Veronica Macpherson: A Visionary Leader Transforming Asset Management Through Purpose-driven Innovation

2024's Fastest-Growing Asset Management Companies

Veronica Macpherson’s story is a captivating narrative of determination and vision, epitomizing the essence of making a profound impact. As the Founder of MACRO Cooperation, her journey transcends mere professional growth, embodying resilience, innovation, and an unyielding quest for excellence. Her path is a testament to the transformative power of leadership and purpose, inspiring others to envision and achieve their own extraordinary goals.

From Teaching to Asset Management: A Purpose-Driven Journey

Veronica’s career began in education. “I started with a bachelor of education teaching as a Catholic primary school teacher,” she recalls. However, she soon found herself drawn to real estate development, investing in small projects on the side. “As part of being an educator, you’re trained to also be a good learner. So, I studied real estate developments, and that led to fund management to fund the real estate developments.”

Her journey into asset management was driven by a deeper purpose. “Ultimately, you found yourself asking, Why am I doing this? Money’s not everything.” Veronica’s answer was to improve living standards in remote mining sectors. “It was all about asset management and capital management for developing rural sectors that made sense.”

Currently, Veronica focuses on addressing the needs of Australia’s aging population, noting the global trend of decentralizing retirees from city centers to more rural locations. “If you set up the right sort of developments outside of city centers, it’s a very attractive proposition for people to move into rural locations,” she explains.

Veronica believes the asset management industry is evolving amidst changing investor priorities. “People are starting to ask themselves, What do I actually own? What good has it done?” she observes. While trading cryptocurrencies and theoretical currencies can yield profits, she questions the broader impact. “At the end of the day, who did it employ? What good did it do? Is it liquid? And did anyone feel good about achieving that profit?”

She concludes that the shift towards asset-based investments reflects a desire for meaningful impact. “People are starting to look to assets now as an underlying reason for investment. Back to macroeconomics. What for? Who did it help? What good does it do? What purpose does it serve?” Veronica’s purpose-driven approach continues to shape her career and MACRO Cooperation’s trajectory.

Pioneering a New Era in Asset Management

MACRO Cooperation was established after Veronica experienced firsthand the challenges quality real estate and mining projects faced in attracting capital on reasonable terms from local banking institutions. She shares the firm’s mission and unique journey in the asset management industry. “Having 23 years of development and project management experience, as the founder, I chose to make our resources and expertise available to other ‘coachable’ business owners who could demonstrate strong ESG measurements and asked for our assistance,” she explains.

Veronica’s vision for MACRO Cooperation also stemmed from witnessing “some astonishing behavior in the banking and finance sectors, that I wouldn’t wish upon any new manager (particularly female) or employee.” The mission of MACRO Cooperation is to “educate founders and funders on profit-for-purpose strategies that attract talent plus generate superior returns.” This mission underscores the firm’s commitment to creating value through strategic education and empowerment.

When asked about the inspiration behind MACRO Cooperation and its unique approach to asset management, Veronica cites the struggles of good business operators in maintaining cash flow and the pleas for help from distressed business owners and projects. “Our nature of adding and not taking value through strategic mergers or the addition of verticals has resulted in a never-ending pipeline of opportunities and people being excited about the potential to pivot, whereas they could otherwise see no positive way forward,” she notes. This approach highlights MACRO’s dedication to fostering growth and innovation in businesses facing financial challenges.

Veronica elaborates on MACRO Cooperation’s specialization in strategic property acquisition and development, particularly in the Australian investment market. She points out the unique demographic and economic trends in Australia, noting that “we are an aging population in Australia, which requires more housing and, particularly since the COVID symptoms and remedies, a decentralization from city centers.” This trend has influenced MACRO’s strategy, focusing on developing self-sustaining ecovillages near city centers, which provide cost-effective solutions for comfortable retirement and wellness.

“Our country is blessed with natural resources, and today’s technologies make it possible for self-sustaining ecovillages to be built within a short distance from city centers,” Veronica explains. This strategy has evolved from developing real estate and projects in remote mining towns to providing succession plans for farmers, miners, and aging real estate developers, leveraging the “teams of young energy” at MACRO Cooperation.

