Podcast | S3E1 The Impact of Governance: Pru Bennett

Podcast | S3E1 The Impact of Governance: Pru Bennett

Podcast | S3E1 The Impact of Governance: Pru Bennett 1400 788 Risky Women

Pru Bennett joins our first podcast of season 3 to discuss the spectrum of ESG and the impact boards can make, how they can proactively manage risk, what they should be asking themselves, and how diversity has changed performance for the better.

Until January, 2019, Pru Bennett was a Managing Director at BlackRock and Head of BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship team for the APAC Region based in Hong Kong. Pru is an active participant in the public debate on corporate governance and stewardship and in her current role as Principal at Guerdon Associates, she advises boards of Australian companies on issues covering executive and non-executive director remuneration, investor communications and board related ESG issues.

Show Notes
  • 03:00 Career Journey
  • 04:50 Why G is most important in ESG
  • 10:40 Who inspires you?
  • 14:45 What should boards be asking?
  • 24:25 Setting tone at the top & mood in the middle
  • 28:08 Diversity on boards
  • 30:17 Rants & Revelations
  • 32:58 Rapid Fire Round

Yesterday’s board was asking the question, what money are we making? Today’s board should be asking the question, how are we making our money?


TRANSCRIPT

Kimberley Cole 0:01
This is Risky Women Radio, a show to connect, celebrate and champion women in risk, regulation and compliance. Sharing insight and perspective from the most influential members of our global Risky Women network. On the latest developments, we need to think about, the challenges we should all talk more about, and innovations we are most excited about in governance, risk and compliance. Bringing together the hundreds of senior women professionals already connected with a new emerging group of leading women and men. I’m Kimberley Cole, your Chief Risky Woman.

Kimberley Cole 0:39
Hi, we’re always looking for sponsors and if you’d like to get involved and help celebrate and champion women in risk, regulation, and compliance, please get in contact at info@riskywomen.org. We’d love to have you joined the show.

Kimberley Cole 0:54
Welcome to Risky Women Radio. I have been wanting to have Pru Bennett join us on Risky Women Radio for some time, so I was thrilled that we finally got our schedules to align and she joins us here today. We did have a great live event which we’ve had to postpone. But like everyone else, we’ve managed to adapt and move our formats. And so here we are speaking via Zoom. And I think you are going to really enjoy this episode. I met Pru many years ago now in Hong Kong, and my initial interaction was a keynote that she delivered at the Women’s Foundation on a report that Pru had authored on diversity on boards. Since then, I have learned so much from Pru on governance and its impact, and some really great ideas on how companies need to sort of shift and change their focus. Pru Bennett is a seasoned corporate governance leader who is now sharing her vast experience as a senior advisor, amongst many other leadership and advisory roles that she holds. She spent the bulk of her career at BlackRock as a leading director in governance and Pru actively participates in public debates on corporate governance and stewardship, she received the Asia industry Leadership Award from 100 Women in Finance, as well as being listed as Australia’s top 10 Women of Influence in Corporate Governance. She’s known as a champion for diversity and inclusion having published numerous papers on diversity on boards as well as steering, the Women’s Foundation Hong Kong’s 30% Club, which is focused on boosting the number of women on boards and in senior management. I hope you enjoy this episode, which kicks off season three of Risky Woman Radio. Thanks for listening. Welcome to Risky Women Radio today’s risky woman is Pru Bennett welcome crew to Risky Women Radio.

Pru Bennett 2:44
Well, thank you for having me, Kimberley.

Kimberley Cole 2:46
It’s a pleasure. Now, we always kick off and try to understand a bit more about the career journey of our risky women which is always fascinating. So you’ve been focused on governance and tell us more about your journey to date.

