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Centre for Stories

Introducing Elissa Crowther-Pal

We are thrilled to welcome Elissa Crowther-Pal, as a Board Observer, to the Centre for Stories family.

March 11, 2024

We are thrilled to welcome Elissa Crowther-Pal, as a Board Observer, to the Centre for Stories family. Elissa is part of the The Westpac Foundation Board Observership Program and will be with us for a duration of 12 months.

Elissa Crowther-Pal joined Westpac in 2010 and is Head of Westpac Private Wealth Global Investment Services. She has over 25 years in global financial services experience with Litman/Gregory Asset Management and Charles Schwab in San Francisco, Barclays Global Investors (now Blackrock) in London and Bankers Trust in Sydney.  These roles covered project management, marketing, investment advisory, asset management, investment consulting, research, platform and private client businesses. At Westpac, Elissa leads a multi-functional team of experienced investment specialists across sales, product management and development, trading, operations and research with a primary focus to source, select, trade and monitor investments for self-directed HNW wholesale clients. She currently serves on the Westpac Private Wealth Investment Committee and Risk Committee. Elissa holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing/Finance) from the University of NSW and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

You’ve navigated through different cultures and business environments, from the UK to the US and now Sydney. What is the one-thing that stands out for you in each of these places?

The need to adapt creates such a great learning opportunity! It so important in business to be curious and constantly learning and I really appreciate the need for adaptability to a new environment. We are constantly in new environments – I have learned so much from the global experiences I have had and the different types of people I have worked with and the dexterity you need to adapt. And adaptability is the secret to our success as humans isn’t it! How do we adapt to climate, technology, people etc is key.

In London, I learned the opportunity to manage change in the face of resistance. I was working with a US firm creating change with a UK firm and trying to merge their products and services together – the change was cultural and early  in the cycle so challenging.  

In San Francisco, I worked for some great companies who were really committed to technology investment at a very early stage. There was a lot of unity around the purpose – how to embrace change and technology from all types of people within the organisation and create great experiences for customers through both online and direct interaction.  

Much of this global experience I have translated into my current role in Australia through the start and growth of the GIS business at Westpac.

As a beach enthusiast, could you share with us your favourite beach destination and what draws you to it?

That’s crafty! How did you know I am a beach enthusiast? Yes I love the beach – this morning I went swimming at Balmoral beach, and there were little baby sting rays floating along the sand and I could see them as I was swimming over them – it was the best! They are somewhat camouflaged against the sand but the unexpected flutter when they move means you can see them. I love the unexpected opportunity to see sea life – there is always a story when you’ve spent time in the ocean.

Beyond your professional accomplishments, what’s a lesser-known passion or hobby that you indulge in during your downtime?

I am quite passionate about cooking, eating, food generally really. Not so much about food shopping though! But definitely cooking is something I do to relax as I love the concept of making something and I enjoy it rather than treat it as a chore. And watching water polo which at the moment seems to be most of all weekends as my boys play and are quite involved.

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