Rachel Waterhouse, the 381st person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, is a go-to expert for journalists who want quotes about stock market-related matters.

Rachel, who is CEO of the Australian Shareholders’​ Association, is regularly asked to comment on regulatory policy, corporate governance and the actions of individual companies.

That puts Rachel in the challenging position of reacting to events that have just happened, often with limited time to research the issues, but with a background in governance she understands what makes a good company.

Given the 24/7 news cycle and frequent demands for interviews, Rachel always has to be ready to respond when news breaks. 

Rachel initially studied economics, but ended up pursuing a career in marketing; later, after completing an MBA, she moved into management roles. Rachel worked at the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Governance Institute of Australia and gained a diploma in governance and risk management, before taking on her current role in 2021.

The Australian Shareholders’​ Association advocates for the interests of its members, who tend to be long-term investors who want to self-fund their retirement.

Rachel is ideally suited to the CEO position – she’s very warm, has a curious mind, is deeply interested in governance and is an enthusiastic investor.

One of the perks of her role, Rachel says, is that she gets to learn from her members – many of whom are very successful – which has helped her become a better investor.