Raffaella has also used her extensive leadership skills beyond her career, as a trustee to the board of Streets of Growth, an east London social intervention charity. Raffaella has leveraged her experience and senior position to further the interests of women in the workplace and won the Talented Young Italians award issued by the Italian Chamber of Commerce for the financial sector in 2015 for young people under 40 who have distinguished themselves in their career in the UK.
She has been nominated for the 2018 WIBF Award for Achievement by Edwina Burn of Macquarie and we are delighted she has made the shortlist.
How does it feel to be on the WIBF Awards for Achievement Shortlist?
It is an honour to be named amongst so many talented and inspiring women in our industry.
WIBF plays such an important role in encouraging and empowering female talent, and I am truly humbled that my achievements could be recognised in this public way. It is my sincere hope that by sharing my experiences within the industry I am able to help other junior female talent negotiate the opportunities and challenges we all face in the early stages of our careers.
Tell us more about your role at Macquarie.
I work as part of the ‘Investor Solutions’ team in Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, helping our institutional investors across Europe access opportunities in the infrastructure sector.
My average day involves conducting research to identify new clients, leveraging my network to expand our brand, and meeting with investment partners to share our story. It also involves leading my team, looking after existing client relationships and keeping up to date with all our business initiatives around the world. There’s often a lot of travel, and the work can be challenging at times, however I love the entrepreneurial nature of the role and the opportunity to see the results of my work coming through.
Your nominator said “Raffaella embraces every opportunity to take on new challenges and to move into new roles that require an entirely new skillset.” What has been your biggest challenge when changing roles?
During my 13-year career at Macquarie, I’ve always seen change as a great way to challenge myself and grow – both professionally and personally.
One of the biggest challenges I have faced during my career came when I was first asked to join my current team. Starting in a new role where I had to develop my skillset as a fundraiser while learning the dynamics of a new market, I felt that I was working outside of my comfort zone. By being disciplined, leveraging the experience of my colleagues, remaining patient and keeping a positive outlook on things, I was able to stay motivated at a time when I wasn’t seeing immediate results.
After two years of meeting with potential investors, I finally received an email from my first investor committing to our fund. Many more investors were soon to follow, and it was good to see my hard work pay dividends.
What is your favourite business book and why?
Caroline Webb’s ‘How to have a good day’ has helped me focus on what it takes to be happy – both inside and outside of work. The book uses behavioural science to explain unconscious behaviours, while offering really good tips on how to prioritise work during busy periods and be more resilient.
Who has been the most influential person in your career and why?
My career coach Susie. Susie and I have worked together since 2010 and her guidance has been invaluable as I have negotiated the significant ‘transition’ moments of my career. Through Susie’s coaching I have been able to hold a mirror up to my behaviour, and see angles of myself that I could not see before. Susie has helped me to become the best version of myself, not by changing who I am, but by helping me to leverage my strengths and work on my weaknesses. It hasn’t always been easy, but if you are willing to commit to the coaching process, the outcomes can be remarkable.
How do you like to unwind?
Having grown up in Italy, I have loved motorbikes since I was eight years old. I have found riding to be a great way to unwind throughout my career – helping me to get outdoors and turn my thoughts away from work. One of my most memorable trips was when I rode across eight countries to reach the top of Norway with my husband and two friends. Being an ‘infra geek’, the group got pretty tired of me pointing out all of the windfarms along the way!