Pru Bennett 3:00
Well, I always describe my career as being very serendipitous. I started as a chartered accountant, went through that pathway, and ended up with Qantas as investor relations is a very good opportunity because it was when Qantas went from being privately owned or government owned to listing on the stock exchange. But it was also at a time when I really experienced gender discrimination being female, and also being female with children and the opportunities, I wasn’t getting the opportunities that others were that weren’t in my situation. But it was at that time I came across a proxy advisory firm that was advising institutional shareholders, how to vote at Qantas’s annual general meeting, and it was very different from the analysts’ reports that I had been reviewing over the previous sort of one or two years, and I was quite interested and started a conversation then they asked if I would join the firm. So I then made it quite clear to them that I had two small children that I wanted to work part-time in a certain level of income and that if my children were sick, I didn’t come in and I wasn’t to be questioned, which was a real problem from where I was. And they said, yep, no problems. I joined that firm in 1997. In 1998, when I was actually pregnant with my third child, I was offered a directorship and also took over as CEO, and I ran that business for 12 years. And then we were bought out by Glass Lewis. And it was at the time when executive compensation wasn’t an issue, climate change wasn’t an issue. So I’ve been very fortunate to be on a real journey and ESG from from the very, very beginning. But as I said before, it’s very serendipitous as to how I ended up there and there was no science to it, or deep thought about planning.

Kimberley Cole 4:50
Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s really interesting. And, I mean, you mentioned ESG there and obviously I spoke about, you know, sort of your focus on the G in it, the governance. Can you tell us, you know, risky women a bit more detail about what’s the importance of the governance role and sort of maybe a bit more details around sort of what elements that covers?

Pru Bennett 5:12
The G’s, the most important. That acronym ESG sort of developed in the mid 2000s and I remember seeing it and saying, why is the G at then end. The G when it comes to the board is critical. And it’s around having a board that’s comprised of competent people. And I know all the guidelines talk about majority of independence, but it’s not just about having independent directors. It’s about having competent directors, it’s around having diversity of thought around the board table. It’s around having core industry skills amongst the independent directors, to have oversight of management. And so those directors are there of listed companies really representing the, the shareholders and investors and it’s that oversight they have of management to be able to challenge management on on various issues and have that collective knowledge and skills and experience to be able to do that. And I always talk about looking at E&S through the G lens. So if you’ve got a competent board, the right skills and experience, whatever a company is exposed to from an E&S risk is going to be managed better than a board that is not competent and doesn’t ask those questions of management and doesn’t understand what the company is exposed to from an E&S perspective.

Kimberley Cole 6:32
Hmm, very interesting. So given that you said your sort of career journey was very serendipitous, but what do you think was the biggest risk that you’ve taken in your career?

Pru Bennett 6:45
I think my probably the biggest risk I’ve taken was was leaving retiring from BlackRock. I am I gave 12 months notice, I it was a it was a fabulous out role but relocating to Sydney to be back with our three children was a priority. So now I’m working for myself. So that’s been a bit of a risk to take to go from working for a very large organization, a secure organization, to be now in charge of my own destiny for the next few years at least.

Kimberley Cole 7:17
Interesting, too. And and so, I mean, obviously there are lots of career choices you’ve made along the way, including this most recent one. And what were some of the motivations or the I guess you said it was serendipitous, but what kind of thinking happened along the way when you were making your career choices?

Pru Bennett 7:33
Well, it was very serendipitous up until, you know, I got into governance and what I found out about governance is that if you’re in a position to make a difference, so at Corporate Governance International (CGI), we were making recommendations to our clients that had a vote at shareholder meetings, and initially institutional investors didn’t vote. We did research to identify this that was published that pressure on institutional investors to vote. We then had asset owners as clients who are pushing their managers to vote. And so I felt that our firm really had an influence in increasing voting, increasing making issues such as composition, succession planning, executive remuneration, you know, bringing it to the forefront, because this really mattered to long-term value creation for companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. And likewise with my stewardship role at BlackRock with the engagement that I was able to do with companies is making a difference for our clients. And so that was always the question I would ask in any decisions to change roles. And that’s been a common theme since I got into corporate governance work.

