How emerging leaders can make the most of their career in the tax profession.

Today's leaders are confronted with challenges and opportunities that have never been more complex. However, it may take some commitment to develop into a high potential leader to handle the formidable challenges you’ll likely face.

We spoke with Antoinette Elias, CTA, Oceania Sector Leader for Wealth & Asset Management and Tax Partner in EY’s Financial Services Group, with over 33 years’ experience as a tax adviser, on her views to inspire and nurture the next level of top performers who want to grow as leaders.

Antoinette’s advice on how emerging tax leaders can make the most of their career in tax is to embrace every opportunity that is in their path, and, in particular, to find their passion for tax. “If you're not passionate about tax, it is actually very hard to succeed, so you need to find that passion. Take the opportunities that come your way, say yes to every experience you can possibly get. As you mature throughout your career, start to work out what area you want to specialise in.”

Antoinette has extensive experience in advising on the tax issues facing custodians, managed investment trusts, fund managers, superannuation funds and hedge funds and promotes the role of education and professional development as being critical to the success of a tax professional. “Tax is ever-changing, and even if the law is not changing, the interpretation of the law is changing. It's very important for professionals to stay up-to-date with the most current thinking, whether it be from regulators, the courts, or actually legislative changes. Without that professional development, it's very difficult for a professional to stay on top of all the issues.”

Antoinette is involved in the consultation process regarding the unprecedented level of policy changes and proposed tax rules facing the financial services industry, such as the development of the IMR Rules, the AMIT Rules and the proposed ARFP and CCIV rules. “I made the most of my career in tax by finding my passion for tax law. For example, when the superannuation laws first came in in 1988 to tax superfunds, most of my colleagues did not want to learn all that new legislation. That actually ended up underpinning the entire success of my career. I now specialise in wealth and asset management sector, I advise superfunds and all the entities that are associated with the investment of super.”

On networking, Antoinette advocates maintaining your networks from when you start your career and within the organisations that you work. “It's very important to maintain your networks. As I joined the profession, I used the networks of the firm that I worked for. I started with Arthur Andersen; it's been merged with EY. So, through the very big accounting firms that I've worked for, there's been significant access to networking.”

The Tax Institute is dedicated to inspiring and nurturing the next level of top performers in the tax profession. Visit our site to find out more about our education program and professional development options.


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