A YOUNG woman who has reached the top rungs of the male-dominated world of investment banking has been named as a finalist in the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Awards.
Carmichael Capital Markets head of corporate finance Kellie Benda said she was pleased to have reached the State finals of the awards.
"Somehow it makes all the long hours, late nights, endless debates, deadlines and stress worthwhile," she said.
Ms Benda began her career in the legal field after becoming one of the first students to gain a combined Arts and Law degree from the University of Western Australia before completing a Securities Institute of Australia graduate diploma in Applied Finance and Investment.
She joined Sydney law firm Atanaskovic Hartnell and from there moved into investment banking at Prudential-Bache Securities and undertook a masters degree in finance – securing two university prizes along the way.
After a stint at BNP Equities in Sydney Ms Benda was "head hunted" to join the corporate finance and investment banking arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
She was made a director of PwC within six months – the firm’s youngest director of corporate finance and investment banking and, at the time, its only female director.
Ms Benda returned to settle in WA last year with her husband and daughter.
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