Claire Mackay: investment high-flyer and stakeholder guru
Claire Mackay: investment high-flyer and stakeholder guru


Claire Mackay: investment high-flyer and stakeholder guru

As an owner and principal at Quantum Financial, a family-owned private wealth management firm, Macquarie Law School alumna Claire Mackay (BComm ’00 LLB ’01) is one of the most highly regarded young advisers in the Australian investment industry.

Listed in Australia’s Top Ten Financial Planners, Claire has been recognised by the IFA as 2014 Investment Adviser and 2015 Financial Adviser of the Year respectively, and was the youngest-ever winner of the Money Management Financial Planner of the Year Award in 2015. She is an accomplished and engaging public speaker, equally at home presenting to banking and financial industry specialists or explaining complex financial options to a lay audience. She has presented at numerous industry conferences and has also occasionally appeared in Finance segments of Seven Network’s Sunrise television program with David Koch, offering simple and practical “on-air” tips.

Her fascination with finance and business began at the family dinner table, so it’s no surprise that she followed her dad and her uncle to Macquarie, an educational decision that Claire says gave her a great grounding for her future success.

“Studying law taught me how to question things, analyse problems and identify solutions in a methodical way,” she says.

Getting to the top

“Prior to Quantum Financial, I worked in structuring and tax at Macquarie Bank and PwC for corporate and high net wealth clients,” Claire says.

“Studying law at Macquarie was a great foundation because the training provided a framework for analysing issues and problems, constructing positions and learning new perspectives from super-smart people.”

For students, as well as studying towards your degree and planning for your future career, Claire believes you should get involved in student and university activities because you enjoy them and because they broaden your horizons and develop you as a person, rather than as a resume building exercise, which she sees as a totally separate endeavour.

True to her views, some of Claire’s fondest memories from her time at Macquarie include abseiling off the Sydney Harbour Bridge (as an army officer trainee with the Macquarie unit of the Sydney University regiment), doing witness examinations and Moots – and heading to Armidale for the Eastern Conference Games. That heady mix of work, travel and adventure has followed her ever since and enriched her personally and professionally.

And the best way to build your resume? Claire believes you should focus on getting real work runs on the board.

“Get work experience as soon as possible as this will help identify areas you want to pursue,” she says.

Claire now sits on the External Advisory Panel of ASIC and is on the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board – and says that things she learned during her Law degree remain useful to her nearly every day.

A research project Claire completed during her degree in the relatively new field of the interaction of superannuation and divorce law has proved invaluable in her subsequent professional life. As one of the few early specialists in the field, her research gave her ongoing insights into the potential financial implications for clients, and she’s since helped clients finalise pre-2001 divorce agreements regarding their super, based on that work.

Love your job

Claire says that she absolutely loves her job. “A typical day starts with a team meeting to regroup on client issues, upcoming meetings and debrief on key items,” she says.

“My favourite part of the day is speaking with my fabulous clients but I also plan and review strategic advice, review market and industry developments, review committee papers, mentor my team and keep in touch with my network.”

Claire’s ongoing connection with Macquarie, and Macquarie Law School, has also paid off. “We’ve employed law undergrads as interns via PACE and I am a guest lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Economics’ third year unit ‘Issues in Applied Finance’and always delighted when all the law students come up and introduce themselves.”

She says she also loves going to events where she hears about former students’ careers. “Learning about and celebrating their success reminds me of the value of our law degree and uni experience,” she says. “Studying law can open up so many opportunities.”

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>