Updating Results

Westpac Group New Zealand

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Lincoln

6.30 AM

Alarm goes. Tuesday has started and time to get moving. Jump through the shower to freshen up. Breakfast is easy & simple. A couple of weetbix, yogurt & fruit gets me rolling.

I have a quick yarn to the flatmate as he loads his tools in the truck for the day.

Westpac Graduate Lincoln travelling

7.45 AM

I jump in the work D-Max & leave my flat in Hamilton. It takes me about 30 minutes to get to work in the morning, I go the opposite way to the morning traffic which makes life easier.

Since there’s a fair bit of travel with the role, I utilise the time by listening to podcasts. There’s a hunting one that interviews kiwis & people around the globe which I am usually into.

8.15 AM

I arrive in Morrinsville and head into Westpac. I quickly catch up with the branch crew who live local on the way through. The area had a bit of rain last night which Hamilton didn’t see. This information is always handy when talking to my customers & gives a good discussion point going forward considering how dry it has been this summer.  

8.30 AM

After grabbing a coffee from the staff room I’m at my desk. A bit of discussion proceeds around the office around how the Global Dairy Auction went last night. Great to get a more positive result after the last few auctions have been down.

I read some economic updates on commodities & interest rates. It is a huge advantage to stay up to date with what is happening in the world so I am primed if questions come up from customers or throughout the day.

We had our weekly team meeting yesterday which leaves the remainder free to get through some work or head to see customers on our own schedules.  

8.45 AM

I am preparing for a meeting I have at 10am with one of my customers. Stacey who is the Analyst for the portfolio is coming to the visit as well. Before the meeting I need to look at their financial statements to see if anything has changed or what questions I need to ask.

They have had higher spending on purchased feed, and there has been a new feed pad go in which we funded some of through a new loan. We check this against some of the quotes we had received when we did the application.

I also read through my notes I had from last time we met to jog my memory of any future plans they may have or changes I need to be aware of. 

Westpac Graduate Lincoln car

9.45 AM

I get in the truck and head out to the meeting. The majority of my customers are dairy farming around Morrinsville, and located close by. Some managers in other areas have much big drives through their regions across gravel roads to cover though… 

10.00 AM

I get to the customers farm house, get to the door and shake hands. I introduce Stacey as she has not met them before. 

After getting our coffees we proceed to the dining table.

Recently the family went on a fishing trip to Northland so we talk about this and they show us a photo of the marlin they caught. We ask how one of their children is going on their overseas trip. 

Farming customers are generally down to earth and the personal part of the relationship is just as important as the banking side which we enjoy just as much. The ability to build common ground & a mutual understanding is a key part of establishing strong relationships.

10.15 AM

We are catching up about how their season has gone so far. Last season they performed exceptionally with record milk production on farm. This season started well however with less rain, there is an impending drought and are discussing strategies for the end of season. This answers queries around increased spending on the purchased feed to be brought in on farm.

The customer has already put the herd on Once-a-day milking and is now selecting individual cows to dry off. For the season they should still achieve well however they are slightly disappointed it is back on the prior year.

10.45 AM 

After discussing the on farm situation, the customer is questioning us on changes in banking they need to know about.

There’s been big changes with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand changing the capital reserves we have to hold as a trading bank. It’s important to be open and honest so we discuss the updates we have received internally and talk about an economic update our team has released.

Farmers are great at upskilling & learning further information on what is happening off farm yet may affect their business and look to their bank as a resource for this.

11.15 AM

We wrap up the formal part of the meeting and head to the cowshed in the customers Ute. We have a walk around the new feed pad to have a look at the finished product. They have been happy with using it to feed out supplementary feed quickly after milking. We drive past the maize crop which has not performed as well after minimal rain from Christmas to now.

11.45 AM

We wrap up the meeting and leave with a list of actions from the meeting. We have to write a report from this so have gathered the information, and the customer has a few loans expiring that we need extend further. We now know how they are going on farm and can confidently prepare the report with a good understanding. 

12.00 PM

Stacey and I head back to the office. Time for lunch so we head to the staff room. There’s a good crew in the office here that creates decent culture. There is a good range of ages in the office which is a massive drawcard being younger and at the beginning of my career. Plenty of experienced heads to learn off, and younger ones to interact with and work with.

12.30 PM

Back at the desk for an afternoon. I gather all the information from the meeting and start preparing the report. Stacey has looked through their financial statements and put them into our system. I am typing up the on farm progress and updating our system with the budget they have asked the accountant to send through to us. We should be able to finish off the report soon, and will be up to date if they wanted to look at more lending soon.  

2.30 PM

A customer calls to update some information about a runoff block they have been looking to buy recently. They are wanting to know details on a few recent property sales around the Waikato so we have a discussion around how a few of these compare, and how that was reflected in the price paid.

We also discuss the potential environmental restrictions to the property. This property will be under the Healthy Rivers Scheme which is the new regional environmental plan giving boundaries to land use. We discuss how this may impact productiveness of the property considering it has some hill areas under question. The customer has come to the conclusion that this property would need to be bought at a lower if it was to make sense for their business.

3.00 PM

I switch across to recording some information from my call with the customer, and update the application we had for them to buy a new runoff. It is important to keep up to date information for compliance reasons, as well as to make sure we provide A–grade service for our clients.

I am often seeing customers, however a lot I will speak to regularly over the phone. They lead busy lives on farm so sometimes it is more efficient to give me a call and have a decent chat.

4.00 PM

As the brain power starts to fade I shift to a few easier tasks. A few people need information emailed out and a bit of admin covered off.

There’s a bit of banter getting thrown round the office as well. One of the analysts believes their sporting prowess is above the social leagues usually competed in and receives some well-deserved stick for this.  

5.00 PM

I log off for the day and head out. Depending on workload I sometimes take the laptop home however it’ll stay at the desk today. 

I leave Morrinsville and head off to the favourite running spot in the Kaimai Range. It’s a bush trail with plenty of uphill. Together with mates I am signed up for a trail running event in Hawkes Bay and training is necessary for this. 

People in the agri team here generally are active and all shoot off biking, running or the gym after work to burn off some energy. 

6.30 PM

Turns out it was a hot evening to go for a run. I managed to tick off a few k’s and am feeling fit enough in preparation for next month’s event.

In my truck on the way home I call a mate from university. He works as a stock agent in Canterbury so it’s good to hear updates from their end with meat processors and livestock prices. Good to catch up on the recent South Island social events as well.

7.30 PM

I’m back at the flat in Hamilton. It’s been a hot day and the run added to that cause. We struck gold this year and have been renting a house with a pool so we jump in for a quick swim before dinner. 

8.00 PM 

Dinner is served. The flatmate cooked fish tonight. No shortage of snapper here with the weekend activities providing and keeping the food bill down. 

8.30 PM

I catch up with the flatmates. There’s a decent mix between builders, quantity surveyors and car sales so I hear about their days and something different. It’s nice to discuss something different to banking and farming for a change too. 

9.30 PM

I get stuck into a book that I am reading at the moment. It is covering Muldoon the Prime Minister when a lot of agricultural subsidies were in force which had major effects on the industry. I enjoy reading and it is a quick way to upskill on information that can lead to a greater understanding in work life.

10.00 PM

Time for some shut eye, off to bed to rest up before it all kicks off again.