Trinity College grounds

Culture and flexibility: Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Trinity alumni David Clark (TC 2003) and Campbell Cooke (TC 2012) both worked for large international companies, but turned them down to work at Cameron Harrison, a blue-chip wealth and investment management firm.

They sat down with us to explain the benefits of working in a smaller company and why it’s not a case of “one size fits all.”
We met David and Campbell down a narrow alleyway outside the trendy Bowery to Williamsburg café on Olivers Lane. Despite the ten-year age difference, it’s immediately apparent the two share a good rapport.
David is the Director – Investment Management at Cameron Harrison overseeing the delivery of the Cameron Harrison Investment Management Program across multiple asset classes; including international and domestic equities, fixed income, and listed property. 
Campbell is a Senior Analyst in charge of managing investment strategy, wealth strategy and advises on areas such as estate planning and self-managed superfunds.
 “I am the investment management side, the selection side and the ongoing monitoring, and Campbell is predominately on the client services side,” explains David.
David studied a Bachelor of Commerce and Engineering at the University of Melbourne. After university, he worked as an engineer at Rio Tinto and as a consultant at Energetics Pty Ltd. 
He then moved to London to pursue a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Cambridge before working as a senior consultant at CRU Consulting.
In 2014, he returned to Melbourne and was recruited as an investment manager at Cameron Harrison before later becoming a director.
David’s advice is to find something you are passionate about and get accustomed to communicating your results to clients.
“It’s important to not only arrive at answers, but to be able to communicate them. I’d say 50 percent is the quality of the answer and the other 50 percent is the acceptance of the people around you of that response,” says David. 
David says at Cameron Harrison they spend time every day communicating the outcome to clients, explaining how Cameron Harrison manage their investments, superannuation and wealth in retirement.
Campbell completed his Bachelor of Commerce and Diploma of Languages (Spanish) at the University of Melbourne at the end of 2015.
“I went travelling for a few months after I graduated and started working a few days after I got home,” says Campbell. “It’s my first job and I’ve been here over two years and the time has absolutely flown by.”
Campbell had previously undertaken vacation work at Suncorp and fielded offers from other large financial services firms. 
“I know now there are a lot of benefits in working in a smaller firm due to culture, the ability to work outside your role on different projects and access to different levels of seniority,” says Campbell. 
“I’m sitting pretty close to David, we all sit pretty close to each other, but we have access to different partners of the firm, [to see] where the firm is going, the strategy behind where the firm is positioned, [access] you wouldn't necessarily have in a larger firm.”
David and Campbell enjoy working on a variety of different projects and continuing to expand their knowledge base.
For instance, David is currently involved with the website redevelopment and the rebranding of Cameron Harrison.
“I like the variety of my job. You can often go to a bigger firm and you can get very good at working in a niche area, very deep skills in a very narrow area that can be harder to transfer,” says David.
Campbell has been involved in the recruitment of graduates and is organising internships for current students.
“Obviously, with a small firm you may not have a Human Resources department. Some members of staff are more focused on HR, technology and infrastructure, you really get to develop a broad range of skills,” says Campbell.

If you are interested in working in a small inclusive firm, then you should consider Cameron Harrison. Offers for the graduate analyst position are currently open, applications via the My Trinity Connect jobs board. The Internship program will be open later in 2018, please see our upcoming newsletters for more information.

Category: People