Tom Worley studied chemical engineering and finance at university and started his career in retail banking. Today, he works in Macquarie Capital, where he’s enjoyed a diverse career journey from working in M&A to now being involved in projects which support the green energy transition.
Tom Worley is a Sydney-based Associate in Macquarie Capital’s Energy Transition principal investment team. He joined Macquarie in 2019, attracted by the global exposure and unique position of Macquarie Capital.
“Macquarie Capital is different because it’s part of a broader business,” Tom explains. “I really liked that it was part of something bigger.”
“Macquarie is at the forefront with so many of its businesses, and is engaged in many innovative projects in Australia and around the world,” he says. “I knew that meant there would be plenty of opportunities to grow my career.”
Originally from Adelaide, Tom always loved maths and science at school. Upon graduating, he decided to enrol in a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and Finance.
Tom admits the finance side of his studies was initially a bit of an afterthought, which he decided to add in with the hope of enhancing his future management skills. However, by the time he graduated in 2015, he was hooked and realised he was much more interested in pursuing finance than chemical engineering.
“I ended up finding finance really interesting because it was similarly numerical and the application of it overlapped,” says Tom. “It had similarities with a number of the things I enjoyed about engineering, like problem solving and understanding how things work, in this case: businesses rather than refineries.”
Tom joined the graduate program of a retail bank with a head office in Adelaide, covering all things risk management and commercial lending over the following two years, while fine-tuning his finance skills in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program.
He then spent a year in the strategy and M&A team and enjoyed what he describes as the “number crunching and strategic decision making” involved in the role.
Tom later decided to move to Sydney, where there was a larger pool of job opportunities on offer in his field of interest. He set his sights on finding two key things: an organisation with a good market position and a great culture.
Macquarie ticked both of Tom’s boxes and he joined the organisation in 2019 as an analyst in the Financial Institutions Group sector coverage team, advising on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions.
Tom says he was initially surprised by the culture across the organisation.
“Macquarie’s people were very down-to-earth and the organisation didn’t have rigid hierarchies,” Tom says.
Right from the start I was exposed to a lot, and that created an incredibly beneficial but steep learning curve over my first couple of years.”
He enjoyed working closely with senior leaders who were invested in helping him grow and develop.
“At Macquarie, I found people were very generous in giving their time and training,” Tom says. “I was working alongside people who are the best in class with a wealth of experience.”
Beginning as an analyst with a focus on execution and delivery of key workstreams, his responsibilities grew and in 2020, he was promoted to associate and took the day-to-day lead on transactions, presenting to executives. Tom also took on responsibility for team workflow coordination and staffing, as well as training and mentoring those newer to the team.
He felt synergy between the skills he picked up in his engineering degree and the work he was doing. His background allowed him to think logically and take a practical approach when finding new ways to optimise or solve problems - something he’d always enjoyed.
Tom says highlights of his time with the team were the range of deals he was involved in and the people he worked with, including the opportunity to work with other divisions within Macquarie.
Having spent two years with the Financial Institutions Group, Tom was open to taking on a new challenge.
That’s when he started to look across teams and towards the Energy Transition principal investment team, which supports the energy transition by investing in and developing green energy and decarbonisation projects and assets.
This kind of work immediately appealed to Tom and he discussed his interest with his manager, who then helped him find an opportunity on the team. By the beginning of 2022, Tom had started his new role.
I felt incredibly supported throughout this process. At Macquarie, you never have to stay in one area. You're encouraged to grow your skillset and carve your own unique career path.”
As a member of the Energy Transition principal investment team, Tom’s role involves developing early stage energy projects while continually assessing new deal opportunities and says there is an emphasis on partnerships to leverage expertise.
“We are focused on green technologies and products and other decarbonisation and energy transition projects,” he explains. “A lot of these industries are new and at a very early stage, like green hydrogen for example, so we work on identifying opportunities for Macquarie to pursue.”
Tom says he enjoys the challenges, opportunities and excitement of working in an early-stage industry, and also values Macquarie’s commitment to the sector and green energy transition.
“Macquarie has had many success stories in incubating nascent asset classes, and I believe this is a theme that’s going to be very significant in the coming decades,” he explains.
“The work we are doing, and the assets we are developing, can ultimately help governments and corporates achieve their decarbonisation objectives; helping the world transition to a low emissions future. This is a hugely exciting and challenging opportunity.”