Kimberley Cole 8:50
And what are the lessons that you think you’ve kind of learned along the way and, and how you sort of adapted and moved as you’ve learned things?

Pru Bennett 9:01
Keeping an open mind and looking out for unintended consequences. Governance can be seen very much as a tick the box approach. And there were many companies that didn’t tick all the boxes. So did that mean we should just recommend against the re-election of certain _______. And so again stepping back having a look at the company in the circumstances, and keeping that open mind, I think a really good example of that is I was at a conference and the speaker was talking about child labor, a company in Brazil was was accused of using child labor in, in agricultural work. And the investor said, oh, we’re getting rid of our investment that because we don’t support companies that have child labor, the company stopped it. The alternative for the girls, and it was mainly girls at around age 12, to earn income was prostitution. So while looks very good and well meaning that we don’t invest in companies that use child labor, the unintended consequences of that decision was absolutely dire for those for those workers. So keeping an open mind, looking out for unintended consequences and not taking that tick the box approach, I think, is, is what I’ve really learned.

Kimberley Cole 10:15
I think that’s fantastic advice. And exactly right on the sort of child labor / slave labor is that making people more vulnerable increases the implications and the reasoning for that behavior. So you know, fantastic, fantastic points. And sort of slightly change of tack here, but who are some of the role models that you’ve been inspired by?

Pru Bennett 10:40
I think Sandy Easterbrook, who was one of the original founders of Corporate Governance International, has really been a role model for me and I’ve just attended Sandy’s 80th birthday last Sunday. Sandy has a fantastically legal mind. He’s a former partner at Mallesons. And he took the time to sit down and really explain to me you know how governance worked and how important now he is used the expression that corporate governance isn’t rocket science. And it’s not, when you’re talking about getting the right people, right mix of skills on the board, core industry skills. It just makes sense. And he just had a really considered way of looking at issues. Another person that has really inspired me is Mervyn King, he is the founder of Integrated Reporting. And he’s just got an extraordinary mind when he talks at the corporation being an incapacitated person. The role of the board as stewards to hand on the the state of the company to the next board in as good and preferably better condition that they got it in. And there’s one other person and that’s Geraldine Buckingham, which is amazing because she’s 20 years younger than me and to have someone that I aspire to who is significantly younger, she’s now Chairman of Asia Pacific for BlackRock based in Hong Kong. And what I learned from her was around managing a team and partnering with your, with your direct reports and your team to help them progress in their careers and your responsibility as a leader to partner with your people. And I followed her advice and from my team, I had a fabulous team in Hong Kong, I really got a lot out of them or that you know that their contribution just just totally changed. And I had a real diverse team from a very large team in Japan, in Singapore and in Australia, and obviously Hong Kong and and being able to do that partnership was was just a game changer for me in team management.

Kimberley Cole 12:51
That’s super advice there and obviously some fabulous role models to learn and be guided by but I think that’s good guidance for all of us. So you mentioned there, you know the focus of boards. I’d like to get your expert opinion now on the focus on boards, and really dig into maybe some of the purpose. We’ve mentioned ESG is now a hot topic or environment, social and governance. So in your view is the focus on all of these elements at the correct level and at the correct focus, especially at both the board and maybe the executive level as well?

Pru Bennett 13:34
It is changing and it depends in the world where you are. The G will always be the most important. And I think with the environmental and social side, what is happening and what has happened to the valuation of companies over the years that has changed significantly. There’s research shows that in 1975, the average S&P company 75% of market cap was made up of physical and financial assets. 25% was intangible. Now that’s completely reversed by 2016 is 85% intangible. And that’s the E and the S. And that’s where the value creation and potential value loss can be made in a company. So while the G Still remains just as important, the value of the E&S when you’re talking about market cap has changed significantly. And I’m not convinced that boards and management have really acknowledged that shift in value, and have changed their thinking and their decision making processes that align with that shift in value.

Kimberley Cole 14:40
Interesting. So what what questions should boards be asking?

