I am an investment professional living and working in Johannesburg, South Africa.
I studied Actuarial Science and Mathematical Statistics (Bachelor of Science) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in the late eighties and early nineties, before beginning my first job at Glenvaal (later Glenvaal Dewar Rand, Glenrand, and Glenrand MIB) in Braamfontein and then Sandton, and finanlly Randburg. I then moved into IT, starting an IT business (WebSoft, and later WebSoft Maven) with a couple of smart and like-minded individuals. In the early naughties, I read for a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at Wits Business School, and graduated in 2006. In 2005 (while busy with the MBA) I started studying full-time for the next fifteen months, as I picked up from where I left off my actuarial studies. I also enrolled in the CFA program with the CFA Institute, as well as their CIPM program. By the end of 2007, I had qualified as an Actuary through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the UK and the Actuarial Society of South Africa, and was a CFA Charterholder, and about a year later also held the CIPM and CAIA designations (CFA Institute and CAIA Association respectively). Towards the end of 2006, I re-entered the workforce, taking a position as an Asset Consultant at Alexander Forbes, and spent the next five years consulting to some of South Africa’s largest pension funds, medical aids, short term insurers and sovereign wealth funds. At the beginning of 2012, I moved to STANLIB Multi-Manager as the Chief Investment Officer (CIO), although I also play the role of the Chief Information Officer (joke) because of my IT background and passion. STANLIB Multi-Manager is today the largest multi-manager of Collective Investment Schemes (Unit Trusts) in South Africa, and the second largest multi-manager in South Africa by assets under management and advice (we don’t do administration). What makes me happiest and proudest though, is our enviable performance track record (although I can’t take any credit for this as it belongs to those that came before me – and are still with the business), which has translated into wealth creation for our investors.
Although my intention was always to make this my profession, the appeal of Maths and Stats in Actuarial Science was too great to not explore. I am at my core a multi-specialist, preferring to learn as much as I can about as many different topics as pique my interest, than specializing in a single field. I love science in general, and astronomy, philosophy and technology specifically. I’m most interested in the intersection of various fields (e.g. bio-tech). I love to read (technically, listening to audiobooks as who has time to read), and get through thirty to fifty books per year across both fiction and non-fiction. I also love listening to podcasts in areas I’m interested in (my favourites being the Skeptics Guide to the Universe and Rationally Speaking), and reading the articles on Science Based Medicine and blogs on NeuroLogica when I have some spare time (Steven Novella is awesome). I also enjoy watching TedTalks for inspiration (how could I not love the rockstar of TedTalks, Hans Rosling).