Kathleen Yeung

Kathleen Yeung

Bachelor of Economics, 1991

Current position
Managing Director, Global Head of Strategy, Qualitas

Qualitas was founded in 2008 and is a real estate investment management firm with circa A$3 billion funds under management. As a market leading alternative asset investor and financier, Qualitas is in the unique position of having a large number of potential opportunities to pursue in both the domestic market and offshore.

My role is focused on identifying the corporate level opportunities that make the most sense for the firm and leading a multi-disciplinary team to execute on these strategic initiatives.

I chose the Monash economics degree because I was looking for a degree where I could study a wide variety of subjects before narrowing to a specialisation. For example, I took first year politics as an elective, which I had never studied before but ended up specialising in accounting and econometrics.

What interests me the most about economics is that it relates to people, incentives and the various theories on what motivates behaviour. It underpins decisions in government and business.

The benefits of a Bachelor of Economics is that it can take you nearly into any area of study. It’s a generalist degree but understanding markets and how each of the participants behave can be applied to many other disciplines.

"An internationally recognised degree with a strong reputation is critical"

My current role requires an understanding of all the facets of Qualitas, from taking a new product to market from concept stage, through to execution and setting up the operational framework when creating new revenue streams.

Additionally, I manage the strategic projects at the parent company level which is more corporate finance-focused. My team is also responsible for the business development, marketing and communications for the Qualitas Real Estate Income Fund (ASX:QRI), the only listed property credit fund on the ASX.

As you can see, the role is growth-focused with a large variety of work from strategic to operational and it’s not only important to be comfortable working with ambiguity and to conceptualise all the moving parts of an issue, but you also need to be willing to ‘get your hands dirty’ on the execution side to achieve results.

As a market leader, it’s important to remain focused on delivering results for our clients better than our competitors which means that we are constantly innovating as every client has a different need.

For those students who are considering studying economics at university I have the following advice:

  • Challenge yourself and select subjects that you have not studied before
  • Take advantage of the extracurricular programs within the university
  • Talk to as many people as you can (both academic staff and alumni on what they do and the key drivers of the industries they work in)
  • Be tech savvy (especially with Powerpoint and Excel)
  • Ensure that your written communication skills are excellent
  • Don’t forget to have fun!

Monash Business School has a wide international reach and if you want to work overseas at some point, then having an internationally recognised degree with a strong reputation is critical for your professional journey.