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Challenger’s work environment is characterised by the 4 core attributes of Collaborate, Grow, Challenge and Achieve. These attributes represent our commitment to current and future employees.
Challenger Chief Operating Officer of Distribution, Product and Marketing (DPM) Angela Murphy talks about what the attribute Grow means to her.
Q. Tell us about your current role?
A. As Chief Operating Officer of Distribution, Product and Marketing (DPM) I oversee functional support to the division, including Finance, Human Resources, Legal, Operations, Risk and Technology. I am also responsible for project delivery and coordinating strategy development for the division. My shorthand summary is that our divisional Chief Executive has all the ideas and looks to me to ensure they are executed.
Q. How long have you been with the business? Tell us how your career has grown at Challenger?
A. I have been with Challenger for six and a half years. For the first five years I led our Human Resources function. In this role I reported to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), was part of the Leadership Team and interacted with the Board. 18 months ago, I moved into my current role as COO, DPM. In July this year I also started a secondment as the Head of Retail Distribution.
It is not common to move from Human Resources into a business role, and I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity at Challenger. After a few years in the HR role I started considering my options for future growth and development. I loved the work environment at Challenger and given there wasn’t a larger HR role I determined to explore roles outside of HR. Our CEO was supportive and we discussed different options over an extended period. One thing he established was my willingness to step off the Leadership Team for the right opportunity.
There were a few things that helped make this career move possible. I have a Masters Degree in Commerce, with a major in Finance which provides a basic foundation of business language and knowledge. I also worked in HR consulting, selling and delivering work that generated profit; this was a business role. Finally, as a member of the Challenger Leadership Team I was across our business priorities and focused on helping to drive these priorities as effectively and efficiently as possible through our people strategy; much of this experience is applicable to my current role.
Q. What does the attribute Grow mean to you?
A. For me Grow means to learn and change whether that is personal or professional, and Challenger’s work environment has a lot to offer, particularly compared to our larger financial services peers.
Challenger’s size and scale creates breadth, both in role scope and in visibility across the business. It is possible to see our business end to end and the different components of it. This presents opportunities to be involved in cross functional projects and reduces the risk of being siloed in a narrow area or task.
Another aspect of Grow at Challenger is exposure to the talented experts and senior people that we attract. With an open culture and strong collaboration across teams our people can see, interact with, and learn from, skilled experts and leaders with an ease that would not be possible in many companies.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone looking to grow a career at Challenger?
A. My first tip for growing a career anywhere is to be the best you can in your current role. The stronger your reputation for performance and delivery the more likely you will be considered to do something more. My other tips for growing a career at Challenger would include:
- Be prepared to challenge and stretch yourself - take opportunities to work outside your defined role scope or outside your comfort zone.
- Make the most of Challenger’s open and collaborative culture – build networks that will help you know what work is done across the business and where there might be opportunities for you to contribute.
- Remember you can get experience and exposure without changing your role – look for opportunities to practice or develop skills through the work you do and make time to reflect on how you are tracking.
- Be prepared – know your strengths and transferable skills; research what your next role might be (at the next level or in an adjacency); determine your gaps and how you would manage them; seek feedback and be open to it.
- Finally, take a long-term view and try to be patient – sometimes you need to build a range of skills or experience before you move up.
To find out more about Challenger's 4 core attributes visit our Careers website.