Having an international mind-set is critical to being an effective advisor.
This was something I learned early on when I had the good fortunate to spend the first five years of my career working between Cape Town, New York and Sydney. After this, I decided to do an MBA at a global business school to both broaden my knowledge base and also build on my international experience.
Following my MBA I wanted to work for a world class firm where I would get a wide range of experiences, work in dynamic situations that really mattered to clients and also get the opportunity to work with a diverse group of exceptional people – this was definitely something Operational Transaction Services offered.
Operational Transaction Services is very deliberately an international team – we have 35 nationalities and speak 40 different languages. This diverse profile mirrors our clients; they are global corporates and private equity firms with operations around the world. They expect us to have an international mindset, understand cultural context and engage with them on both a logical and emotional level.
This emphasis on diversity and authenticity is coupled with a powerful development culture. The people I work with give a lot of themselves to what they do and take a sincere interest in the development of fellow team members. This means providing a good balance of stretch opportunities, ongoing coaching and having candid conversations about performance and career.
Personally, I have been given some amazing opportunities to develop through my client work, structured training and mentoring. For example, I have now worked on over 100 transactions, performed interim management roles and led large strategic internal projects for EY. Combined with this I have been fortunate enough to be selected for our Accelerated Leadership Programme and Global NextGen Programme for future Partners. The firm makes a real investment in its people.
Finally, one of the other things that I value most about the team is its entrepreneurial nature. In the seven years I have been in OTS, it has grown from 20 to over 200 people. The innovation and focus the team applies is a key driver of its success. This is coupled with a strong sense ownership across all levels of the organisation. People are proud of the work we do and treat the team like their own business. This makes all the difference.