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Jane Magill

news published date 5 October 2017
  • Our Stories
“Every experience is an opportunity to learn.”

Jane Magill is a Managing Director in Commodity Markets and Finance at Macquarie Bank Limited (Macquarie), responsible for commodity related business development and strategic investments.  Jane has worked at Macquarie on three separate occasions, most recently re-joining the firm in 2009 after a planned career break.Â

In previous roles, Jane was Head of Risk for Macquarie’s businesses in the Americas, Joint Head of Foreign Exchange and she pioneered the first agricultural commodities over-the-counter trading business in the world. Jane is the Chair of Balance at Macquarie, an employee network group in Europe which drives gender diversity.

What is it about the banking and finance industry that you enjoy the most?

What I love about the industry is working with intelligent, driven and enthusiastic people in a fast paced and dynamic environment. There is plenty of this at Macquarie and this is what I missed most on my career break. Luckily for me, Macquarie’s innovative and flexible approach allowed me to enjoy a bespoke returner programme to return to work (before the term even existed). Now, we have a more formal offering and it is great to see other returners thriving and contributing to our business.

Working with stakeholders can be challenging. What is your top tip for working well with others?

Listen to them, assume nothing and actively seek common ground. If you take the time to really understand their perspective, you can determine what they can bring to the table to help you achieve your aims, and how to engage them so that they want to.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

In the mid 1990s, I was invited to develop a global, agricultural commodities trading business, which was the first of its kind. It was an incredible opportunity; travelling the world to understand a whole new sector and to develop solutions for our clients’ needs. Twenty years later, these products are an essential part of the risk management toolkit for many corporates and Macquarie is a leading provider of commodity-linked solutions for clients.

What is the best piece of career advice you give others?

Be positive. Optimism can be learned and a positive mind set is essential to withstanding the high stress and pace of a career in finance. Beyond that, I think it is essential for young professionals to enjoy the journey and not be in too much of a rush to reach managerial positions. Every experience is an opportunity to learn.

Who are your role models?

I have had many different role models and I like to pick particular characteristics to try to emulate from a wide range of people, but there are two very different women who stand out for me. The first is Jillian Broadbent, who was my boss at Bankers Trust Australia from 1996. At that time, most women who worked in trading environments tended to try and fit in by developing an almost masculine demeanour. Jillian was a complete contrast to that. She was quietly spoken and calm, but she was also very powerful, had strong opinions and always won arguments by the sheer force of her intellect. She also encouraged me to try yoga, which has been an essential part of my exercise schedule ever since! My other key role model was my mother. She was born in the early 1920s and her parents envisioned a very tame life for her, but she was courageous and determined and struck out for a life of adventure. She certainly got one, and at the same time, showed her four daughters the power of rolling up your sleeves and just getting on with the job, however tough it is.