Kathryn Brown

Director

MME_Brown_Kathryn.jpgKathryn is an experienced and flexible professional with a proven track record in financial services (with a particular focus on funds management/wealth management), finance and operations. Kathryn has a strong background in business improvement, project management and performance analytics with both local and international experience.

Kathryn is a chartered accountant and has worked in New Zealand, Australia and the UK for Deloitte, Henderson Global Investors and ANZ Banking Group Ltd. Kathryn possesses a specialised knowledge of alternative asset classes including, private equity, infrastructure and property.

Consequently, she has a unique combination of funds management, finance, operations, and regulatory compliance gained through experience across high profile, complex organisations.

What boards and committees do you currently sit on?

I currently sit on the Executive Committee for Girl Guides Victoria as Treasurer and also Chair their Finance, Risk, Audit and Compliance committee. I am also the Treasurer for COTA Victoria and sit on their board and chair their finance and audit committee as well.
 
In addition to these director roles, I am also a member on the Finance and Audit committees for St Kilda Mums Inc. and Palliative Care Victoria. I also sit on the Disciplinary Tribunal for Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

When and why did you decide to pursue boards?

I joined my first Finance, Risk, Audit and Compliance committee for a Not for Profit organisation in 2017, after volunteering on a number of community and school committees. Around the same time, I was thinking about a change in career after working in the corporate world for over 20 years. I love the challenges of being a board and committee member, the opportunity to contribute to companies I am passionate about and the flexibility that board/committee roles offer, so I am now focussed on this new and exciting next stage of my career.

what challenges and hurdles have you had to overcome in pursuing boards and/or serving on boards?

The biggest challenge for me has been getting on to a board and essentially starting a new career from the beginning again.
I was fortunate to be awarded a scholarship in 2017 by the Victorian government for Women on Boards. This involved attending some great networking events and also doing my Foundations of Directorship course with the AICD, a Women on Boards course and granted a membership with the AICD.
In 2018, I completed the AICD Company Directors’ Course and joined Women on Boards in the same year as well. Both Women on Boards and AICD have helped me to build networks and skills and find positions advertised through their sites.

Have you had mentors and/or sponsors and have they helped you? if so, how?

I haven’t had any formal mentors or sponsors but there have been particular people who have helped me along the way. I was fortunate to work for several managers at ANZ who have supported me and allowed me to work flexibly with small children, early in my career.

How did WOB help you in your journey to the boardroom?

Several of my positions were advertised on the WOB website. The weekly newsletters with articles about other women building directorship careers and opportunities for female directors are always extremely useful when I’m finding the path as a director tough and sometimes slow.

Any tips for women starting out on their journey to the boardroom.

Taking a volunteer role on a board/committee is a great way to start, as it allows you to build some skills and understand more about the role of the director/committee member. I’d strongly encourage women to do the AICD Company Directors Course, not just for the education but also from a networking experience. This course is also invaluable for hearing the “war stories” that are told during the course which provide real insight into the director landscape and the challenges that exist being on a board/committee.
The path to becoming a director on a board or sitting on a sub-committee of a board can be slow and frustrating at times, but it is definitely worth the time and effort and extremely rewarding.