Pru Bennett 14:45
It’s a good question, because I think that changed a lot compared to say 10 years ago or even 5 years ago, and the way I look at it is you know, yesterday’s board was asking the question, what money are we making? Today’s board should be asking the question, how are we making our money? What are our externalities? What’s our footprint on society? And how can we minimize our externality? And another yesterday’s question would be, how do we best serve our shareholders? Where today’s question is, what is our purpose? What are our values and principles? And how vulnerable are we is our social licence to operate? But other questions that boards should be asking themselves or should be along the lines of Do we have true diversity of thought? And I think this is a question that is starting to be asked more and more. But if you go back 20 years ago, that wasn’t even on the table. Are we getting the right information, and that’s around that shift in valuation about I’m convinced that and based on my discussions that most boards are still focused on the physical and financial aspects and the information is all around the physical and financial aspects of the company and not around where the value is, which is 85%. And boards should be asking whether they really understand the conflicts of interests. And that comes to the topic of executive compensation, because most boards receive their advice around executive compensation from management. So that’s a huge conflict. And I don’t again, based on my discussions with directors, I’m not convinced most of them really understand managing that that conflict of interest. Stakeholders, do boards really understand who their stakeholders are these days and that has changed and whether or not boards are meeting their stakeholder needs. I think boards also should be asking questions around the level of trust the level of trust also internally and externally. And we’ve seen with the banking Royal Commission, what happened with the level of trust for Australian banks. And once that trust is lost, it can take years to build that up. So it’s my straight off of boards to be in a position where that where they don’t lose that trust and maintain that trust. But are they getting the information about it? And do they really understand where they where they are in terms of the community, and also their own internal stakeholders of where they are with trust? And does the board really understand the true costs of how the returns are generated? Or they simply focused on those costs that are itemized in the P&L? And a good example of that is staff turnover. Staff turnover is a huge cost on businesses. But when you look at the P&L, there’s no line item staff turnover costs, because it’s reflected through all those other costs, those other line items. And also boards should be asking themselves, where where are they vulnerable, and I think the whole Covid-19 issue has just raised vulnerabilities with boards. Yes, they’ve had business continuity plans, they’ve sort of tested every six or three months. But now they’ve got to be implemented. And I’m not sure that the boards are really ready for this. And again, that comes down to crisis management. Do they have the right resilient directors on the board for a situation like this? You can’t have directors that can’t face up to these challenges.

Kimberley Cole 18:20
Yeah, incredibly complex. Lots of questions, as you say that board should be asking. And I think, you know, as you said, they’re the social licence to operate the the trust and that true cost element. You know, and how they map that out and how they actually that goes from top down through the organization is incredibly important.

Pru Bennett 18:42
Yep, yep.

Kimberley Cole 18:44
And how are you seeing that the best companies don’t measure and tackle some of those, those issues around ESG?

Pru Bennett 18:52
Transparency is the key and also ESG disclosure and management is an evolving issue and seeing that changes as as I think management becomes more aware of it, management and boards become more comfortable with their disclosures. It’s and I think climate change disclosure is a very good example of this. And I’m working with a client at the moment, who’s really struggling with how much to disclose and how to disclose issues without making them vulnerable. And greenwashing can be just so obvious with some of the disclosures that you see, and from an investor perspective, investors can only make their judgments and come to conclusions based on on public disclosures, but boards and in particular, the CEO taking a position on certain issues and the leadership position, as opposed to just following what peers do, I think identifies a good board.

Kimberley Cole 19:56
Yeah, it’s like sort of understanding a bit more about that as well. I mean, what do you think are the characteristics of a high performing board? You know, you’ve spoken to many boards of directors, many management teams. And so what are those attributes that you think the board directors also need to hold to effectively deliver their duty?

