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Sally Aitken

Associate Principal

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As a young Business Analyst, I was very keen to establish a career in which I would be constantly challenged, provide diversity of experience and enable me to work with smart people solving game-changing problems.  Having studied engineering, I was keen to be involved in the 'front-end' of the decision making process, rather than just executing others' decisions.

At Port Jackson Partners, we help clients make decisions that can shape an organisation's future by understanding and developing strategies to manage complex business environments and delivering long-lasting impact.

Balancing work and external responsibilities

While work challenge and diversity are still important to me, I am now at the stage where I also value a work environment that is supportive of my responsibilities outside of work.  I have two young children, the oldest of which has just started school, and I want the flexibility to be able to manage both work and home responsibilities.

Port Jackson Partners has been highly supportive of my desire to do both.  I work a four day week and still manage to fulfil an Associate Principal role on major projects.  It is a balancing act, and (as all working parents will agree) it is not easy. However, Port Jackson has provided the flexibility and working environment that helps me do both.

High calibre teams, lasting impact and a collegial atmosphere

Having joined Port Jackson Partners straight out of University, I was keen to explore other opportunities and in 2008 left to join a new group in Macquarie Group's investment banking team working on clean technology and renewable energy.  While a very exciting opportunity (albeit poorly timed as it was just prior to the GFC), this experience served to remind me of a number of attributes of Port Jackson Partners that are often taken for granted as a consultant:

  • Port Jackson Partners' senior people are outstanding;
  • Junior consultants get to work on, and make a significant difference to, major business issues; and
  • The culture is highly supportive - consultants are given the opportunity to continually stretch their skill set, whilst always being supported by fellow consultants and directors if needed.

It was these attributes, and the ability to have a flexible working environment, that attracted me back to Port Jackson Partners in 2011.

Career highlights

2001
  • Started as a Business Analyst
2002
  • Seconded to a leading Oil and Gas company to help manage negotiations with a major partner
2004
  • Worked with a fast moving consumer goods company to identify additional growth opportunities
  • Promoted to Associate
2005
  • Worked with a Government owned energy distributor to develop an organisational structure and determine priority areas of focus following demerger from retail and generation
2008
  • Joined a team within Macquarie Capital that was developing an international advisory and principal investment business focused on renewable energy and clean technology sectors
2010
  • Maternity leave
2011
  • Returned to Port Jackson Partners
2012
  • Helped an international minerals processing company negotiate with the Commonwealth and two state governments for financing support for the redevelopment of a major processing facility
  • Promoted to Associate Principal
2013
  • Maternity leave
2015
  • Helped a life insurance company build the business case to establish a partnership to enter health insurance in Australia

"The calibre of professional staff, both Principals and consultants, at Port Jackson Partners is astounding"

BACKGROUND

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental), First Class Honours, UNSW
  • Co-op Scholarship, UNSW
  • Masters of Commerce (Finance Major), UNSW