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Former CBA staffer wins Harvard scholarship

A former systems analyst within the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division has been awarded a scholarship to study computer sciences at Harvard University.

Former CBA employee Simon Malian is one of two recipients of a 2014 Sir Robert Gordon Menzies Scholarship, given by the Menzies Foundation to identify and promote the next generation of Australian leaders.

Mr Malian told ifa that prior to his win, he had spent several years working with the Commonwealth Bank’s wealth management team.

His qualifications include an advanced diploma of financial services in financial planning and he noted that his award highlights “the versatility of what a financial planner can do with their career”.

Mr Malian held a number of roles within CBA, including working as an analyst leading the development of financial planning systems and later as a project manager developing risk analytics systems in response to ASIC’s investigation of former CBA planner, Don Nguyen.

Mr Malian also worked for Westpac, where he was employed across the company’s institutional banking and life insurance departments.

His scholarship will, however, mark a turning point in his career, allowing him to focus on a foundation he started called Golden Hint.


The foundation uses a distinctive client-to-client support model to give charities – in Mr Malian’s own words  “that little idea that helps them move forward”.

“Golden Hint…seeks to connect charities with one another via a world-first matching system and bartering service economy,” Mr Malian said.

“[It allows] a charity in Melbourne, for example, to obtain financial management tips from a similar charity located elsewhere in the world for free.”