Kirsty and Camilla cover:
- Camilla’s life as a student and the “international man of mystery” who inspired her to work in finance
- The story that inspired Camilla’s side business- F3 Future Females in Finance
- How a single conversation over the office partition inspired the creation of eInvest
- Camilla’s tips for working in finance
Stay tuned next week for a second podcast with Camilla and Kirsty. Thank you for having us, Kirsty.
Disclaimer: Please note that these are the views of the author, Camilla Love, Managing Director, eInvest, and is not financial advice.
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Kirsty Dent: The information given in these podcasts is for general information only, it should not be taken as constituting professional advice. For more information on our disclaimer, please visit money made simple dot net dot. Welcome back to another episode of Money Made Simple. This week’s episode, we are joined by Camilla Love, managing director of eInvest and founder of FThree Future Females in Finance. We are lucky enough to have Camilla join us over two special episodes, the first of which we will discuss all about Camilla, her career, what she is passionate about and why she started to invest. Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode, Camilla. It’s a great pleasure to be chatting with you.
Camilla Love: Thanks. Because you’ve been a pleasure. Thank you for asking me to come along and tell my story. I love this sort of stuff.
Kirsty Dent: Now, I’ve given a very brief introduction to yourself. Can you elaborate more on your career, where you started and how you have gotten to where you are now?
Camilla Love: Sure. So maybe I could step back and tell you a little bit about what I did at university. So I did a double degree in commerce at uni. And this will come up in a few things probably today. But I knew I chose that degree because I really knew that the business side of commerce probably was going to be more practical. But I paid it with the arts side, which was much more varied and fun because I really liked the history and the geography and the art, art, history and politics in that place. And to marry them together was the best of both worlds and was a five year degree. So it was pretty challenging when all my friends, you know, year three were going off and getting jobs and I’m still at university for another two years. But that was overall, I think the double degree and the mix of it was really good when I didn’t. So I my majors were in in commerce. It was marketing and economics and in in arts, it was Asian studies. And I really love the Asian studies because of the politics and power in this century is moving east. So we all knew that Asia was the place to to be and to know a little bit about. So it was really, really love doing that. But I do notice that I didn’t do a major in finance and the reason why I didn’t do a major in finance is because at the time everyone was piling into finance. And actually what I end up doing was going off and doing an industry related diploma and then a graduate diploma and then a masters alongside what I was doing at university.
Camilla Love: And so by the time and it was a it was a diploma and a graduate that most people ended up having to guess as part of their journey into finance. And so I just so I did that alongside. So I was halfway through when other people popped out at the end of their university degree. So I was on my own my way through doing a two year master’s. By the time that finished, then I did MBA. It was the best thing I think I’ve ever done in my life and at you, NSW. And I think that was really great of actually, just so you can see, I do this lifelong learning thing, which I think is really important for everybody out there to really take that view, to understand that you aren’t the font of all knowledge. And there’s some definitely some really interesting stuff that you can get involved in. Like I did a short course in AI and machine learning over Christmas, really interested in that space, because I think there’s lots and lots to come. But then stepping back and looking at my career, I went I said no to a couple of graduate recruitment roles that were offered to me straight out of uni. People thought I was totally loopy, but I knew I wanted to be in funds management and I knew all I wanted to be doing the marketing in the client facing side. And I had to be a little patient and wait for six months.
Camilla Love: But a roll at Perennial came up and 20 years later, I’m still in the industry, still working within the organisation. And I’ve done a lot of different stuff for them. I’ve done I’ve looked after client service and marketing for a long time. I then did institutional sales. So what that means is selling our investment capabilities to really large institutions like superannuation funds, pension funds. And other wealth managers and I do that offshore, and then I did that onshore here in Australia. I think I’ve raised two and a half billion dollars over my time, a perennial in multiple different asset classes. So things like Australian equities, I’ve also looked into derivatives. I’ve done Asian, Asian and global equities as well, global real estate. And a couple of years ago, my boss popped his head over my petition and said, Camilla, what do you think of the ETF market? And I said, Have you read my MBA thesis three years ago? You know? And he said, dusted off the business plan and let’s go. And that’s what eInvest is today. So today I am talking to you as the managing director of the eInvest an Active ETF business that specialises in providing Australians access to institutional quality ETFs and their investment quality of funds and teams of people can bring to you and you can just try it like a share. So I’m really proud to see where you invest is today, but also I’m really proud to see where it will go in the next little while.
