WOB search gives Natalie first ASX board role


Another WOB member has been appointed to boards within the ASX-listed, Centuria Capital Group (ASX:CNI).


Coca-Cola Amatil executive, Natalie Collins, will serve as an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Centuria Property Funds No.2 Limited and the Centuria Life Limited Boards. She joins Susan Wheeldon, Country Manager – Australia and New Zealand at Airbnb, who is the only woman on the board of Centuria Capital.

Both women were appointed as a result of a search conducted by WOB Chair, Ruth Medd, in association with  Centuria Chairman, Garry Charny, who said Ruth seems to have access to the best talent and actually curates what is sent - which makes life a lot easier when appointing a NED. “I have known Ruth (and WOB) for quite some time and I trust her judgement in compiling a list of possible new directors that fits our sometimes very specific needs."

Natalie is Head of Emerging Ventures and Co-founder of Amatil X, the corporate venturing arm at Coca-Cola Amatil, and has 20 years’ experience in global CPG / FMCG spanning finance, corporate strategy, supply chain, marketing, and innovation. Her appointment to two boards within the Centuria group are her first major non-executive board roles.

Asked why he likes appointing people with current executive experience to fill key skills gaps rather than go for the more tried and tested approach of just looking for those with lots of board experience, Garry replied:  “We like to learn from all our directors, and by having a day job it often gives them more currency. They are at the cutting edge of transformative businesses. Boards are a functioning organism and all about balance.  Filling them with the professional director class tends to skew things in a way that doesn’t  always achieve that balance, or at least the balance I am looking for as a Chairman."

As a busy working executive, Natalie is interested in board roles to broaden her experience to create opportunities for the future.  “The challenge has been that I currently love what I do so it’s not been a case of pursuing a different role or a different company. A board role was a great way to build some valuable skills and gain exposure to a new industry.

Centuria is an ASX-listed specialist investment manager with $7.3b in AUM as at 31 December 2019. Its  business is centred around property funds management and investment bonds. Ruth put Natalie forward for the role with Centuria based on her  experience.. 

Natalie said her “experience matched what the Chairman was after – employed full-time, customer facing industry, experience with disruption and innovation and “board young”.

She met with the Chairman first, then the joint CEOs, then Susan Wheeldon.  They were clear that they were looking for a fresh perspective.

Natalie said her board role would not have happened without WOB. “To be honest, I joined WOB last June and thought I’d just dip my toe in the water for a while until “I was ready”.  Ruth put me forward and I had the opportunity to step up to the plate. Sometimes it takes someone else to give us a little nudge. "

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