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Day in the life Hayley Cassidy

Hayley Cassidy

Chief general counsel and director, BNZISL

Bank of New Zealand  

Auckland, New Zealand 


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5:45 am

Woken up by my children, six-year-old Georgia and seven-year-old Reuben. Make school lunches and breakfast, bounce on the trampoline, get the kids ready for school (and myself ready for work), review my day briefly, and make sure I have the right things with me.

7:30 am

The nanny arrives, and we run through the plan for the day.

7:41 am

On the bus, reading the Australian Financial Review, National Business Review, and collated legal updates.

8:15 am

Monthly breakfast meeting at one of our primary law firms. We have a corporate panel of six firms, and a lending panel of around 50. I discuss strategy, feedback, and ensure we are on the same page. I also share written notes from my heads of legal on any pertinent matters.

9:00 am

Meeting with my executive assistant (EA) to assess priorities; what do I need to achieve today (one to two key strategic things) and this week. She runs travel plans and speaking engagement requests past me, in addition to confirming my “kid schedule” so we don’t have any personal/work clashes. I need to be ruthless with my time, so meetings without agendas or that are simply for updates will be canceled or delegated.

9:15 am

I meet with the head of privacy and data ethics, who reports to me. We discuss resourcing, budget, and recruitment. We run through a work in progress (WIP) list, and I offer a view on prioritization. I also help remove some of the workload and email my EA from the meeting to set up other meetings.

10:00 am

Reviewing a 300-page board pack, which has been summarized and highlighted for me by the relevant head of legal. I then meet with him to ensure that I’m well prepared for the meeting, which is four days away.

11:00 am

Coffee with a graduate from the product team. Two hours of my time a month is allocated to having coffee with anyone who asks — sometimes there is a long wait, but it’s never a no. I also have a list of mentees who I have agreed to help; I try to meet with each of them quarterly. My EA is excellent at pointing out that I try to help too many people, so she keeps a spreadsheet of mentees and doesn’t allow me to add any without one dropping off.

11:30 am

Coffee with Bridget, who runs a very large team at the bank. I usually have two coffee meetings in a row at the same café to save travel time. Bridget is a phenomenal leader, and I ask her lots of questions on the “how” of leading people.

12:00 pm

I often have lunch meetings, but today, my lunch arrives from Little Bird.

12:45 pm

The treasury team would like to do a bond offer. I am required to answer some questions and make some confirmations as part of my role on the bank due diligence committee, along with the CFO, CEO, and CRO.

1:00 pm

A physio appointment for my damaged ankle.

2:00 pm

Answering emails that require my response — these will have been triaged so only the ones that need me come to my attention. I prefer to respond in person if possible.

3:00 pm

Check-in with one of my people leaders. We discuss the wellbeing of his team and review plans for goals, learning, and development.

3:45 pm

Meeting with an internal tech team on PEGA universal workflow management — the legal team is working towards an end-to-end automated system from instruction to invoice.

4:00 pm

I refer to my plan from the start of the day, making sure I have achieved the one to two things that needed to be done to keep the team strategically on track. I deal with any urgent requests, signing of documents, and generally just sit at my desk being available for those in my teams.

5:30 pm

I arrive home, and the nanny leaves. We head to the playground with the dog, then come home and make dinner, play games, do homework, and get sorted for the following day. I carry two phones (one personal, one work) — the work one is off.

7:00 pm

Bedtime for the kids — I read multiple books, fetch water, scare away monsters from cupboards, and answer a lot of deep and meaningful questions designed to delay bedtime.

8:00 pm

Quick work phone check to make sure there’s nothing urgent. Chat with my partner, who is a senior executive at a large listed company. I bounce some people leadership ideas off him, and he gives me some advice. We also discuss our plans and what each of us needs to do the following day.

9:00 pm

I listen to a podcast by someone like Tara Bracht.

10:00 pm

I write three things I’m grateful for and hop into bed.