Aaron Shields Wealth Management Adviser Nelson Aaron Shields works with high net worth individuals and trusts to manage, grow and protect their wealth through diversified investments.
People Focus: Marama Watana
Head of Institutional Compliance, Compliance Manager
As Head of Institutional Compliance, Marama (and the Jarden Compliance team), supports the respective divisions within Jarden to meet the regulatory and legislative obligations of the business, business goals and launch new projects. Marama’s role includes working closely with the NZX on regulatory consultation and representing Jarden on NZX regulatory matters.
Marama discovered the world of finance while on her OE in London, taking on a role with the Compliance team at JP Morgan Chase.
Returning home in 2003, Marama joined the NZX Compliance team in Wellington. As a NZX Compliance Officer, Marama gained experience in the New Zealand regulatory environment and the day-to-day workings of the market.
Marama joined Jarden as a Compliance Officer in 2007, taking a seat on the dealing floor where she learned the complexities and importance of compliance in a dynamic broking environment.
In September 2015 Marama moved to the Compliance Manager role and in May 2019 was appointed Head of Institutional Compliance.
Marama has a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) and a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Otago. Outside of work Marama enjoys spending time with family, friends and keeping fit and active.
What made you decide to join Jarden?
Working in compliance at NZX gave me an invaluable insight into the workings of the regulator, however I was keen to gain practical experience in a broking firm. Jarden was well known to the NZX and recognised as having an excellent compliance culture. During my time with NZX I had developed a professional respect for the Jarden team and their presence in the market which made joining Jarden an easy and logical decision.
How did you make the transition from working for the regulator to working for a broking firm?
When I started with Jarden I was based on the trading floor, so I was right into the heart of the business which was an excellent transition path. To me, to be effective and successful in compliance you need to have an understanding of the regulatory environment within which the business operates (more) importantly you also need to understand the business and what the business is trying to achieve. The proximity to the business enabled me to learn the key drivers of the business very quickly.
Respect is also critical for a successful transition. I made an effort to get to know the people around me and learn about their roles in the business. Taking the time to understand their goals and priorities helped me provide better support to my colleagues and laid the foundations for lasting relationships of mutual respect.
What skills have helped you succeed in compliance?
It’s important to be commercially astute, as well as compliance focused. That means understanding not just what the rules say, but what the business is trying to achieve.
In a job like compliance, relationships within the business are absolutely key. We work closely with our colleagues in other divisions to ensure that we get the right outcome from both a business perspective and a regulatory perspective, maintaining open lines of communication with a common focus being achieving the firms goals while keeping the firm and our clients safe.
A calm and reasoned approach and a sense of humour help too.
What challenges have you faced in such a high-paced environment as financial services?
The field of compliance is constantly shifting and over the last few years, there have been many changes to the financial markets legislation, Reserve Bank and NZX rules. The compliance and legal team has been involved in many consultations on new rules, policies and procedures to ensure our perspective is represented and that we maintain pro-active relationships with the regulatory authorities.
There have also been projects at Jarden, such as the acquisition of ANZ Securities. A major project like this brings new challenges, as we need to ensure that all compliance requirements continue to be met throughout the acquisition and integration of the new business.
Finally, technology is driving major shifts in the way the world does business. Our clients have digital expectations and we need to be to provide this, whilst ensuring our systems, processes and procedures meet all compliance and regulatory requirements.
What’s special about working at Jarden?
Jarden is an exciting place to work. There’s always a fresh idea, a new project, or an opportunity to learn something. That keeps people interested and keen to be a part of. The opportunities offered at Jarden attract interesting enthusiastic people who you’re happy to become part of your work family.
Internationally, the financial services sector has been through a huge changes over the last decade. Many of our staff have been at Jarden for a long time, and there’s a culture of friendship, respect and maturity.
What advice would you give someone starting out at Jarden?
Get to know your colleagues. Take every opportunity to sit down with them and learn about their role in the business. You will learn respect for your colleagues and their contributions, and you will also discover how their roles relate to yours. This will help you find opportunities to work together and support each other in achieving your mutual goals.
For Marama Watana, compliance is all about keeping clients and the business safe.
Todd works closely with Jarden’s institutional clients across Australasia, informing them of trends and opportunities in the New Zealand and offshore markets, and facilitating the sale and purchase process.