Pioneering Purpose-Driven Investments in Real Estate

In engaging with investors, MACRO Cooperation leverages a network of referrals from financial service providers and legal practitioners who assist emerging managers with structuring their new funds. Veronica explains, “Our managed funds and particularly their purpose and impact were marketed internationally in the past. However, we now operate with referrals and existing relationships.” This strategic shift has included migration pathways through the firm’s real estate and mining projects, providing unique investment opportunities.

MACRO Cooperation sets itself apart in the competitive landscape of asset management by prioritizing people and purpose over profits. “By putting people and purpose before profits, the profits just seem to follow,” Veronica asserts. This philosophy underscores MACRO’s approach to creating top-performing investment portfolios that generate returns and make a positive impact.

A key initiative at MACRO Cooperation is social impact investing, which integrates social impact considerations into its investment strategies. Veronica highlights several aspects of this approach: “Engaging Indigenous on win/win terms, creating real estate investments for middle-aged people to look after their parents and grandparents, planning before it gets ‘too late’ for transition plans to be proactive, plus upgrading the workplace and living standards in mining establishments.” These initiatives reflect MACRO’s commitment to making meaningful contributions to society while ensuring sustainable returns for investors.

Navigating Challenges and Achieving Growth as an Entrepreneur

Veronica’s rich entrepreneurial journey is marked by numerous challenges and successes. Reflecting on her experience, she emphasizes the importance of fostering win-win scenarios in business. “If you can strike a win-win every time you go into a deal, the opportunities are exponential and the referrals keep coming,” she explains. Assisting others to make this mindset shift from scarcity to abundance has propelled the firm’s growth.

Educating people on this approach hasn’t been easy, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19. “Everyone’s had to pivot or adjust. They can no longer operate business as usual,” Veronica notes. The pandemic has exacerbated the tendency toward a scarcity mindset and defensive behavior, making collaboration more challenging. “The default is defense and argumentative behavior rather than cooperation and teamwork,” she observes.

Veronica has increasingly found herself in a mentor role, guiding others through these turbulent times. “Of late, I’ve found myself being in more of a mentor role than actually in business development. But that’s OK, I think this will pass,” she says. Despite the challenges, MACRO has continued to grow, adapting its approach to meet the evolving needs of businesses post-COVID. “We’ve just made our resources available rather than focusing solely on our projects,” she explains.

The firm’s origins date back to 2001, focusing on real estate development and fund management. However, it was only in the past four years that MACRO began offering services to other businesses, responding to the increased demand for assistance in the wake of the pandemic. “It just became such a desperate scenario post-COVID. People were not only in need, but they were asking for help,” Veronica states.

Starting a new venture during the pandemic also led Veronica to explore film production, focusing on mental health and inspiring stories. “It’s another way of making a return and also having a positive impact through entertainment,” she says. This diversification reflects her commitment to leveraging various platforms for education and positive influence.

Assessing the firm’s growth over the past four years, Veronica describes it as exponential. “The inquiry and the number of people seeking to collaborate would make our business trajectory just exponential,” she notes. To manage this rapid growth, MACRO has focused on setting up small, manageable teams and refining its systems and procedures. “We’re revisiting our systems and procedures to make sure that we can handle the growth,” she concludes.

Celebrating Milestones in Asset Management

Veronica reflects on the significant challenges she has faced in growing the firm. A primary challenge has been “maintaining a culture of wellness, respect, accountability, and inclusion.” These values, often overlooked in the mining and construction industries, are essential for peak performance, she asserts. By prioritizing these principles, Veronica has navigated the complexities of these traditionally rigid sectors, ensuring that MACRO Cooperation remains a beacon of positive workplace culture.

Discussing its notable achievements and milestones in recent years, Veronica highlights the firm’s expanding global reach and diversification. “New investment from and into new countries, around 64 countries in total reach,” she notes, emphasizing the broad international footprint MACRO has established. The firm has also ventured into new industries, including agri-tech and film production, demonstrating its adaptability and innovative spirit.

Partnerships have been a cornerstone of MACRO’s growth strategy. Veronica points out the significant collaborations with farmers and construction firms, which have enriched the firm’s portfolio and expanded its impact. “Every quarter we seem to accept another exciting opportunity to collaborate with emerging fund managers who bring their points of difference,” she says, underscoring the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of MACRO Cooperation. These milestones reflect the firm’s commitment to fostering diverse and impactful collaborations while continuously exploring new avenues for growth.