Kirsty Dent: Yes, you have had a really inspirational career journey, and it is also great to hear that you went to uni for a long time because I did as well. And in some circumstances, some people sort of frowned upon it or, you know, wondered whether you are actually going to just stay at university and whether you are ever going to find a job. So it’s really good to hear from other really inspirational people that university can take a longer time. I think the point that you made around continual learning is also really important, especially today there has been a lot of research done around people not necessarily being in the same industry throughout their entire career, whereas traditionally people would stay in the same industry their whole career and potentially even stay with the same company. On the other hand, now, due to the evolution of technology, we need to continue to learn and adapt, especially around understanding things like robotics, AI and the automation of tasks. So, yes, that was a really good point that you made around continuing to learn. It will be a part of everyone’s future
Camilla Love: If it’s really super important. And even if you don’t, you know, want to use that as part of your career or your day job or even in your hobbies, understanding the trends that are going out there globally, whether that be, you know, in the climate change space and understanding what’s happening with sustainability and electronic vehicles and all that sort of stuff all the way through to AI or anything like anything in the FinTech, anything like, you know, continually fill your cup to make you a better person. And that’s what that’s what the lifelong learning is all about.
Kirsty Dent: Growing up, did you think that you would be involved in the financial services industry or did you have other aspirations? And if so, what changed?
Camilla Love: Yeah, so both my parents were entrepreneurs, I ran their own businesses, neither were in finance. So my my mom was trained as a teacher. She taught a little bit and then actually start her own business in publishing. My dad was actually trained as a chemical engineer and ran a fiberglass company. And so neither of them had any exposure into finance. But what what was my inspiration was what I do in my international man of mystery. So he’s my godfather. And he spent most of my childhood in Tokyo in the 80s and in New York in the 90s. And think about how great that time would have been, you know, just amazing. And he would come back to Sydney to over some so much fun then amongst all the parents. Right. And everyone was going where he’d been to and where he what places have you seen and what deals he made and all that. So he as a child just was in awe of this, this man. But the funny thing was. He told all these wonderful stories, but no one knew what he did. Like, no one knew what he did and flip forward a little a little bit. And, you know, I realized that he actually worked for Citigroup over this period of time. And it is his story about, you know, the places he’s been and the deals you’ve done and the people he had met, which is reason why I got the inspiration to be in finance.
Camilla Love: So I’m used probably from year 10 that I wanted to be in finance. I remember doing my a year 11 business studies assignment on county NatWest, which doesn’t exist anymore, but going into the offices and interviewing people at county network NatWest about what they were doing for a day job and understanding a little bit of what I did. So I knew early on it’s it’s a fascinating industry, not one that is the same and is surrounded by highly intellectual people, which I love. And, you know, you it has great purpose. You are helping people retire in a better place. You are helping people reach their goals throughout their, you know, their private lives. And finance is a way to do that. You can also you can also help companies by allocating capital to become better corporate citizens. And I love that. So that’s that’s why finance is for me. That’s why it’s been a career of mine for nearly 20 years. And so I guess I did know early, but that that doesn’t say that I didn’t think about doing other things either.
Kirsty Dent: Thank you for sharing that. It’s really interesting to hear how your career journey was inspired by your godfather. Now, what is your overall career goal from here on out, you have already achieved so much that you should be proud of. I’d love to know where to from here.
