Deputy Group Chief Financial Officer and running aficionado Ben Gray has been at Macquarie for “a bit over a year now”, having spent the better part of the last 15 years working with Optus in Australia and its parent, Singtel in Singapore, redesigning and improving finance processes with a focus on outcomes and the customer service experience.
Ben is a Fellow of the CPA Australia, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the owner of three very cute Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
1. Something people usually ask you when they find out what you do for living
People tend to enthusiastically tell me that their kids go to Macquarie when I tell them that I work here. Much more preferable to the mobile coverage and internet speed complaints I used to get when I said I worked for Optus!
2. Something you feel proud of
In 2019 I trained to run my first half marathon. I completed the Blackmores Running Festival in Sydney and loved running over the Harbour Bridge with thousands of other runners – and I completed in less than two hours!
3. What you need to do your best work
I definitely need good coffee to do my best work, and – until lockdown – a comfortable coffee shop in which to hold my team meetings.
4. A favourite photo from your camera roll
This is Henry, our “COVID Puppy” –he’s one of our three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
5. The first person you go to for advice
I still go to my dad for advice. As a retired primary school headmaster, he has a lot of good life experiences to share.
6. A website or app you can’t live without
If it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen! It’s a great way to stay in contact with like minded friends and to stay motivated (particularly during a lockdown).
7. What you like about where you live
I live on Darug land, on the southern edge of the Berowra Valley National Park. The bushland is a peaceful place – particularly during a lockdown lunch break – where I can follow the path along the creek, with the wattle in glorious bloom at this time of the year.
8. I’m happiest when…
I’m running in the crowd at a big event. When all the training and preparation comes together and you get to enjoy the atmosphere and use the buzz to knock out a Personal Best.
9. A Macquarie person you admire
I really admire Pete Boyle, CEO of U@MQ. The past year has been challenging on a number of fronts, but Pete is always willing to help me and the Finance team out where he can, and offer guidance and advice when needed.
10. Your definition of success
To me, success is defined by positive stakeholder outcomes. You must invite the stakeholder into the room when you plan, give them a chair at the table and measure your success through their eyes.