03 November 2022 | Story Anthony Mthembu | Photo Supplied
SecureTheGrad Team
In front: Tshego Dichabe (CEO of Aeon Investment Management and UFS Alumni) In the back row from left are: Ludwig Esau, Ambroyse Johnson, Sello Mojapelo, Olebogeng Tlhong, Bonolo Mahlatsi, Anesu Manase, Evodia Mohoanyane (Assistant Director at CTL), Michelle Sibanda, and Bongi Ndlangisa.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at the University of the Free State (UFS), in partnership with Aeon Investment Management and the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, hosted a guest lecture focusing on asset management trends in South Africa and globally, as well as careers for specific disciplines in the faculty. 

Students from the Centre for Accounting, the School of Financial Planning Law, and commerce fields flocked to the event, which was hosted in the Education Auditorium on the Bloemfontein Campus on 20 October 2022. 

The guest lecture formed part of a series of webinars on asset management under the #SecureTheGrad initiative. The purpose of these engagements was to give UFS students access to industry giants in the asset management profession. Guests in this lecture included Fatima Vawda, the founder of the 27four Group, as well as Muitheri Wahome, an asset management expert. 

Asset Management

“Asset managers gather savings for investment and buy public securities on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and unlisted securities, providing investors with opportunities and exposure to assets that they would not necessarily be able to access on their own,” Wahome highlighted. Vawda indicated that asset management has its roots in life insurance companies. “Life insurance companies were selling life insurance policies and then they had all these assets on their balance sheets, and they needed asset management teams to manage those assets,” she explained. 

Asset Management Trends 

A number of the students in the audience expressed an interest in asset management as a career path, and Vawda went on to showcase several industry trends that students needed to take note of prior to considering asset management as a career path. Firstly, the skill set needed to prosper in the asset management industry has changed over the years. In fact, the ability to code and a comprehensive knowledge of Python have become essential knowledge in the industry. Vawda said, “Without the ability to be analytic and use data cleverly, there is no room in this kind of industry for you.”

Careers in Financial Services 

Wahome urged students to check out a number of other careers in financial services to set their sights on. She indicated that a career in investments can take different forms, such as mega pension funds, pricing analysts – due to the growing investments in private markets, as well as compliance professionals, as the demand for these is currently high in the industry.

Wahome further advised the students that, “as you start your careers, do not be in a rush to choose a specialisation, working with an array of people in different areas gives you enormous reach, as well as valuable perspective”.

Attending the guest lecture were from left Prof Francois Strydom (Senior Director at CTL); Frans Koning (Head of the Department of Actuarial and Mathematical Statistics Department); Prof Philippe Burger (Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences), and Evodia Mohoanyane (Assistant Director at CTL) and Dr Engela van Staden (Vice-Rector: Academic) (Photo: Supplied)  

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