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New Board Member. Yes, She Leads From The Heart And Is Under-40

Meet GWF’s newest Board Member, Nazia Kahlon

We have taken a slow and steady approach to the evolution of our Board. We’ve purposefully sought out South Africans who are ready to think differently (like us) AND who have shown over and over that they have a strong moral compass (like us). We also strongly believe that a new emerging world that believes in shared growth and multiple stakeholders needs younger voices, and we’d like to support that necessity. To add to this, our Executive Committee is now 75% women-led and, of the eight members, five are 40 or below (yes, our Head of Finance just celebrated a milestone).

Nazia has been with Allan Gray since 2016 as a manager in the Group Savings & Investments team. Before joining, she spent four years as a senior asset consultant at Alexander Forbes where she consulted to large stand-alone pension and provident funds. Prior to that she held positions as a sell-side quantitative strategist at Macquarie Investment Bank and a quants analyst at Stanlib Asset Management. She holds a B.Bus Sci (Actuarial Science) degree from the University of Cape Town and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

So we’re in good financial hands too!

Here are 12 questions for Nazia:

1. As a young girl, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

That’s an easy one. Unequivocally, an astronaut!

2. Who are your role models and why?

Growing up, my dad was just the bee’s knees. To me, he was the epitome of success – smart, gentle, kind and witty.For the past few years (ever since I met her and have been following what they do), it has been Tracey Chambers – CEO and co-founder of The Clothing Bank & Grow Educare Centres. Her personality and career path resonates with and inspires me. She’s moved from a big finance job at a corporate retail giant, to founding one of the most successful and impactful NPO’s in South Africa. She is also a mother of three and consciously insources parenting.

3. Do you have a favourite quote?

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.

4. What are your currently reading?

Breath – by James Nestor

5. What food are you famous for cooking?

I make a mean South Indian fish curry, and my rusks are not too shabby either! 😊

6. What three books would you recommend?

Black Swan by Nassim Taleb

Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Factfulness by Hans Rosling

7. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Being intricately involved in all aspects of strategy, pricing, product development, launch and distribution of the Allan Gray Umbrella Retirement Fund.

8. How do you practice self-care?

I cook & eat healthy and delicious meals, and I take long walks almost every day to soak up some Vitamin D.

9. What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

You really don’t need to study something conventional to be successful. If you’re passionate enough about something, you will excel at it.

10. What’s the simplest piece of financial advice that people never follow?

Start saving while you are young, even if it’s just 5-10% of your monthly salary. The gift of time and compound interest is one of the greatest you can give yourself.

11. Are you currently studying or planning to study anything soon?

Yes! I am starting an Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy through the University of Pennsylvania in 2021 and am very excited about this! 😊

12. What’s been key to your success?

Passion, hard work, and an encouraging partner.


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