Happy New Year

“A Happy New Year”

Kathryn FaggA discussion with Kathryn Fagg, CEW President and Australian Reserve Bank Board Member

PPM was delighted to host last month a luncheon presentation with Kathryn Fagg as the guest speaker. Kathryn Fagg is an experienced Chairman and Board member following an executive career across a range of industries from resources, to manufacturing and logistics as well as banking and professional services in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Kathryn is the current President of Chief Executive Women and a Board Member of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Kathryn shared her views and insights into the Australian economy and noted that from a domestic and global economic perspective, it is indeed a “happy new year”.

Kathryn opened the discussion sharing her career experiences including her appointment to the Reserve Bank Board, commenting it is the only Board to which she has had sign a “secrecy agreement”. Whilst conscious that she could not comment on monetary policy she did provide a broad and largely optimistic perspective on the stability of and current growth prospects of both domestic and global economies. Interestingly, she highlighted the unique characteristic of the Australian Reserve Bank Board, in that unlike other Central Bank Boards, the Australian Reserve Bank Board is predominantly staffed not by economists but by members who have significant and broad commercial experience. For her part, her extensive background in resources (ExxonMobil and Blue Scope Steel), logistics (Linfox) as well as banking and finance (ANZ) gave her have a deep commercial foundation when considering issues presented to the Board, which is something that she believes uniquely distinguishes the Australian Reserve Bank Board relative to its global peers.

Kathryn moved on to the wider topic of the imperative for growth of both the wider Australian economy but also for Australian businesses and companies. She noted the importance of infrastructure emphasizing that investment in infrastructure is necessary to facilitate continuing long term growth. In a broader sense, Kathryn concluded that the key characteristics of the Australian economy were strong and that there was broad growth across the economy – and that although the current volatility in the domestic and international share market may make investors nervous the fundamentals of the Australian economy were good.