Apnavi, Sydney

Apnavi is a Managing Director and Head of Legal and Compliance for Lazard Asset Management for Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong.

My role at the firm

I have a global role where I lead our legal and compliance function covering Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong for the Asset Management business. In this role, my group is an integral part of the team that makes strategic decisions. We are trusted advisors to the business and respected as a critical part of the firm. Additionally, I have had the privilege to work with some excellent legal minds, so I am always developing in my area of expertise.

A bit about me

I was born in India and we moved to Australia when I was three years old. My father was a veterinary surgeon and my parents stressed the importance of education and hard work. We felt fortunate to be in Australia and wanted to take advantage of all that it had to offer. I knew I wanted to be a lawyer and worked hard throughout law school but I hadn’t decided what type of law I would practice. That said, I knew that I did not want to appear in court. After earning my degree, I began my career at a global law firm in Sydney. Today, I still live in Sydney and I am married. My husband and I have two children (now young adults) and a dog.

The culture at Lazard

When I joined the firm in 2003, the firm was a private company and my office in Sydney had far fewer people. Today, the team is larger than when I joined and I have more responsibilities, but the core of the culture has remained the same. We have a culture of collaboration that works to ensure everyone is engaged and moving in the same direction. Additionally, people are encouraged and empowered to voice their opinions, regardless of title. Diversity of thought and opinions are critical as they push the thinking of our team. Lastly, there has always been a respect for your life outside of work. You can bring your whole self to work and be valued and appreciated.

The people at Lazard

The people at Lazard are intelligent, driven and enthusiastic. They are also warm – caring about my family, life events and my world outside of work. They make me want to be a better professional in many ways.

My advice to younger professionals

Be adaptable – never do things because that is the way they have always been done. Listen to new perspectives and ideas and be nimble enough to adjust. Careers are long and have different stages. I always wanted to work and never felt guilty for it. However, if you want to slow down to focus on family, it’s important to do that. Friends are important, so despite the demands of work and family, try and spend time with them

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