Pru Bennett 20:15
The board as a whole has to have the right collection and diversity of skills. So that’s sort of a starting point. But each of those individuals needs to have intellectual honesty. And they need to be able to ask the hard questions management and and of themselves, and they also need to be able to identify where they may lack expertise in a particular topic. Cyber Security being one and climate change being another. Now investors don’t expect to see a cyber security expert on every board. It’s just one it’s not possible there wouldn’t be enough people and two a good cyber security expert doesn’t necessarily make a good director. But boards should be able to have that intellectual honesty to go and seek independent advice on certain topics so that they can challenge management in a constructive way. And in an informed way, as opposed to just hiding behind the issue and not asking any questions. And directors with that intellectual honesty, I think, a few and far between. It’s unfortunate, but being able to, as I said, being able to identify when you don’t have the knowledge and skills in a particular area to be able to ask informed questions of management and then go and putting your hand up saying, I need to get some independent expert advice. Getting that advice and taking bring it back into the boardroom is extremely important.

Kimberley Cole 21:45
Yes, independent expert advice and I also like your intellectual honesty, as, you know, key attributes so that’s very true. What are the what are the keys focus areas for you currently? And I guess we would have just had a pretty rapid shift on what some of those focus areas are, but thinking, you know, before Covid-19, what was the sort of agenda that you saw for the 2020 focus for companies. And obviously, there’s been some pretty dramatic changes in that agenda.

Pru Bennett 22:23
I think climate change is the number one issue for companies, whether the companies in any industry that is significantly exposed to climate change risk, such as oil and gas and extractive industries, as opposed to say financial services companies. Boards need to take a position on this issue. They need to articulate that to shareholders, investors and other stakeholders and determine how they’re going to disclose in particular issues around scenario analysis and their long-term. strategy, because, well, the long-term strategy might be determined today, within the next couple of years, there will be technology changes that will impact that. And so it is an absolute journey around climate change, but to be aware and know about being or making a commitment, minimum commitment to be net zero by 2050, if not before that numbers been working on some research this morning. And I’d say there’s an increasing number of companies that are bringing that day forward and not be scared to make those ambitious commitments. And I think that’s that that comes back to another attribute of a director is to have courage, but they do need to be able to make informed decisions on these issues.

Kimberley Cole 23:47
Yeah, I think we should do it. We could do another another podcast, you know, tackling or trying to tackle that issue and, and how think we should be acting but I think you know, climate change, you know, remains top of the agenda today. How does the tone at the top you know frame some of that discussion, I guess? You know, it’s talked about a lot it’s an area of discussion regulator focus and given the number of you know, corporate scandals and misconduct, how will companies and boards ensure that they understand and that they can influence that tone at the top?

Pru Bennett 24:25
All companies should have a stated purpose values and principles and whatever decisions are made the those purpose values and principles should be part of that. And so in any decision it’s not a case of well can we because you probably can it should be and is this aligned with the company’s purpose values and principles and an example where that wasn’t the case was VW. I think it was about 2010 2011 Volkswagen’s purpose was to manufacture the most number of cars. They lacked values and they lacked principles. So yes, they ticked that box and they became the biggest manufacturer of most number of cars globally. But we know what happened to Volkswagen, we know the loss of value, we know loss of trust. And that’s because that was missing the values and the principles which are just so important and they have to be lived and breathed and walked and talked by the senior leadership team. But it’s not just tone at the top it’s also the mood in the middle is just as important because of that tone at the top is failing to get down to the mood in the middle, the board and senior management need to know that so is the board asking the questions are we getting the right information around that mood in the middle, and there’s increasing technology that’s available to be able to measure that and this is what boards should be on top off.

Kimberley Cole 25:55
Love it. I love it the mood in the middle which is often where we see the resistance to change as well when we’re trying to implement a whole range of different transformation and, and, you know, often what we think is quite innovative ways of doing things. But that mood in the middle is often the real sticking point. So managing risk, which is obviously one of our, you know, favorite topics on Risky Women, but also absolutely key for boards. And you’ve already mentioned this need to look beyond the sort of financial risks and take a proper 360 degree view of both, you know, your operational your compliance risks. And it’s obviously been highlighted in several reports from regulators. So how can boards and companies I guess, ensure that they’re being proactive and pre-emptive and not just reactive in managing some of those risks?

