Jan McGrath

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"If I have any advice for any of us, keep your networks alive and well. Do not forget them. Keep a track of where people go".

Jan told friends she was going to Hong Kong for a two-year adventure.

Lucky no one held her mail, because she returned 18 years later via a life and career detour  to the UK and the US.

The initial lure overseas was the chance to launch HSBC’s world first chip-based technology for payments cards.  Completing a unique project such as this meant that when she was finished, she was in hot demand and after Hong Kong moved to London and from there, to the US working with MasterCard.

Along the way she met her American husband Larry and spent years in Arizona as step-mum to two American teens.

After more than 15 years, her employer asked Jan “Where to next?” and to her own surprise, she said “home”.  While it took 12 months to plan a role back home, it took Larry 60 seconds to grab shorts and thongs and say “I’m in!”

While she returned home with a role, her professional life was challenging.  A lack of a local network nor an understanding from the market of what she had done in her career created a sense of disconnection.  When she went out to find a new role – her 20-year international career in financial services was overlooked by the major banks. It was a difficult time.

But while the traditional banks weren’t interested – Australia’s fintech sector certainly was.  Jan is now working at Novatti, an innovative high growth payment services company and is an active mentor to founders and investors through work with Stone and Chalk.

Her move from Sydney to Melbourne during COVID ironically has been her least dramatic.  She is finally using her international skills to their greatest potential.  Larry is still wearing shorts.