Meet the people who manage your money

5 July 2021

Meet the people who manage your money

Ever wondered about the people who manage your ANZ Investments and what they do? We talk to Mia Prkusic, one of the Fund Manager’s in our Investment Management team.

Mia, how long have you been with ANZ?

I joined ANZ in 2013 as part of our graduate programme, and I’ve been here ever since!

I did a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting & Finance at the University of Auckland, and after two summer internships auditing at Ernst & Young, I realised that the ANZ graduate program was a much better fit for me. Early on in the rotations, I was lucky enough to be exposed to the world of asset management. I very quickly realised that was where I wanted to be.

What do you like about your role?

I love that what I do day-to-day has such meaningful real world consequences for our clients and their financial wellbeing. The responsibility that comes with protecting and growing the wealth of our investors is one I take very seriously, and is also very motivating and rewarding. The other thing I love is that no two days are the same. Our active management approach means we can respond quickly to market ups and downs and it’s exciting to be a part of that.

What does your role involve? What do you do on a daily basis?

My mornings generally involve as much reading as possible, getting up to date with offshore developments overnight and local economic news, and what that means for the direction of interest rates. In the afternoon, I generally focus on credit research, looking at individual companies and applying our methodology to derive a credit rating and ESG (environmental, social and governance) evaluation. We have a team of over 20 experienced investment managers all sitting on one floor in Auckland, so I’m always learning from their collective expertise.

What makes you proud to work for ANZ Investments?

We’re the largest KiwiSaver provider and one of the largest fund managers in New Zealand. This makes us an influential player in the market. It also allows us to have individual contracts with the external managers we use to look after our global assets. This gives us more control over what we can invest in and allows us to work with them on matters such as responsible investing – which we are very active on.

Our size and standing in the market also makes us an employer of choice, so we attract a very talented pool of professionals. Testament to that is the fact that ANZ is among the largest employers of Chartered Financial Analysts in New Zealand.

What do you feel makes ANZ Investments different from other fund managers?

I believe our point of difference is our focus on delivering strong performance over the long-term, while also ensuring the level of risk we take is appropriate. There are lots of smaller funds out there taking short-term risk in order to achieve superior short-term returns, that might not necessarily be sustainable over the longer term. 

How have you seen the industry change over the years?

I think it’s true that the investment sector has been male-dominated in the past, but I also think it’s changed a lot. It’s certainly nothing like the Wolf of Wall Street! In fact, I’ve noticed significant changes since I started in 2013. There are a lot more women in the sector now. I’m fortunate to work at ANZ where there’s a real commitment to diversity and gender equity issues.

What’s your own attitude to investing?

I think your attitude to investing really reflects your own circumstances. For example, I’ve recently been lucky enough to buy my first home, and when I was saving for it I was very conservative because I wanted to protect my deposit. Now that I’ve bought a house, I am happy to take on a bit more risk because I know any market ups and downs will balance themselves out over time. In general, my attitude is very much the same as ANZ Investments – focus on quality, and invest for the long term. 

Finally, what do you like to do outside work?

Relax! I really enjoy just turning the phone off, doing a bit of cooking, and getting outside. I was born in Croatia so I love being by the sea. With nearly all of my family there, soon to include my parents as well, I’m looking forward to being able to travel again – whenever that might be!