Pru Bennett 26:48
Well, they’ve got to make sure that they’ve got the right information. And this is where Integrated Reporting comes in. I happen to sit on the board of the International Integrated Reporting Council. While the integrated reports, the external reports are quite comprehensive and useful for investors it’s the integrated thinking that it generates internally, which is just as important. What Integrated Reporting does is take that value of the company into six capitals. So that’s the financial and physical capital that most boards are familiar with and used to getting reports on. But it’s the social capital, the environment capital, the human capital, and the intellectual capital that boards should be receiving information upon because if we’re talking about value creation, if they don’t understand where the value is, what’s going to impact that the value that both positively and negatively, they won’t be on top of the risks that are facing that company. And so that’s the way that they can be proactive, but they can’t be proactive unless they’re getting the correct information.

Kimberley Cole 27:51
Yeah, absolutely. So can you share sort of changes that you’ve seen as well around the impact of, of diversity or you know, maybe the increasing diversity hopefully over the length of your career, you sort of mentioned that at the start.

Pru Bennett 28:06
It’s it’s changed significantly. And I do know people who work at Qantas now and it is not this has a completely different environment. And that was different when I was there – a significant change. But with my work with boards over the last 25 years, we’ve seen the percentage of women on boards increasing in Australia in the ASX 200, from less than 10% to it just hit 30%, which I think is a great achievement. And so I ask directors when I meet them has this made a difference? And it has, and I think a lot of directors used to use the argument that oh we only appointed by merit, and that’s why we don’t have any women on the board. Now the conversation is actually we’ve now got three women on the board to actually change the conversation, to a better conversation, a more informed conversation. And I think some of those director dinosaurs who were very anti targets or quotas have now sort of succession planned off those boards, which is good. So we’re seeing much, I think younger women coming on with different backgrounds. And some research that I did back in 2009 showed that 70% of non executive directors were either CEOs or former executives of ASX 200 companies. Now, given the fact that I think even today that it’s still less than 10% women, you still just had the same type of person coming on to the board. So we’re not it’s not just about gender diversity that we’re seeing. It’s about diversity of background and experience and skills that are coming to those boards. And based on the discussions that I’ve had, it has definitely improved discussion around the board table.

Kimberley Cole 29:52
Well, fantastic to have a positive change and shift. That’s, that’s great.

Kimberley Cole 30:01
Connecting, celebrating and championing women in risk, regulation and compliance Risky Women Radio takes an intimate look at the rants and revelations of the top women shaping the debate and the industry.

Kimberley Cole 30:17
So onto our rants and revelations, which is one of my favorite sections of our Risky Women Radio podcast. So what’s your top piece of advice that you’ve been given, and it’s really helped you progress through your career?

Pru Bennett 30:32
Well, I’ll never forget my first day of working after I graduated, I was living at home and I left to get the train to work. And my father said to me, my father just retired, I’ve never been involved in a dishonest transaction in my life. And I have always taken that and I and that is, and I can say the same thing to my children now that they’ve finished university and working and I’ve always had a really high ethical standard of what I do. And oftentimes, you know, people might throw up ideas and my my view will be, don’t lower your standards. Just don’t lower your standards. And and I think there has really helped me, I might have missed out on opportunities by not lowering my standards. I’m quite comfortable with that. And I will continue working with that, that level of ethics and honesty in what I do.

Kimberley Cole 31:24
Love it don’t lower your standards. I think that’s one for everybody. And what’s your rant? So you know, if we had a ruler of the world, Pru Bennett for the day, what’s the one thing that you would change?

