Women in finance: Cathryn Carver

In our continuing series on the region's influential women in finance, FinanceAsia looks at ANZ's Cathryn Carver, responsible for key banking client relationships.

ANZ is the only Australian bank with a stated aim of making meaningful profits in Asia, placing Cathryn Carver at the pointy end of the bank’s strategic vision. Carver is responsible for key international and institutional banking client relationships within Australia and Asia, and is determined to add new, large Asian clients to the bank’s roster.

In the six months to end-March ANZ generated 21% of its profits from Asia-Pacific, Europe and America, up from 16% three years ago, and bringing the bank closer to its 2017 target of deriving 25% to 30% of its group profits from offshore.

Several landmark deals helped along the way, such as Baosteel’s A$1.4 billion ($1.07 billion) acquisition of Aquila Resources, Fosun’s A$474 million purchase of Roc Oil, and New Hope’s acquisitions in the agricultural sector. In each case ANZ acted for the foreign buyer as an adviser and/or provider of acquisition finance.

“We bridge the cultural divide, bringing a sound knowledge of Australian practices to foreign clients,” Carver said.

Carver spent the majority of her career at Macquarie Bank before moving to Westpac where she was general manager of corporate finance and head of capital markets. She joined ANZ in 2005, running corporate finance, then global capital markets, which included a two-year stint in the Hong Kong office.

Carver is hopeful that a number of recently signed high-level agreements will begin to bear fruit for ANZ’s international and institutional banking division. In November last year she was part of a small group that spearheaded two memorandums of understanding between ANZ, China Development Bank, Baosteel, and Aurizon.

She is a board member of China’s Bank of Tianjin (an ANZ partner) and deputy chair of the newly formed Australian Sino Association 100 —  an agricultural alliance between Australia and China, chaired by Fortescue founder Andrew Forrest and head of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott.

“These high-level agreements put ANZ in the path of future deals,” Carver said. “To be successful in banking you have to find a balance between making money today and laying the groundwork for making money tomorrow.”

As a woman she brings an added element of collaboration to her role. “Control and command aren’t effective on their own. You have to be attuned to people and be able to motivate them to deliver for themselves and the bank,” she told FinanceAsia.

FinanceAsia’s 2015 honour roll of the most influential women across the Asia Pacific region spans investment and commercial bankers.

Published as a feature in the July / August 2015 print edition of FinanceAsia, the series also presents leading women in new areas of finance such as fintech where Asian companies are among the fastest-growing in the world.

We also canvassed corporate financiers for exceptional women working in deal advisory including lawyers and accountants. In the process of researching the series, we found evidence of progress in creating more diverse workplaces in the region.

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