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Getting to know... Elaine Campbell

Known to many advisers from her time as head of compliance at the FMA, Elaine Campbell is now on the other side of the regulatory fence, at AMP. She talks being a working mum, moving from Wellington and welding...

Friday, September 11th 2015, 11:00AM

Who are you and what do you do?
Elaine Campbell and I am the general counsel at AMP. I’m responsible for AMP legal compliance, I’m also responsible for the broader AMP adviser network compliance with our QFE obligations and ensuring that we are across any new regulatory developments and able to respond to them. Finally, I’m also responsible for our product compliance team - our wealth management arm, ensuring all our offer documents and other materials comply with all the statutory obligations that accompany those.

You’ve been regulator – working at the FMA - and regulated, what do you like most about each side of the fence?
It’s quite interesting reflecting on that sitting in these shoes again now. I like the cut and thrust of the commercial world. You do miss that when you are a regulator. You don’t have the same commercial pressures bringing to bear. It’s a different type of speed. At the regulator, you’re dealing with myriad issues all the time. It’s not that it’s not busy or fast, it’s just different. I guess when you are the regulator, the benefit is when things go wrong it’s not you who has made them go wrong, you’re dealing with other people’s issues and mistakes rather than issues and mistakes arising in your own business which obviously brings its own stress and concerns that go along with that. I like being able to participate in building strategy. You can do that in both guises but I suppose in a commercial world you are balancing what can be competing needs and I think that presents a unique and interesting challenge, particularly when you are the person charged with ensuring those interests are fairly and adequately represented in that strategy. That’s always a fun challenge.

What would you like to change about the industry?
There has to be a recognition by the industry as a whole that it is a regulated profession and to embrace that and try to understand how that can be a differentiator against portions of a market that are not regulated as opposed to constantly fighting a battle that was lost some time ago. I think that actually finding ways to work constructively and pragmatically is something that should be aspired towards. There are certainly factions of the industry that perhaps don’t serve the industry as a whole well by the positions they take on certain matters. We need to look at where we sit as a regulated industry on a global scale and realise it’s reasonably light touch, let’s get on and make it work for the benefit of our clients and businesses.

What’s the best advice you’ve received?
There is no such thing as extraordinary people, ordinary people do extraordinary things. That struck me that actually it’s really just about the effort and hard work that you put in to things that dictate the outcome that you get.

Outside work, what do you do?
I have three girls, 4, 5 and 9 so my life tends to be dominated by their extracurricular activities. Moving to Auckland has given us a slight respite from that. We moved in the term so they weren’t enrolled in anything – we’ve had six weeks off. I very much enjoy food and wine and I enjoy the gym although I must admit since moving here I haven’t found my niche place in that. I had a personal trainer I saw three times a week in Wellington. That’s a fantastic stress release, when all you can think about is whether you can take your next breath you’re not really thinking about much else. That’s a nice way for me to clear my head. Very much into wine and had a wine club in Wellington and probably look to recreate something similar to that here in Auckland. On our blackboard at home, as well as kids’ activities and the strikes and stars they’ve earned for the day is the restaurants we’ve got to dine in. My husband is a fantastic cook so we tend to do lots of dinner parties at home as well.

What is your favourite wine? 
I think that wine is an experience that should be matched to your food and social setting.  It is difficult to pick a favourite.  I do like Te Mata wines, both Coleraine and the Awatea.  But you need to be eating the right food to enjoy those wines.  On a hot day a Terra Sancta Rose or Pegasus Day Riesling goes down a treat.  The most amazing experience was drinking a 1922 sherry at Hippopotamus as part of a degustation menu.  Maciej Zimmy, the head sommelier always has interesting wines to try in the wine match.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
I see my future long-term to be in governance. On the journey to that I’d like to be a CEO.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
This is what I want to be doing. Working mothers have to think very carefully through their choices in life. When you’ve got three little people at home to choose not to have my time with them - and that is a choice - you need to be doing something that you believe is more important. That means you need to be doing something pretty jolly important because looking after your kids is obviously a pretty important thing to be doing. I also think that being the mother of girls it’s important for my children to see women can do anything. That’s something I feel quite strongly about. I don’t know whether they thank me for that now but I hope they will when they are a bit older. At the moment I’m getting questions: “Why, Mummy, have we moved to Auckland for your job? Why have I left all my friends?” I do think that I’m doing what I want to be doing. Getting us out of Wellington was no mean feat, particularly my husband who loves the place.

Are you a KiwiSaver member? 

Which provider and fund are you with?  
I am in the process of switching my KiwiSaver fund to AMP, because you get to select more than one fund I have chosen a combination of Growth and Balanced Funds.

What is one thing that might surprise people about you?
During university I worked four jobs, I worked as a waitress,  I worked in a supermarket and the one that always surprised people – I worked as a welder. My father by training was a sheet metal worker and basically he had a factory where he built log fires. I worked on pieces that went into the manufacture of log fires. I burnt myself a number of times.

Tags: AMP FMA Getting to Know

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Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 7.49 7.29 7.15
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First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
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HSBC Special - - - -
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Median 8.64 7.21 7.29 6.65

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