Marketing skills + accounting degree = potent combination

Tatyana Klauzner | Photo: Calvin Sit

Tatyana Klauzner FCPA, Director Corporate Communications – Asia, Legg Mason.

Her parents’ adventurous spirit showed Tatyana Klauzner that in life, it’s worth taking a few chances.

Klauzner was born in Cuba after her Russian parents were posted as engineers to the island’s capital, Havana.

“In terms of a liberal environment … it was as far to the West – or freedom – that you could get while living in a communist state,” she says.

Her early years have left a huge impression.

“I remember Cuba fondly. The people were very gregarious and warm-hearted. It was an idyllic way to grow up.”

After stints living in Russia and again in Cuba, her family made the momentous decision to move to Australia when Klauzner was 10.

“The first couple of years were challenging – and having a name like Tatyana didn’t really help,” she says with a laugh.

But Klauzner believes her childhood experiences gave her an ability to make the most of new opportunities.

Certainly she has proven to be a master at adapting during her career in the finance and asset management industry, moving from a senior auditing role into product marketing and now public relations as director of Corporate Communications – Asia for global asset management giant Legg Mason.

Klauzner’s career began to diverge in 1996 when she was transferred from Sydney to Hong Kong to oversee Citibank’s regulatory functions.

“Opportunities were opened that maybe I didn’t see before. The business unit that I joined was part of an asset management division, which grew as the industry started to mature here," she says.

"We had numerous investment products and we thought, ‘How do we market them? Do we hire people?’ Being young, I put my hand up.”

Klauzner had to work hard to make the shift from pure accounting to convincing clients to buy the company’s products.

She realised that although her business degree and CPA studies gave her plenty of depth to tackle the role, she needed a broader perspective – one that an MBA could provide.

“It complemented the strong foundation that my CPA qualification provided with managerial skills and strategy topics,” she says.

“Having worked in auditing and banking I had practical experience in terms of how I would relate the information and how I would leverage that in a work environment.”

Klauzner studied with the Australian Graduate School of Management in Hong Kong and was named class valedictorian.

Fresh out of business school, Klauzner wondered if she should take her marketing skills down a more well-worn path into promoting consumer brands.

But she soon realised she had an unusual edge with her accounting background and an MBA.

Marketers from consumer goods may sometimes struggle in financial services, but for Klauzner it’s part of her DNA.

“I don’t sell a fizzy drink, I don’t sell sneakers, so it’s less exciting from a marketing perspective,” she says.

“But I would say having an accounting finance background, it was far more beneficial than being a pure marketer.”

Klauzner has maintained her involvement with CPA Australia.

She has been on the Divisional Council for Greater China since 2012 and is a member of the International Advisory Committee.

Although Klauzner and her husband, who also works in the finance industry, may some day return to Australia, for now the couple and their three primary-school-age children are calling Hong Kong home.

“Even if you live somewhere else for long periods of time, where you grow up forms you as a person. So I would say for sure Australia is home,” she says.

Career History

2013 – present
Member, CPA Australia International Advisory Committee

2013
Became an FCPA

2012 – present
Divisional Councillor, CPA Australia Greater China Division

2006 – present
Director, Corporate Communications – Asia, Legg Mason

1999 – 2006
Vice-president, then director, Marketing & PR – Asia, Institutional, Retail and High-Net-Worth, Citigroup Asset Management

2002
Completed MBA, Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM)

1997 – 1999
Vice-president, Compliance & Product Development – Asia, Citigroup

1995
Became a CPA

1994 – 1997
Audit manager – Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia, Citibank, Sydney

This article is from the October 2014 issue of INTHEBLACK.

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