In the hot seat: Anja Pannek

by Antony Field09 Nov 2020

Q: What was your first job before you entered the finance industry?

A: My first job was as a graduate in the audit team at Ernst & Young in Brisbane. I had just completed a Bachelor of Business with a banking and finance major – finance was an industry that interested me from early on. Fresh out of uni, this role provided a great career foundation, allowing me to explore a number of different industries and understand some of the fundamentals of business in practice.

Q: How did you pivot from this into your finance roles?

A: I eventually moved into EY’s financial services division, relocating from Brisbane to Sydney. My clients included large banks and non-ADIs, including companies specialising in securitisation – at that time a relatively new concept to the Australian market. From there I was recruited into Bankers Trust, which at the time was the largest investment bank in Australia. It was a super-exciting high-growth and innovative organisation, which was exactly what I was after. The best thing about being part of Bankers Trust was its culture of encouraging employees to own issues and develop solutions; this was such a fantastic way to learn.

Q: What has surprised you most during your career in finance?

A: It never gets boring! I love a challenge, and dealing with complexity and working in finance has given me the opportunity to learn so much as well as work with some terrific people.

Q: What is one thing you wish everyday borrowers knew about brokers?

A: That they should use one! Brokers can help clients navigate the complexity of looking for finance. Using the services of a broker means you have someone alongside you, acting in your best interests and making things as simple and clear as possible. Fortunately, this message is really getting through, with more and more Australians turning to brokers to support them through the borrowing process. The best interests duty is a major value differentiator for brokers, and this is only going to further support the growth of our industry.

Q: If you could change anything about the broking and finance industry, what would it be?

A: I love our industry and am proud to work with such vibrant, resilient and determined business operators. If I had to change one thing, it would be the small number of individuals at the fringes of our industry who don’t play by the rules and bring disrepute to the thousands of people who work incredibly hard to deliver great customer outcomes.

Q: If you weren’t in your job today, what would your ideal career be?

A: I have to be honest – this is my ideal job! I love the industry we work in and the people I get to work with. I’m incredibly proud of how we have grown as an industry and am excited about what prospects the future holds.