lmost two decades after initially joining Macquarie, Maria Vojetta re-joined in a very different role than the one she started in. Having experienced both internal and global mobility, she now works flexibly in the Liquidity team.
The first time Maria Vojetta joined Macquarie's Sydney office was back in 2001. She had recently graduated from university in New Zealand and was starting out her career in derivatives sales for a New Zealand bank when she decided to take a chance and cross the Tasman Sea.
"I knew I wanted to work in finance and, as the only truly international investment bank in Australia, Macquarie felt exciting," Maria explains.
She secured a client-facing role in Debt Markets, in what was then known as Treasury and Commodities. Her role involved arranging asset-backed transactions for smaller authorised deposit-taking institutions and non-bank lenders.
"I enjoyed the pace and buzz of the dealing room," Maria says. "But the insight into how treasury operated was also interesting to me."
She also liked the fact that Macquarie offered great career mobility through its global offices and took advantage of this by moving to London in 2008.
"London is a big financial centre and I'd always wanted to work there," Maria says. "I was fortunate to be able to get a transfer within Macquarie Capital's Debt Structuring team to advise infrastructure clients throughout Europe."
The impact of the GFC
Maria had been working in Macquarie's London office less than a year when the global financial crisis hit.
"The GFC impacted financial institutions and markets and significantly reduced the volume of transactions," she says. "On the other hand, because of the pressures banks were facing, treasury departments became busier and more compelling."
Maria drew on her experience at Macquarie advising treasury clients and took a role at a major UK retail and commercial bank where she spent three years working on a different treasury activity: capital strategy, shaping the strategy for managing the bank’s stock of non-core capital, to reboot after the GFC.
Moving into liquidity
After deciding to return to Australia in 2012, Maria began working for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) as a liquidity specialist. In 2014, she took on a new challenge, spending five years at a major Australian retail bank, where she was responsible for liquidity policy within the treasury team.
Maria was on maternity leave after having her second child when Macquarie asked her if she would be interested in returning. In 2020, she re-joined in the Group Funding team.
Maria believes the familiarity of having worked at Macquarie before made it easier to make the decision to leave a comfortable role. She was also attracted by the challenge of managing a bigger team.
"Some of my original colleagues still worked at Macquarie and we'd stayed in touch. I would have come back earlier if an opportunity had been available."
Maria's current role is very different from the one she started in almost two decades ago.
She no longer deals with capital markets issuance or capital management but leads a team responsible for yet another component of treasury: liquidity. The work her team does drives the target funding profile which underlies internal pricing and advises on the funding and liquidity value attributed to various products.
Maria says that while this involves understanding regulations and risk, there is also the need to take a commercial view.
"My team works with the businesses on designing the optimal funding and liquidity framework," Maria explains.
"I spend my days working with my team, senior management and our business partners to provide advice and insights to support key strategic decisions on funding and liquidity, leading initiatives, developing policies and practices that shape the outcome of Macquarie’s business activities and leading responses to regulatory requests. My team and I work with regional offshore treasury departments, undertake liquidity crisis planning and oversee management reporting on funding and liquidity."
Maria enjoys the exposure this gives her to Macquarie's balance sheet and operations.
"Treasury provides a sense of guardianship, of supporting the business in a critical way," she says.
"We manage the views of different stakeholders, from the regulators to the product managers, to get the best outcome for the business as a whole. And that's a theme that's run throughout my career - the need to be able to align people's interests towards a common goal."
Coming the full circle
"Re-joining Macquarie was very attractive because my role offers me a challenge, but also provides flexibility with a young family," Maria says.
She also believes that the experience she gained in her decade away has allowed her to take the best of everything she's experienced and bring it back to Macquarie.
"Having experienced the impact of the GFC first-hand, I appreciate Macquarie's risk mindset," she says. "I also like the broader culture where people are inspired to work to the best of their abilities."
"Macquarie encourages flexibility, and senior staff are encouraged to lead by example. You can progress your career while working flexibly. It's about the outcomes, not the hours," says Maria.
Maria can choose to spread her hours across the day, work from home and still see her family.
"Macquarie is good at giving opportunities," Maria says. "It's a nimble environment and the entrepreneurial spirit here means you have great opportunities to grow, learn and stretch yourself."