how we offer them.
“When I think back to the origins of Westpac in the goldfields of Otago in the 1860s the importance of the physical presence in our community and the bank as a social hub. We’ve always kept that close to the heart of Westpac’s NZ business.
“Our biggest challenge and opportunity is to cherish that and reinvent in an increasingly digital world … the pace of change, with the application of technology, is only going to get faster and create more possibilities.
“But one thing that won’t change is the need to offer our customers the highest standards of professional services, where they feel their best interests are at the heart what we do - which is why FINSIA’s focus on competency and conduct across the sector is as relevant today as it has ever been.”
Yarmouth Group Managing Director Andrew McNeil’s association with FINSIA dates back to 2002 as a student on Securities Institute of Australia Applied Finance courses.
“I've been involved with FINSIA and the SIA for close to 20 years and becoming a Board member is a great opportunity to be able to put something back into an industry that has given so much to me,” said Andrew, who has been a regular presenter at FINSIA events and has mentored on 15 FINSIA mentor programs since 2008.
The Corporate Advisor and Governance Specialist whose career has involved investment management postings in New York, San Francisco and Atlanta was a finalist in the 2011 FINSIA Pinnacle Awards which marked the 125th anniversary of FINSIA, in the most outstanding future leader category.
“To have the opportunity now to take more of a leadership role and try and help grow the organisation is a wonderful opportunity.
“The second reason is our renewed focus on education.
“Studying with both the SIA and FINSIA - and going through the mentoring program as a mentor has given me a lot of life satisfaction of helping others and also career development.
“For me, the education piece was always a big part of SIA and FINSIA and I feel like I can add some value with the focus on education because I've of my involvement at the SIA master's degree.
“I started lecturing about 2004 and went through until 2016 with the SIA, FINSIA and Kaplan lecturing to master's degree level.
“So to be involved at Board level when FINSIA’s portfolio of educational qualifications is growing is very exciting.”