Lynn Kraus, Ernst & Young Managing Partner

Lynn Kraus is the Managing Partner of Ernst & Young for the Sydney Office – responsible for the firm’s “Go to Market” Strategy in our largest office in Oceania

Lynn is also a partner in the Transaction Advisory Services team providing integration support to clients in the  financial service, real estate and government sectors.  This includes advice on target operating models, synergies, integration planning and execution as well as advice on separation strategies.

Prior to her appointment to the role of Office Managing Partner, Lynn was the Oceania People Leader responsible for the recruitment, retention and development of all people across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

During her time in this role Lynn worked on the integration of our people strategies across APAC as part of the firm’s overall globalisation strategy.

Prior to the People Leader role, Lynn was the leader of the On-Call Advisory practice providing advice to clients on structured finance transactions.  Major clients included Deutsche Bank; Merrill Lynch; Citigroup and Perpetual.

In addition Lynn spent several years working within the institutional banks of both Wachovia Corporation in the US and Westpac Bank in Australia.

Describe yourself in 3 words: Bossy. Energetic. Social.

What is your life motto? “S*&%” Happens 

When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful? I started in 1992 – straight out of college.  I may have been somewhat successful before but after 10 years I changed jobs, and this is when I truly realised what I could do.

How much time and effort did you dedicate? During the first 10 years of my career I worked extremely long hours and weekends, but I loved learning and loved the team I was with.  We also played hard too!

What are the challenges in your line of work? The biggest challenge is getting alignment of four very different business lines to one strategic direction.

What feedback taught you an extremely valuation lesson? I learned that emotions are good, but you need to develop a poker face that can be used at a time when things are bad.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date? Be the CEO of your career.

In your mind, is formal training essential? Yes it is, especially in the early days.  To get respect in my field you need to have demonstrated technical expertise to be a respected leader, but of course on the job training and mentoring are essential.

Do you think having a mentor is important?  How would you go about getting one for this industry? An external mentor is great, but an internal champion or sponsor can be even better. 

What are some steps those starting out can take to start/further their career? I would suggest that you put your hand up, don’t wait to be recognised or asked.  Don’t be afraid to take a risk and to take on new challenges.

What keeps you going when you weren’t at your best? I could see the bigger picture of where I wanted to be and that taught me I could do anything for at least a little while.  My personal trainer used to say near the end of a run- you can do anything for 10 more minutes and he was always right.  Also I have a very supportive husband and girlfriends who lift me up!

Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place, at the right time? I used to think that, but you have to have talent once you are in a position.  You won’t last if you don’t.

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