Guiding Principles: A Commitment to Sustainable Development

Veronica emphasizes the firm’s core values centered around sustainable development and alignment with the United Nations’ global goals. “At the end of the day, if people don’t know what they’re getting out of bed for in the morning, they could just choose one of those things to align their life with,” she explains.

For MACRO Cooperation, these values translate into a focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) measurements. “Adding value to the world in a sustainable way,” Veronica notes, is key. This approach involves assessing projects based on their impact on the environment and society.

“We’ll often say no to a project that just categorically is not good for the environment or we don’t think we can reshape to be better,” Veronica explains. The firm’s culture reflects these values, with a strong emphasis on ESG measurements and carbon neutrality. “What are these projects doing to the environment? Is there a better way, better use for our current resources?” she asks.

Overall, MACRO Cooperation’s core values prioritize purpose-driven projects that contribute positively to society and the environment. “Whichever project we’re enabling, we are all looking at it from that perspective against our other opportunities,” Veronica concludes. This commitment extends beyond financial returns, with a focus on reporting standards that encompass the full ESG capacity of each project.

Embracing Happiness: A Leadership Perspective on Success

Veronica has a clear and evolving definition of success. “I think happiness is success,” she asserts. For Veronica, happiness is a multifaceted concept that varies from person to person. ” Happiness is different for everybody. It means different things to different people. But if you’re happy, you’re winning,” she explains. This philosophy underpins her leadership style, emphasizing that success is achieved through personal contentment.

Over the years, Veronica’s definition of success has evolved alongside her growth as a leader. “I decided I just wanted to work on humanitarian projects. That was happiness,” she shares. Her focus shifted towards projects that had a clear purpose, irrespective of their difficulty or ease. “Whether the project was successful, hard, or easy, it didn’t matter if it had a purpose,” Veronica notes, highlighting her commitment to meaningful work. This evolution in her perspective has significantly influenced MACRO’s strategic decisions.

“Everyone felt a whole lot happier with what they were working on,” she observes, indicating a positive shift in organizational morale. Consequently, this change has impacted the firm’s choices in project development and partnerships. “It’s changed our decisions about what we develop, where we develop, and who we partner with,” Veronica concludes, demonstrating how her personal growth as a leader has shaped the firm’s direction and ethos.

Navigating Entrepreneurship and Personal Well-Being

Regarding work-life balance, Veronica notes the firm’s focus on sustainable development and holistic well-being. “We’ve seen so many advances in technology to the point where now one of the key medical issues is depression, mental health,” she observes. This awareness drives the firm’s efforts to promote balanced lifestyles for its team members.

Veronica personally maintains a balanced life by adhering to structured time off. Maintaining productivity and well-being through work-life balance is crucial, and she has a well-defined approach to achieving this. “You won’t catch me working on a Sunday… not working in the evenings. I was raised to never work on a Sunday, get eight hours of sleep, and more recently coached to spend my time equally on work, fun, and philanthropy,” she shares.

This approach aligns with her belief that maintaining social connections and health is essential for overall well-being and productivity. Veronica’s disciplined routine, combined with a primarily plant-based diet, daily gym visits, and mindfulness practices, helps her manage the demanding life of an entrepreneur effectively.

Veronica offers valuable advice to aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs aiming to enter the asset management industry, especially in property development and investment. “Seek out the best possible advisory board that you can, pay them well, and keep upgrading or updating as you can afford to,” she emphasizes. This strategy ensures that the firm benefits from top-tier advice and guidance.

Additionally, she advises, “Don’t be shy to issue equity to your key people; this way you can remove key man risk, including yourself, and remain proactive or available for new opportunities.” By sharing ownership and responsibility, Veronica believes leaders can build a more resilient and dynamic organization, ready to seize new opportunities.

Veronica emphasizes the team’s motivation stemming from witnessing progress and inspiring projects. “Seeing distressed businesses come to us…and just seeing the founders inspired again by getting advice for a clear path forward, and a way for them to rescue the jobs…that’s probably been the biggest buzz that our team has been getting, just rescuing jobs,” she explains.

Balancing Innovation and Human Connection in Asset Management

Veronica reflects on her proudest moments, highlighting the firm’s impact in enabling significant solar-powered infrastructure projects and influencing policy changes in the mining sector in Australia. “I think we’ve found funding for some of the largest solar-powered infrastructure projects, that we’re certainly proud of,” she states. She also notes the satisfaction of witnessing policy changes as a result of collective reflection on industry conditions.