Camilla Love: Great question. And if I had a crystal ball, I would probably tell you. But you know what? I the world is my oyster, and I’ve always thought of like that. I would love to be running a really large organization one day. I would love for Elvis to grow to one hundred million under management. Two hundred million over management, one billion under management. I would love to sit on an ASX 200 board as a board director. That’s been a gold mine for a long time and working hard for that. But, you know, I would also love to see, you know, my impact in the gender space in this industry to to really go to 50 50 on the people who are managing your money. I’d love to save them 50 percent female, 50 percent male. I would love to have lots more girls come into the industry. And and I really love to encourage that. So I’d say watch this space, because there’s lots of great things to come.
Kirsty Dent: Yeah, that is really exciting. And I do wish you all the best of luck for all of your future career endeavors. And now moving on to the businesses and the program that you have established and that you have touched a little bit on so far as a fellow female in the finance industry within Australia. I applaud the F3 program and all the work that it does to empower women to enter the financial services industry. Can you explain a little bit about why you started this program?
Camilla Love: Yeah, so you mentioned earlier on in the introduction that if, for instance, the future females in finance and what it does is it aims to educate young women about careers in finance, starting from high school all the way up through to the end of their journey at university. And we do that by showcasing great role models, providing practical work experience and just arming young women with the knowledge a little bit so that they can step into the industry and understand what goes on, what careers are out there and the cultures that are available within the industry, which I think is really important. So I started this because it sort of it progressed over a period of six months. So there were questions from asset consultants who, you know, intermediaries within the industry where super funds would come to them and give financial advice from them as part of their portfolio construction. So these these people would come to me in my role as head of institutional at Perennial and say, where are the females in your investment team? And in two thousand and seventeen, I could unfortunately say I had none. Now that that answer is very different. We do have a number of really talented females in our investment team, which is fabulous. But at that time I couldn’t say anything. We also the member of the team retire and because there’s equity ownership in the team, there isn’t a lot of turnover. And so we decided to replace him with a with a junior hire. And we I think we had two hundred and forty applicants. Twenty four were female and I think one was interviewed out of a reasonably large pool. And I thought that was really disappointing.
Camilla Love: And then I have a number of hats as you probably can work out. And so at the time also I was the the the chair of the Alumni Advisory Board at the University of New South Wales Business School. And so I go, where are the girls? And they go they come in the school 50:50, they leave 50:50. But I don’t want to go, so. You know, my view was things had to change and things had to change fast. It really needed a really grassroots, scalable, practical solution. And my view is that people will love finance if they just got to have a little bit of a look in. And so what we did is the backbone of it is an online six week online program where five girls and a group do some work experience alongside a corporate. They research, analyze and solve this problem and they present it back. And along that process, they get to start their network. They get an insight into corporate culture within the organization and really have a look at some of the critical business problems that the industry is facing today. And from that, the feedback is amazing, like, oh, oh, it’s amazing. But I started it because I really wanted to make a difference. I had a baby in 12 and 18 and Sabrina is just about to turn three. And I just sat there and went, well, look, if how can I put my hand on my heart and say to her in 20 years time when she wants to join the industry, that I haven’t stood here and made a difference. And that’s what this race I need to do in a nutshell,
Kirsty Dent: That is really inspirational. And I think also the fact that traditionally there hasn’t been the opportunity to test the industry and see if you like it and have the placement opportunity so that you can go into a workplace, do the work, meet the people and see if it’s something that you could actually enjoy doing. Now, I’m not sure if this is a gender thing, but sometimes we just don’t like putting ourselves into situations that we are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable with. And I think the program does a great job to empower women and give them the opportunity to have a try. And once you see what it is all about, chances are that you really will enjoy doing it. So I think that’s a really valuable thing that EF three provides to women.
