SHIFT Compliance Consultant Profile: Kate Vennell

Hear from Kate Vennell, a SHIFT Compliance Consultant with a passion for questioning what can be done better.

kate Vennell

Tell us about yourself:

I spent 23 years in the UK working for Legal & General and other leading financial services providers until I returned to Auckland in 2019 with my husband for lifestyle and to be close to my sister and nieces. My UK career focused on general management and strategy how to make services more efficient with better outcomes for customers. A career highlight was leading Investor Relations at L&G and engaging with global fund managers on how the group was using its power as Europe’s largest manager of superannuation funds to deploy capital for sustainable outcomes. In London, I was also very involved with the arts through playing (violin) in an amateur orchestra and as a trustee for a large concert hall.

On returning to Aotearoa I wanted to focus on for purpose and governance roles. I have built a portfolio as a Director of a large finance advice group (Lifetime) and a trustee for responsible investing charity Mindful Money, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (and its Foundation) and Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa. All great organisations doing high quality mahi.

What do you love about the job you do?   

Overall, supporting some important outcomes for kiwis. Almost every role in my career has focused on questioning what can be done better and this is true of my current project. While I find governance fulfilling, it is by nature hands off. Consultancy means I can drive some outcomes more directly. During Covid I missed discussions with stimulating colleagues and the increased focus from being in a physical office space – it’s been refreshing to have this again.

What makes working with SHIFT unique?  

Overall it is the commitment of SHIFT to lifting standards in financial services whether it is Prue’s leadership on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion or supporting organisations by providing experts. After coming back to NZ, I struggled a little due to not fitting neatly into any box, leaving 20 years of network and reputation on the other side of the world, and wanting to work flexibly. SHIFT have a knack for identifying where people might add value.

Best book/podcast/show you have recently indulged in? 

Mindful Money has a series of seminars both video and in podcast form- an invaluable resource for everyone wanting to know more about responsible investing and ESG.

Favourite Restaurant or Café and any menu recommendations?

Revive is an excellent vegan café in Wyndham St serving a range of delicious salads and daily hotpots.

Favourite Way to Unwind

Attending Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Concerts. Their quality is outstanding and the equal of many overseas orchestras. I love everything they perform whether a mainstage classical concert at the Town Hall, film backed by the orchestra, or family concerts full of excited youngsters.