These achievements underscore MACRO Cooperation’s commitment to driving positive change and innovation in the energy and mining sectors. Veronica discusses the role of technology and innovation in her firm, emphasizing a balanced approach. “Technology and innovation can be a distraction from the underlying purpose,” she asserts. While acknowledging the value technology adds to data generation and analysis, she highlights that MACRO remains very much “people and project-based.”

Reflecting on her 25 years in the industry, Veronica observes a shift in how funds interact with asset managers. “Funds are seeking out asset managers a lot more than they used to,” she remarks, noting offers she’s received to join larger funds. This change presents opportunities for asset managers to showcase their niches, although there remains a wariness about sharing intellectual property.

“Ultimately, when in our situation where we’re reverting to a purpose and people, we don’t have that fear,” she says, expressing her willingness to share MACRO Cooperation’s initiatives and methodologies. Despite the competitive landscape, Veronica maintains that focusing on purpose and people mitigates these challenges.

Navigating Competition through Team Building and Stakeholder Engagement

Veronica describes the leadership approach at MACRO as one that serves. “It’s a service, creating a smaller team so that people feel they have more impact on their projects,” she explains. This service-oriented leadership aims to ensure that everyone in the organization feels heard, valued, and impactful. By keeping core teams small, MACRO has eliminated key man risk, allowing team members to see a clear path forward aligned with their own goals.

Veronica views competition as an opportunity to build closer teams and enhance stakeholder engagement. “To invite your teams to have a stakeholding in a project generally means that you’ve got much less risk of being copied or replicated,” she explains. This approach reduces the risk of imitation and increases buy-in from the delivery team, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment.

The way MACRO structures its projects is central to how it handles competition. Veronica emphasizes that there is no direct competition because of the value and opportunities the firm offers to its team members. “Generally, people that work with us will not want to work outside of the Cooperation because of the value they can see they get as a person and the opportunities they have,” she states. This approach ensures that MACRO remains unique in its offerings and retains its team members’ loyalty and commitment.

Charting the Future: A Vision for Continued Growth

As one of 2024’s fastest-growing asset management companies, MACRO Cooperation has ambitious goals and aspirations for the future. Veronica outlines a strategic plan focused on sustainable growth and maintaining a positive work environment. “For growth and sanity to continue, we are training smaller autonomous teams,” she explains. This approach ensures that while the teams operate independently, “the culture, systems, and procedures will be what remain in common across the group,” fostering consistency and unity.

Veronica attributes the firm’s successful trajectory to its commitment to social impact and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) measurements. “The trajectory will continue as a result of our social impact and ESG measurements becoming more evident,” she states. This focus drives the firm’s growth and also aligns with her philosophy: “I believe if you’re not making the lives of other people better, you’re wasting your time and not feeling as good as you possibly could.”

Veronica envisions significant global expansion for MACRO in the next five years. “We’re going to have our retirement villages under development in at least six different countries,” she shares, along with plans for gold mining projects in four countries as part of a self underwriting model, and a focus on film to showcase positive projects, behavior and counteract negative media narratives.

Personally, Veronica’s goals revolve around maintaining wellness, working on meaningful projects, and collaborating with inspired individuals. She emphasizes the importance of passion and purpose in the projects MACRO undertakes. By prioritizing these values, MACRO aims to sustain its rapid growth while making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

Veronica highlights MACRO Cooperation’s successful collaborations and value-added projects, emphasizing their long-term commitment with 5 to 10-year project durations. “Accommodating a retiring sector real estate wise, showcasing best practices in gold mining projects internationally, and inspiring behavior via film,” are the firm’s key focuses for the next decade.

She expresses satisfaction with the firm’s growth, noting their emphasis on maintaining standards and ensuring people are not overlooked. “It’s always been people over profits,” she emphasizes, highlighting the importance of a positive workplace culture. Despite challenges, Veronica sees no shortage of opportunities, attributing this outlook to their experience with navigating various economic climates.


Veronica Macpherson’s vision for MACRO Cooperation extends far beyond the realms of traditional asset management. It embodies a holistic approach that prioritizes people, purpose, and sustainable growth. As she continues to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship, Veronica’s leadership serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs alike. With a clear focus on purpose-driven investments and a commitment to fostering a positive workplace culture, Veronica is paving the way for a new era in asset management.