Role: Head of Corporate Finance
Business area: Real Assets
How did you come to work at AXA IM - Real Assets?
Having graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Australia, I started my career in Sydney as a tax analyst with Deloitte before taking various positions with a number of leading Australian fund managers (where I specialised in product development, taxation and pension regulation).
I relocated to the U.K in August 2004 and took a position as Head of UK Property Fund Administration for a fund administration services provider first in Jersey then in London. Thanks to this experience, I developed a strong working knowledge of UK and European funds, in particular real estate fund structures.
In February 2007, I joined AXA IM - Real Assets as a Fund Finance Manager to work on their newly launched alternative property income fund. As part of this role I was responsible for the financial management of the fund including transaction structuring, financing, liquidity management and financial reporting. My scope and responsibilities in the fund finance area expanded and in July 2014 I moved from the Fund Management team with my appointment as Head of UK Corporate Finance.
How would you describe your current role?
In my current role, I work very closely with the fund management, asset management, transaction and investor relations teams. It is a very diverse role: my team and I offer support via new product initiatives, fund and transactions structuring, project financing as well as on more complex corporate acquisitions and share deals.
The most enjoyable aspect of my role is the variety and complexity. No two transactions are ever the same. Inevitably all transactions and projects give rise to challenges and unique issues and I particularly enjoy the challenge of identifying and resolving these. To be successful in a role such as mine, I believe it is key to have a strong financial background, coupled with project management skills, a good understanding of fund products and an appreciation of investor motivations - together with good communication skills, strong convictions, a rigorous approach to deal analysis and enthusiasm (a sense of humour also helps!)
I was recently involved in one of the largest single transactions completed to date by AXA IM - Real Assets – being a project known as "22 Bishopsgate". We brought together a group of high profile institutional investors to finance the development of what will be a new landmark office tower in the heart of the City of London. It was the first major project I was part of in my new role. At times it was extremely challenging because of its scale and complexity, however it was a fantastic opportunity to not only leverage off my existing experience, but to also develop new skills and work alongside our senior deal team. When you see large buildings in the City of London, at first glance you have no idea how much work is involved in their creation.
Why would you recommend your job?
What I really appreciate about AXA IM - Real Assets is the opportunity to work within a dynamic asset class across a broad range of geographical locations, with credible clients and investors who allow you to work on very interesting transactions, be they big or small.