Where accounting and finance at the University of Waikato can take you

11 October 2019

Vittoria Shortt
ASB CEO Vittoria Shortt is one of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Awardees.

Vittoria Shortt is the CEO of ASB, charged with leading the bank into the future against the backdrop of rapidly evolving technologies, continual market disruption and ever-increasing customer expectations.

She is also a University of Waikato alumna and will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA) from the university on Friday 18 October.

Ms Shortt completed a Bachelor of Management Studies in 1994. Her first job was in the Audit team at global professional services firm Deloitte followed by a period in the Corporate Finance team.

She then worked for Carter Holt Harvey in Mergers and Acquisitions and commercial roles. It was there she discovered her love of business and developed her strategy, communication and commercial skills.

Her next move was into banking in Sydney at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) where she took senior executive positions across operations, retail, strategy and marketing. By 2015 she was Group Executive Marketing and Strategy and a member of the bank’s Executive Leadership Team.

Over the course of her career with CBA, Ms Shortt supported and mentored women working in the financial and marketing sectors and worked with the government to improve mathematical literacy skills in Australia.

In 2018, she returned to New Zealand to become Chief Executive of ASB, excited by the opportunity to accelerate the financial progress of New Zealanders.

Ms Shortt says she constantly reflects on her management style and decision-making and encourages her colleagues to do the same. She is a member of Global Women in New Zealand and Chief Executive Women in Australia.

“While not exactly planned this way, my career has mirrored my university journey from accounting to finance to strategic management. The University of Waikato BMS was a terrific start, made more special by the long-term friendships that have endured despite global careers.”

She says planned well, it is possible as a mother and a CEO to maintain a good work-life balance.

Ms Shortt is one of four Distinguished Alumni, and will receive her award in an official ceremony next Friday, along with Brian Sweeney, founder of international communications agency SweeneyVesty, and Dr Andrew Smith, the University’s first Rhodes Scholar and CEO of Hamilton’s Prolife Foods.

Former All Black player and coach Wayne Smith is also one of this year’s Distinguished Alumni, and received his award in a separate ceremony last month.

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