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Interview: Peta Tilse, Managing Director of Sophisticated Access

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Orbex speaks to Peta Tilse, the Managing Director of Sophisticated Access about her journey and success in financial business.

  1. How did you start your career in the financial industry?

I remember watching a great BBC show called Capital City (early 90’s) when I was in high school. I loved the fact these characters were trading things in the “money market”, and that they had high-pressure roles in a dynamic setting. They also seemed to find time to party after work…. It had me hooked. I decided I needed to study something to get me there, and enrolled in a Bachelor of Business (Banking & Finance). During university, I took up a part-time job with a local bank, figuring this would be a good default position to “work my way up”. I pestered all the local Treasury operations to get unpaid work experience on university holidays. One group took me on, I loved it. Unfortunately they didn’t have any roles when I graduated, but they liked me enough to make some calls and recommended me to another group. I got that job!

 

  1. In your opinion, what makes women successful in finance?

I don’t think we have the same ego and “alpha dog” issues the guys have in a trading room environment. I’d love to see a research study on women in finance that mirrors the 2014 Credit Suisse study into women on board’s and the impact on company performance. They studied over 3,000 companies in 40 countries concluded better performing companies had women on the boards and 27% higher return on equity than their peers.

I think women are generally more lateral thinkers, open to different solutions and often more consultative in their approach. Interestingly, since moving into Advice, I find I have a better rapport when dealing with male clients that are senior executives (CEO’s etc) of companies, than my male colleagues.

 

  1. What advice would you give to women who are looking to get into financial trading?

Back yourself. You probably know more than the person beside you! It took me a while to realise that. You will need to have a thick skin and not be scared to stand up for yourself. And lastly, don’t be afraid to pick the brains of the people around you who are successful. One of them is likely to give you some important insights and they’ll generally respect your interest. They might even bring you on as an assistant.

 

  1. What has changed since you started your career in investment?

Fintech innovation & digital disruption.

When I started, mobile phones had just moved past the “brick” stage and only one person on the desk had one.

We used to break for lunch, had dot matrix printers, used faxes, had overnight processing, and trading pits on the floor of the Exchange. Now everything is electronic, real time settlements, and the banks are losing business to peer-to-peer lending models.

I’ve been amazed at how this has all evolved. I’m proud to say we’re on the Fintech wave, having developed Cygura – Australia’s Sophisticated & Wholesale Investor registry. Cygura is a smarter solution for Sophisticated Investor compliance – something that is ever increasing.

Can you believe it is 2015 and some organisations still have paper-based processes when nearly 3/4s of Australians own a smart phone?

 

Peta is a Financial Services professional with over 20 years’ experience gained in institutions domestically and offshore. As Managing Director of Sophisticated Access, Peta is the driving force behind Cygura, the certificate registry which enables investors and their accountants, financial advisors and product issuers to manage sophisticated and wholesale Investor Certificates online.

 

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