Freeke van Son, Macquarie Group

Meet Freeke van Son, Division Director, Head of Risk Governance at Macquarie Group, winner of the WiBF Award of Achievement in Regulation & Compliance and soon to be running the NYC marathon!


Introducing Freeke van Son, Division Director, Head of Risk Governance at Macquarie Group. It’s in this role that Freeke gets the opportunity to ‘connect the dots’, work alongside others and translate complex risk and regulatory matters into clear messages and reporting, which in turn allows for effective business decision making and sound Board oversight.”

Freeke attended WiBF’s 2022 Award Celebrations at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on the 2nd of September and shared her thoughts with us. “For WiBF to bring together this impressive crowd, after having been restricted to meet in person because of the global pandemic, created a palatable buzz in the Ivy Ballroom that was no doubt felt by all. The keynote interview was topical and on point, and the calibre of hosts, speakers, judges, and finalist was equally impressive,” Freeke said.

We asked Freeke how it felt winning a 2022 WiBF Award. “I’m very aligned with WiBF’s vision and values, and to receive this award has created another platform for my team and I to highlight the importance of improved gender diversity and inclusive leadership within our networks,” she shared. Freeke went on to add, “I was not expecting it given the breadth of talent and expertise of the finalists in my category, Achievement in Regulation & Compliance. I was fortunate to have my colleagues and our Group Chief Risk Officer join me at the WiBF Awards Event. Rather than a personal recognition, I consider this award to be a recognition of my team so it was wonderful for many of our group to share in,” she said.

Freeke shared with us her advice for seeking recognition in the workplace and standing out of the crowd. “Importantly: ‘Hard work’ does not equal success, rather: I have found that effective work that is well connected with strategy and values is much more meaningful. In terms of ‘standing out from the crowd’: I believe effective work in itself provides visibility and exposure.” As for advice on what could be your game changer in your career. Freeke said the following. “International exposure (either by working in different jurisdictions, by leading global teams, or simply by being curious about cultures, traditions, history). Change is constant and inevitable: embrace it.”

Besides Freeke’s impressive career, you may be surprised to learn that while growing up in a small town in the Netherlands, she was fortunate to live, study and work in six different countries. On top of that, despite not being a strong runner, high on her wish list was to complete one marathon and she is very excited to share that she will be off to New York soon to compete in the NYC Marathon!

What an amazing experience that will be, we wish her the best of luck!

With a 2022 WiBF award in hand, Freeke leaves us with the following advice. “Back yourself, delegate well, trust your teams. Also: critical thinking and curiosity are life skills so never stop learning.”

Watch Freeke van Son acceptance speech – here.

Other Honour Boards

Chelsey Knox, Macquarie Bank
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Mikaela Rasmus, ANZ Banking Group
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Paula Nassif, King & Wood Mallesons
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Louise Beazley, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
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