The Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) has appointed an experienced banking and finance expert and senior executive as Deputy Director.

Amy Auster is a respected economist with deep expertise in banking and finance in Australia, and across the Asia Pacific. She has spent most of the past decade working at ANZ Bank in senior roles during the period of the bank’s major expansion across Asia.

ACFS Executive Director, Professor Deborah Ralston, said the appointment could not be timelier given the signing of the Australian-China Free Trade Agreement this week and the imminent release of the Financial System Inquiry report.

“Amy is a respected economist and commentator who has worked in Australia, Asia, the US, South America and Eastern Europe, including a stint as a journalist with the respected Economist news magazine reporting on the economies and politics of the Czech and Slovak republics as they became independent in 1992.

“At the ANZ she worked as an economist, strategist and senior executive during the bank’s expansion into Asia with her last position being Global Head of Marketing and Client Engagement.

“Amy’s range of skills will be invaluable to a growing ACFS. The combination of her academic publications and first-hand experience dealing with Asian economies will provide an important perspective as the region’s financial markets grow in importance.

“Much of Amy’s work has focused on the impact of Chinese and Asian growth, along with the evolution of monetary policy in the region, banking and financial services practices, regulatory frameworks and fiscal policy, all of which will prove invaluable as ACFS seeks to further explore Australia’s role in the region.”

Before Auster joined ANZ, she worked at the economic consultancy firm ACIL Tasman in Melbourne, as well as Chase Securities and Merrill Lynch in New York. She holds an Honours Degree in Arts from Northwestern University in Chicago and a Master of International Affairs (Economics and Finance) from Columbia University in New York, as well as being an exchange student at the London School of Economics.

She has published extensively on the impact of Asia’s economic ascendency; the evolution of banking and finance in the Asia Pacific region; models for private sector participation in infrastructure development; and public sector finance, including tax policy. She is also a member of the ANU Investment Advisory Committee and the Deakin University Public Policy Forum Advisory Committee.

Auster says she was drawn to the ACFS because of its reputation for industry-relevant, rigorous research and independent commentary, as well as the way it facilitates collaboration between academia, industry and government to promote thought leadership in the financial services sector.

“Projects such as the Funding Australia’s Future, the CSIRO-Monash Superannuation Research Cluster and the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension index have put the ACFS at the forefront of financial services research, and I am excited by the opportunity to be able to contribute to such an organisation,” she says.

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