Building Success and Diversity in Financial Services: A Conversation with Farrel Meltzer, Founder of Wingate

Farrel Meltzer left everyone feeling fired up and ready to take on the world following his recent guest appearance with Women in Banking and Finance CEO, Stephanie Girard. The founder of Wingate delved into the founding story of the organisation, investment philosophies, and the imperative of diversity and inclusion in the financial sector.

Growing up in South Africa and later relocating to Australia, Meltzer’s career trajectory saw him move from accounting to banking, ultimately culminating in the establishment of Wingate in 2004.

“I grew up in Johannesburg, third generation South African, great-grandparents migrated there in the 1800s from Lithuania and trained as a chartered accountant, worked in the accounting profession for a period, then still within the accounting profession, into tax, international tax and then that ultimately led me into banking,” Farrel recounted.

The conversation shifted to the origins of the name “Wingate,” revealing a personal connection to a British general and his wife’s name, Wendy. Meltzer shared insights into Wingate’s investment philosophy, emphasising the importance of focus, deep knowledge, and patience.

“Wingate is 20 years old exactly this year. I literally started on my own from my office in my home here in Melbourne. In the early days, I hired one young analyst to help me, his name’s Joel Beebe, who’s still with us. And off we went, and we built from there.

The real origins of the name were, growing up in South Africa, I learned about the history of a famous British general, whose name was Orde Charles Wingate. And he was a very outstanding and exceptional person, very unusual, eccentric person, and served in the British Army in many regions across North Africa and the Middle East through a particular period. Not very well known because sadly died at age 41 in a plane crash, but he was described by Churchill as a man of genius,” shared Farrel.

Audience engagement brought forth questions about pitching ideas and managing upwards, to which Meltzer offered pragmatic advice. He underscored the importance of clarity and authenticity in pitching ideas, as well as fostering a culture of open dialogue and respectful communication within organisations.

Diversity and inclusion emerged as central themes, with Meltzer acknowledging the imperative of gender equity in the finance and banking sector. He outlined Wingate’s commitment to increasing the representation of women in leadership roles, implementing mentorship programs, and tracking key metrics to measure progress.

To delve deeper into Farrel Meltzer’s insights, we invite you to listen to his podcast episode or watch the webinar on demand now:

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