Pru Bennett 31:40
Since standardization of reporting around E&S issues is what I would call a dog’s breakfast, there are so many organizations out there there’s 200 plus that have the solution to E&S reporting. You’ve got SASDE, you’ve got GRI, you’ve got the reporting dialogue. You’ve got this. You’ve got that. I’d like them all to come together and all come to agreement. I think that will help companies with their reporting because they used to ask me or do we use SASDE? Do we use GRI? Do we use this? Do we do that? Investors struggle because they don’t have consistency of data to be able to assess companies. And so if I could wave that magic wand, it would be some standardization around ESG reporting which will help both companies and investors.

Kimberley Cole 32:30
Excellent, excellent. I think well, let’s hope your magic, you know, works maybe the influence of Risky Women Radio, we can change the world.

Kimberley Cole 32:41
Risky Women is a vibrant network at the center of a global community in a rapidly growing, evolving and influential industry. Given the continued pace of change, our rapid fire round revisits the most pressing topics to share ideas and offer listeners new perspectives.

Kimberley Cole 32:58
All right, the phones Rapid Fire Round. What is your prediction or your what you think is the key trend for the year ahead?

Pru Bennett 33:09
Well with Covid-19, who knows? Not so much prediction but a wish that it’s not going to be as bad as what they’re saying on the on the news today, I how this is going to impact impact the world is such an unknown. And it’s more of a wish than a prediction that it’s not going to be as bad.

Kimberley Cole 33:30
But we will all get really good at working remotely.

Pru Bennett 33:34
And those business continuity plans, you know, will work.

Kimberley Cole 33:40
Yes, exactly. So, do you have a cure for the cost of compliance?

Pru Bennett 33:47
Two things, good systems, and secondly, to see a lot of what is called compliance as an opportunity. Too often I’m told about corporate governance is a compliance issue. It’s not a strategic issue, it can make your company better it can distinguish your, your business and what you do from your competitors. So I think it should also be looked at as an opportunity as opposed to just simply compliance.

Kimberley Cole 34:13
Excellent. We often say this, but risk and opportunity is the same word in Chinese seeing as, you know, one side of the, the or the other side of the coin. So are you optimistic, pessimistic or neutral for your outlook in the year ahead?

Pru Bennett 34:28
Ah, that’s a day by day thing in the current circumstances, I call myself an optimist. So I’m always pretty optimistic about what’s going to happen. My, my other wish list is yeah as I said before, that this virus sorts itself out within the next month or two months or so. And then the world can get back to possibly a better place. So every time something like this happens, we learn we do things better. So there could be some positives that come out of this.

Kimberley Cole 34:58
So while we’re all working from home, let’s get your advice on what’s a book that you recommend that everyone reads?

Pru Bennett 35:06
Oh, look, I’m a real reader of autobiographies. And I think the best one I read was Nelson Mandela Walk to Freedom. I just found it absolutely fascinating about the patience and conviction of Nelson Mandela and what what he did achieve at the time.

Kimberley Cole 35:25
Yeah, amazing, man. Something to watch?

Pru Bennett 35:30
Billions have a bit of a Billions fan. And I know the new series is just coming out. So I’ll wait. all the episodes are out and I’ll do a binge a binge watch on that. Yeah, some people love it. Some people hate it, but I’m a bit of a Billions fan.

Kimberley Cole 35:44
Excellent. And what’s and your favorite podcast?

Pru Bennett 35:47
Oh, there’s only one answer to that Risky Women.

Kimberley Cole 35:49
Oh, of course. Thanks very much. Okay. Well, it’s been fantastic to have you join us Pru Bennett. We could have spoken on so many of those topics in so much more detail, but brilliant insights and thank you for being our risky woman.

Pru Bennett 36:05
Well, thank you very much, Kimberley.

Kimberley Cole 36:08
Thank you for listening to this exciting episode of Risky Women Radio to connect, champion and celebrate women in risk, regulation and compliance. I’m Kimberley Cole, based in Hong Kong. For more information on the Risky Women global network, head to our website and the Episode Notes. And please be part of the ongoing conversation by subscribing to this podcast, connecting with us at Risky Women on Twitter or even reaching out to me directly by email.

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