Going from Melbourne to Jerusalem was a key career moment - even if it did worry his mum - BNZ chief tells Tamsyn Parker.
Given the choice of working in London, New York, Vietnam or Jerusalem, many young people would be off to London or New York in a flash.
But not BNZ boss Anthony Healy.
At 31, Healy picked Jerusalem as the place he wanted to go after six years working for the ANZ in his home town of Melbourne.
"There was a gut instinct telling me I should go for the most interesting - most varied one of the four."
It was the start of an international career that has led him from Australia to Israel, New Zealand, back to Australia, Malaysia and now New Zealand once more.
The son of two social workers, Healy had a simple upbringing where the typical family holiday was hitting the beach at Morningside.
He was good at maths and science at school and picked a science degree after being inspired by an uncle who was the dean of science at Melbourne University.
"I really looked up to him," says Healy.
As well as science, he studied psychology and completed economics and finance qualifications.
Five years of study later, Healy admits he had no idea what he wanted to do after university.
But mentors urged him to consider a joining a bank, which could provide him with a career path.
He chose the ANZ because it had the most overseas possibilities.
Growing up, Healy didn't make his first overseas trip until he was 23 - a short hop to New Zealand. But he knew he wanted to see more of the world.
Choosing Jerusalem took him out of his comfort zone and propelled his career forward.
"At the time I didn't think it would accelerate my career trajectory to what it did."
As the deputy country head of ANZ's Grindlay Bank, it was his job to help set up the investment banking office in Tel Aviv and the branch network in the West Bank.
Despite the ongoing uncertainty in the region, Healy says he had no fear of going to Jerusalem - but his mum did.
She once called him in tears after seeing CNN news reports of a bomb going off in the city, but he didn't even know it had happened.
"It always looked worse from the outside," he says.
The next thing I knew I had a gun pointed at my head.
In Jerusalem, Healy lived in an apartment overlooking the old city and learned both Arabic and some Hebrew in his time there.
He fell in with the local diplomatic crowd and made close friendships - many of which he still maintains today.
Healy's role involved helping set up investment deals into both Australia and New Zealand, including helping to fund a geothermal plant here.
Three years later, it was time to move on to a new opportunity and he moved to New Zealand for his first stint, working as the regional head of corporate banking for ANZ.
"I wanted to come back to this part of the world," he says.
It was then that he met his Australian wife Kate - a lawyer who now works for Ngati Whatua - who was also working in Auckland at the time.
He has since taken Kate back to Jerusalem, but says that didn't go so well.
They were at a barbecue at his former language teacher's house and had parked their car in a way that didn't allow troops to get past.
When he came out to move it, his friend got a camera to take photos and the situation got tense.
"The next thing I knew I had a gun pointed at my head."
The situation was resolved without bloodshed, but Kate has told him she never wants to go back there.
Despite that, Healy says he would return to the city.
After Auckland, it was Melbourne for two years, Sydney for two and another two in Malaysia, where their first child, Patrick, was born.
Healy says all that travel has made him very aware of the impact the world has on New Zealand and how connected we are when it comes to capital markets.
It also gave him a deep understanding of cultural variety and the importance of valuing individual difference.
"When people come to work, they want to be valued for who they are, not just their technical experience."
He says working offshore has also showed him how much impact banking can have on a community - positive and negative.
"If we won't lend, or lend in reckless ways, it can have a big impact."
Working in the West Bank, where a lot of the other banks were money lenders - the equivalent of today's payday lenders, with high interest rates and short term loans - also gave him a passion to help people break out of bad debt cycles.
Healy says that was a motivation to set up BNZ's community finance scheme, which lends money at no interest to financially vulnerable people.
Established in 2014, the same year he became chief executive, the scheme has expanded throughout the country and last year lent $1 million in interest-free loans to Kiwis.
So much of it is luck. The board chooses the person who is the right person for the right time. You are not born to be the CEO.
Healy says the bank is also very hot on people doing illegal money lending.
"We apply analytics and can see patterns. "
It approaches any customers who appear to be providing finance and lending and asks if they have a licence and are aware of the responsible lending code.
If they continue, the bank will withdraw its support, Healy says.
His time in Jerusalem also sparked his desire to move into more leadership roles.
"I think from when I was in Jerusalem onwards, I really enjoyed leadership."
He sees it as something that has to be earned. "Just because we have a title doesn't mean people will follow you. Most employees would not keep coming to work if you stopped paying them."
Healy's first big leadership role was with UDC - ANZ's New Zealand finance company - where he was chief executive for a year.
From there he switched to the BNZ to head its business banking arm, BNZ Partners, in 2009.
Healy says he didn't join the BNZ with a plan to be the boss.
"So much of it is luck," he says. "The board chooses the person who is the right person for the right time. You are not born to be the CEO."
So far, Healy has been the boss through a boom time for property lending, but he says it is in the tough times that banks can really make a difference.
"Banks are incredibly resilient through downturns. We are very good at managing through crisis.
"We have just had a massive one in the dairy sector.
"That is when we need to be on our game - that is when people need you the most."
And inevitably, he says, there will be a recession in the future.
Banks are already coming under pressure from wholesale funding increases in a world being buffeted by political uncertainty.
Add to that new banking regulations and an increasing need for more capital, and Healy says it all adds up to quite a tight envelope.
"The world we operate in is more complex than it has ever been."
• Job: Chief executive, Bank of New Zealand
• Age: 50
• Family: Married to Kate with two children, 11-year-old Patrick and 9-year-old Caroline
• Education: Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne. Postgraduate diplomas in economics and finance
• Last movie watched: Hidden Figures
• Last book read: Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street, by Aaron Ross Sorkin
• Last overseas holiday: Christmas in Italy