Camilla Love: Yeah, it’s it’s a couple of things like the group work experience, the way I describe it, like, so if you’re throwing one girl into a gender challenged investment team, you’re going to stick out. It’s going to be a bit uncomfortable. You might get there over the time. Right. But the way I describe why I chose the group really need the work experience really needs to be turned on its head. You know, as the way I describe it is I go to the gym. Where do you find the girls? In the gym. They’re in the group classes and not on the white floor. Right. But the more often they go to the group classes, the more likely they turn up on the weights floor. This is what it’s all about, right? Arming them with the knowledge, just nudging you through a really supportive understanding framework, nudging them in, that’s all it’s about. And, you know, if I could take 7000 girls through the program and even five of them get into finance, you know, it’s amazing. But I already know that five have already gone through and there is a and already in the industry. So it really is making an impact. And, you know, I think that I’m changing people’s lives through this because lots of girls, particularly, they go, you know, for internships, you know, so competitive, you might have 20 applicants for six internships. Right. And they go, why even bother where you can get experience? You can understand some of the critical things that are happening within financial services. So we’re really supportive framework. And that’s that’s what it’s all about.
Kirsty Dent: I think this question has probably answered itself. But do you think that if three has made a lasting change on gender diversity within the industry, or do you think there is still a way to go?
Camilla Love: I I’d like to think so. I know that there are lots of girls out there in the industry already, and, you know, that might only be a trickle right now, but if it can be thousands and in 10 years time, that is a real impact. Really is. And I know this through the F3 program, I’m changing people’s lives. And the fact that I can be refereed to some of these girls to say, yes, I have done it, and the other great PR person to hire to people or introduce them for coffees with people because they’re interested in another segment of the workplace or, you know, anything. You know, it does change lives. It’s yet to change the industry. But I guarantee you it will. And, you know, it’s really supportive. And I and I love it.
Kirsty Dent: Yes. One hundred percent. I agree. Now, the program has been running since twenty seventeen, what would you say has been the greatest success of F3? Is there something that this program has created that you would say has made it all worthwhile?
Camilla Love: Yeah, you know, I so there’s a couple of things you might guess. The first girl who had told me that she had seen me in year 11 present at her school, she was inspired to go and do a commerce degree and then had turned up in a free work experience placement while she was at university. That is just like amazing. That’s what it’s all about, really. You know, I had an email from a girl last week to say, hey, Camilla, thanks for introducing me to this person. I’m now taking a role at their work and I really appreciate it. But in saying that, you know, the finance industry has the largest one of the largest gender gap, pay gaps within Australian industries across the board, we’re sitting at twenty four percent in gender pay gap. So that’s one thing. We also punch below our waist with females who actually investment. So a front to study said that we have approximately only 14 percent of investment to help women in our investment teams. And I think that that is a really low number because globally that’s about that’s about 20 percent. So, again, that’s still a low number. But really, we’re not doing well enough on that front. And only two percent of portfolio managers are women here in Australia, which in my view is if in 10 years time. I want my money to be run by at least 40 percent females, and I think that that is an if if we can help with that. That’s my that’s my ultimate goal. And, you know, we’re only in the early stages, but I’d love that a love for that to happen and really change the change the baby.
Kirsty Dent: I think that is a really accomplishable goal and it should be much higher than 14 percent. It’s really disappointing to hear. But the work that F3 is doing is working really well to improve that. Another business that you have founded is invest what initially inspired you to start to invest? Was it something that you had aspired to create for a long time or was it a spur of the moment decision that you had and just had to follow through with it?
Camilla Love: Yeah. So a couple of things. So I mentioned earlier that both my parents are entrepreneurs, so starting my own business was or has always been a goal and working in a smaller business like Perennial, you know, where the people who run money actually own the business is really, really important to me. And I think I could work for large organizations were to say, no, I like to I’d like to see my impact on the bottom line. So there’s sort of that thing that sort of malls around in your head all the time. And I guess, you know, I having the discipline to do my MBA and actually have to do a thesis on and make a decision on a business in the financial services space. The listed space was really interesting to me. And it is it’s really interesting. It’s one of the growth areas within finance right now. The democratization that ETFs or exchange traded funds provide to investors is really, really important. Gone are the days where you need to have a financial adviser. And you know all the knowledge yourself, the fact that you can try just like a share and exchange traded fund where you have access to investment professionals who do this day in, day out. And you can you know, you can have access to 30 stocks or you can have access to three thousand stocks just depending on what strategy you’re looking at. But that democratization of getting getting Australians better invested, I think is a really important goal for mine, and which is why I invest sort of started in this in the first place.
