David Mackaway interview


David Mackaway interview

10 min read

12 Jul, 2018

Interview with Challenger Group Chief Operating Officer David Mackaway.

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 Group Chief Operating Officer David Mackaway talks about what the attribute Challenge means to him.

Q. Tell us about your current role?

A. As Group COO my role is responsible for delivering all operational aspects of support across various business lines including Challenger’s contact centre, customer administration and investment operations teams.

Q. How long have you been with the business? What challenges have you encountered throughout your time here?

A. I have been with the business for over 10 years. Over this time the business has seen significant growth, assets under management have grown from circa $5 billion to $75 billion and we have established a series of boutique investment management firms.

The challenge for me over this period of growth was to ensure that we had an operational environment that would deliver on a number of key requirements:

  • An environment that was able to service a diverse business model that was likely to invest in a diverse range of securities across a range of markets/jurisdictions and then structure these into varying product types;
  • An environment that was able to rapidly adapt to change;
  • An environment that will ensure as it grows, it is able to become more efficient and effective with scale;
  • An environment that would ensure that processes were well controlled and effectively monitored and measured; and
  • An environment that could handle the diversity and complexity of regulatory requirements and client guidelines required for this diverse product set.

Q. What does the attribute Challenge mean to you?

A. Our principle Challenge is about challenging the norms and current ideas of the way we do things. Challenging yourself as an individual to learn more, being involved as part of a team in challenging how we deliver processes and services and can we make them better for our customers and partners.

It is about not being afraid to ask questions, table new ideas, have contestable discussions and try different ways of doing things without the fear of failure and being criticised for it.

Having a safe and respectful environment is one of the foundation stones to creating a challenging environment. At Challenger people are encouraged to come up with new ideas and to try different things. This creates an environment that is more enriching and motivating to people because they feel that they have the opportunity to make a difference and have a voice that is heard.


To find out more about Challenger's 4 core attributes visit our Careers website.