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Mr John McNiven

Bachelor of Laws 1982, Bachelor of Economics (Honours) 1980

Career highlights

  • Worked on Wall Street shortly after graduating. Mr McNiven was on a three-month training program. Upon its completion, he was asked to stay on a permanent basis.
  • Became a member of one of Wall Street’s first derivatives teams. This innovation solved financial problems like never before! The business started very small, but grew exponentially. Today derivative markets are huge and critical to the operation of world financial markets.
  • At the beginning there were no computers. Instead, there were hand-held calculators, followed by desktops, before the advent of today’s sophisticated software and powerful hardware. The arrival of Bloomberg, with their black box terminal, brought transparent pricing, and created derivatives as a financial commodity.
  • Executed the first Australian dollar swap in international markets while based in London. This was made possible by the floating of the Australian dollar. This innovation allowed banks to offer all customers, both wholesale and retail, longer term fixed rates on their borrowings and investments for the first time.
  • Arranged the first sovereign borrowing by the Lebanese Republic shortly after the end of the civil war. Worked directly for the Prime Minister at the time, Rafic Hariri – the job was a significant challenge. Nevertheless, the bond issue was a great success and was an important part of their nation-building at the time. This innovation proved critical to allowing emerging markets to develop essential infrastructure, which up until then was not possible.
  • The establishment of the global bond market. This was a tremendous boost to the successful development of many massive infrastructure projects, including the huge hydro schemes in Ontario and Quebec. Before long, the bond market was established in a number of different currencies, each addressing specific issues in the respective markets. Needless to say, these markets today are valued at trillions of dollars.

Career philosophy

“Integrity – this goes without saying!

Passion – be fully engaged and totally committed.

Determination – never be put off by the naysayers! Do your homework, determine your result and don’t stop until you get the result.

Innovation and Problem Solving – rather than selling a product, understand the client and any market shortcomings, and provide a solution. It’s much more rewarding and much more effective.

Team – it’s critical to build and be part of an effective team where everyone knows their role and each member is valued.”

John McNiven

Updated:   28 November 2019 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team