La Trobe Financial director Caterina Nesci wins corporate responsibility award

Huge honour for director of ESG

La Trobe Financial director Caterina Nesci wins corporate responsibility award


By Jayden Fennell

La Trobe Financial’s Caterina Nesci (pictured) has been named CEO Magazine’s Corporate Responsibility Executive of the Year.

Nesci, the director of ESG and international partnerships and head of La Trobe Financial Charitable Foundation (pictured), said she was excited and humbled to be a finalist among such incredible leaders.

“When I first received the email from the CEO Magazine that I had become a finalist I was pleasantly surprised,” Nesci said. “However, when I read through the calibre of other finalists and leaders that were mentioned, I could not believe my eyes. I had to read the email twice to believe it was real.’’

Nesci is an advocate for women’s financial wellbeing and conducted a six-month campaign partnering with The Australian Women’s Weekly and Better Homes and Gardens. La Trobe Financial targeted this readership demographic  to empower and inspire women to take control of their finances and hard-earned income through education and avoid a potentially stressful or anxious financial situation.

The partnership was designed to educate women and included two sold-out Melbourne and Sydney panel events with finance expert Effie Zahos and La Trobe Financial’s director of client partnerships, Lilian Chin.

“I often hear people say a lot of older people who lose their partner due to death or divorce, financial literacy is often a shock to the partner left behind,” Nesci said “They might have never had to take control of the family finances which can be quite a shock. I want to change that around – no matter what age, I want to educate women earlier in life so they are not burdened with falling into this category.”

Nesci is  also passionate about female leadership and is La Trobe Financials’ representative in the Society of Women Leaders, part of the Australian Red Cross.

“It is an outstanding example of the power of humanity in action. By drawing on the skills and abilities of some of Australia’s strongest female leaders and philanthropists, the society advances the mission of the Australian Red Cross. The society members pool their funds to support programs selected by the giving circle and become personally involved with Red Cross as part of their philanthropy journey,” Nesci said.

As the head of La Trobe Financial Charitable Foundation, Nesci has built a platform to empower employees with the opportunity to make a difference. The foundation has donated over $21 million to charitable causes.

The foundation has four key pillars – mental health where they partner with Lifeline, Indigenous and First Nation people’s education, a financial literacy program, and life sciences.

Nesci joined La Trobe Financial in 2010 as the head of marketing and said she had loved watching the growth of the company.

“When I first started at La Trobe Financial, we were $1.2 billion in assets under management (AUM). Ten years later, we have a brand and are recognised as one of Australia’s leading credit asset managers with $14 billion in AUM,” she said. “Over the past 10 years, I have held several positions within the marketing division, but my greatest passion is building successful brands. Working at La Trobe Financial has allowed me to do that.”

Nesci is honoured to say the brand is trusted with a strong philosophy of “others before self” and considered diversity an important factor within the workforce.

“When you have a diverse team of people, you are able to leverage a variety of strengths and develop a deeper understanding of what each team member can provide,” she said. “You will also have a better outcome for future success of the business along with a thriving workplace.”

In September 2020, Nesci was appointed director of ESG and international partnerships, given the task of writing the companies first environmental, social and governance framework.

“I knew this was significant for the company and I took the responsibility just as I was given the mandate to build the brand,” she said. “I completed lots of research, spoke to a lot of people, knowing it was an enormous job, but a very rewarding project. We now have a framework that guides us across the business. Our CEO inspired the philosophy on all of us with his great leadership to help me along my journey with La Trobe Financial.”

The first ESG framework was integrated through the business and is reviewed annually – a big milestone for the company.

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