Camilla Love: My view also is in the exchange traded fund space, everything at the time before eInvest was developed, everything was passively run. So run against an index where there are rules and and is quite systematic on what you purchase. Right. But there are some asset classes within within a standard portfolio where you are passively managing or running against an index really works. Is is really critical. If it works properly because they’re efficient markets, why pay expensive things, all that stuff for their other asset classes where it’s sort of dumb to put your money in an index because the information is symmetry. And I know that’s a really big word, but essentially what that means is by doing a little bit of research, you can uncover some information that on a company that can point to outperformance. So there’s some areas within your investment portfolio where active management actually really does make sense because of this information asymmetry issue, where with a little bit of research, you can find aspects that are overlooked, which can point towards areas where outperformance can happen. And so invest is built on. The premise that active management makes sense in certain areas, and that’s where we will provide your product, and so that’s what is
Kirsty Dent: Ok and what does your role at eInvest entail?
Camilla Love: So, um, my my title is managing director. But what that means is a whole other thing. Right. So as managing director, I manage a team, but really it’s about leadership. I don’t I don’t manage anyone. The people between within the invest field really experienced. They love what they do and they just go on and get things done, which I think is really fabulous. So there’s that piece. I do lots of sales, which I really love. I’m a people person and I really need to have that as part of my role. And, you know, I love I love that piece, which I think is really important, but that only allocates as some of my role. I do a bit of product development. I need to oversee risk compliance and operations within the within the fall. I’m always looking for new products and partnerships with other investment managers to bring the investment capability to an ETF forum. And, you know, I inspire. I talk to everyday Australians and financial advisors and brokers and, you know, people like you and say, this is what we do. This is how we do it, and this is why you should get amongst it. So, you know, maybe no one cheer squad rah rah cheerleader or something like that. That could be a possible job description, definitely. But it’s all encompassing, essentially. So I get up in the morning, I check slack. I’ve delayed a few emails because I prefer everything to be on slack. I understand what’s happening in the market overnight. I’m just make sure I deal with the exchanges so the the Australian Stock Exchange. And there’s another exchange within Australia, which is really great as well. So. So, yeah, there’s lots of different stuff. No, not one does.
Kirsty Dent: Now eInvest currently has five funds. Do you think that you’ll be looking to expand this over time?
Camilla Love: Yeah, of course. So we what I would say we probably won’t have forty five funds. We might have maybe up to 12. Will, as I mentioned before, will only provide put up, put funds where we believe active management makes sense. So we’re looking at everything we’re looking at in the moment. Small caps fund a fund that has, you know is income generating fund based on with Australian equities as its core holding. And then we’ve got three fixed income and cash funds, all the varying different risk levels. So that’s a current suerte. What we’re missing out of that is international equities. So looking in that space, we’re definitely looking at in there will be in emerging markets, we’re looking at some stuff in the health care space because there’s definitely lots of active management makes sense in those areas where there’s lots of profit to be had. So we’re looking in the Internet space looking at Aussie long, short, global, a few different things, global resources and some really interesting, really great performing stuff that you should watch out for.
Kirsty Dent: That is really exciting. Thank you so much for being with us today on part one of our special series with you. I really appreciate your honesty and transparency and, of course, the work that you have done across your career in terms of personal achievements, F3 and invest. It’s all very inspirational. I can’t wait to continue to chat with you in part two.
Camilla Love: Thanks, Kirsty.
Kirsty Dent: Now, that’s all for this week’s episode. Thank you so much for tuning into Episode eighteen for Season two. Don’t forget to join us again on next week’s episode, where we will continue to talk to Carmela about a invest its product offering and how you can utilize it. Invest to start your investing journey. As always, our Instagram page at Money Made Simple HQ is the place to be during the week. But I also look forward to you joining me again next Monday to continue to learn just how simple it is to become financially independent.