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Zoe Wang: On target to deliver change in green energy

Zoe Wang grew up in Singapore where she competed in nationwide archery competitions. Now she is on target to bring about meaningful change at Macquarie where the company is contributing to over 250+ green energy projects.

 

Upon graduating high school, Zoe knew she wanted to pursue a career in the financial services industry. She moved from her home country of Singapore to the United Kingdom to attend the London School of Economics. While in her first year studying economics, she began to explore the various graduate schemes available to kick-start her career.

 

Insight Programme

In 2018, Zoe joined the Macquarie Insight Programme, a two-week initiative where students get to experience firsthand the opportunities available in financial services, including at Macquarie. Here she discovered a pathway to continue working with different kinds of quantitative analysis which she enjoyed doing at university.

“During the programme we participated in a number of case studies and panel discussions providing a broad overview of the work done across the Macquarie businesses,” says Zoe. “I began to get a sense of what I wanted to pursue in my career.”

During the Insight Programme, Zoe witnessed firsthand the team’s willingness to engage actively with the participants which helped Macquarie to stand out.

“Whenever I approached the team with questions or requests for coffee chats, people were always very willing to spare their time and have a meaningful conversation with me.”

I was also interested in Macquarie’s acquisition of the Green Investment Bank, now known as the Green Investment Group. “This sparked my attention immediately,” says Zoe. “I wanted to know as much as I could about the green energy sector and began eagerly pursuing this path.”

 

A career in sustainable investing

In 2020, Zoe was offered a role on the Macquarie Graduate Programme and joined the Green Investment Group. “The Green Investment Group platform enables Macquarie to engage in principal investments in the green energy space across different technologies such as solar, wind, and waste–to-energy,” says Zoe.

More recently, the Green Investment Group is investing Macquarie’s own balance sheet into emerging energy technologies such as hydrogen and battery storage.

In her role as an analyst, Zoe conducts various forms of financial analysis to support the investment decisions made by senior management, especially as they look to acquire green energy assets in the market.

“Everyone in the team, whether junior or senior, is invited to share opinions and insight into the project,” says Zoe. “This has meant real responsibility from the very start of my career.”

 

Equipped to succeed

Zoe credits the robust training Macquarie offers to new graduates as another reason she was able to quickly become accustomed to the work in the group and gain the technical skills needed to be successful. 

“The modeling workshops and other essential training sessions in conjunction with the on the job training I received, helped me to contribute to my projects early on,” says Zoe. “For instance, I was able to properly set up a project finance model and transform it into a useful tool for making sound investment decisions.”

These models help the team understand how much debt they are able to raise for a particular asset and how much capital Macquarie would need to contribute.  

Zoe has been putting the modelling skills she learned on the Macquarie Graduate Programme into action as she sits on a team looking at renewable energy opportunities in Poland.

“Traditionally, Poland has predominantly used coal in its energy mix. In recent years, the government introduced policies that would increase the renewable energy production in the country,” says Zoe.

Establishing Macquarie’s presence in the market and making initial investment in this space is something that Zoe feels very fortunate to be involved in. 

“Through this exercise I have been able to see the entire strategic entrance into a relatively new market and analyse the prospects of renewable energy assets like onshore windfarms there.”

Being part of the transition to a greener economy is a highlight for Zoe. “To be a part of this kind of investment, no matter how big or small, is special,” says Zoe. “Through the work I do at Macquarie, I am contributing to the overall decarbonisation of our economy.”

 

The value of diverse perspectives

Zoe says she feels supported by her team who are genuinely concerned about the personal wellbeing of the members of her team.

“There can certainly be times when the workloads are demanding and more hours are needed to complete the job, but overall, my team members are very considerate of my time. I feel cared for by my team and it encourages me to continue putting my best foot forward and do my best.”

Macquarie also offers a variety of employee network groups. Zoe is a member of Fusion and Balance which promote diversity in cultures and gender equality. Being born in Shanghai, raised in Singapore, and educated in London, Zoe says she finds support in these groups.  

“Here employees can safely voice issues that are important to them. This creates a strong collective company spirit, where everyone feels their opinions matter,” says Zoe.

An appreciation of different perspectives is something which has always been near and dear to Zoe’s heart, choosing to study in London to gain exposure to a variety of backgrounds and cultures. “I gained many new perspectives by exchanging views and opinions with students coming from an array of cultures and continents.”

Zoe enjoys the level of diversity found within Macquarie. “On my team, we have people hailing from all corners of the globe. This provides a unique work experience, where we can bounce ideas off each other and share the different cultural activities we do with our families back home. It is a rather eye-opening experience.”

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