Building a talent pipeline, year after year
12 Mar, 2024

Farzana Fakir, Communications Specialist at M&G Investments

 

 

At M&G Investments, we are dedicated to increasing the numbers of talented individuals in South Africa’s financial services industry and cultivating and nurturing that talent. We strongly believe that this commitment, year after year, will contribute to the overall strength of the industry, while making it more open and accessible to everyone. After all, saving and investing can offer tremendous benefits for those who can access these services, but the industry, by its complex nature, has a history of presenting barriers that can make it inaccessible for many.

 

Given the growing talent shortage and the need to address gender and race disparities, we are focused on fostering talented young graduates by providing them with the necessary skills and practical experience to launch successful careers in financial services.

 

One of our key initiatives is the M&G Investment Analyst Graduate Programme, which was launched in 2021. For this programme, we actively recruit and empower aspiring investment professionals through direct, hands-on exposure to the investment management profession.

 

During the two-year programme, participants rotate through various roles within the portfolio management team. This allows them to gain practical experience while also developing their knowledge and analytical skills. They also have the opportunity to network and learn from our experienced and collaborative investment team globally, which boasts over 400 years of cumulative experience.

 

While most of the learning on the programme is through on-the-job training, there are also structured learning components. Pursuing a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification is a requirement for admission to the programme. This enables participants to blend practical experience with theoretical insights and become accomplished analysts in their field, and paves the way for progression to becoming a portfolio manager. To support this endeavour, we provide support, funding and study leave during their tenure. On successful completion of the programme, most candidates stay with M&G Investments in permanent roles, while others join the wider financial services industry as work-ready candidates.

 

For the programme this year, we welcome Fanele Mngoma and Sibusisiwe Khuzwayo to our team in South Africa, as well as Colleen Kalimba and Daniella Ferreira who join us in Namibia.

 

Fanele had this to share about the programme:

 

Fanele Mngoma

 

Q: Why did you choose this programme?

 

A: Upon completing my master’s degree, a primary objective was to secure a position with a world-class company, offering hands-on exposure to the investment management profession. I sought an organisation that aligns with my aspirations for excellence and provides a dynamic platform for professional growth. Furthermore, as a new graduate, I am keenly interested in delving into the ESG landscape. I aim to leverage the practical insights offered by M&G to deepen my understanding. My experience has shown that I thrive in collaborative environments, and I eagerly anticipate the prospect of working closely with different departments, seeking opportunities to learn and absorb knowledge from diverse perspectives.

 

Q: What attracted you to apply for this programme at M&G Investments?

 

A: M&G Investments holds a significant global presence across 28 countries, catering to over 5 million retail clients and overseeing assets exceeding R8.0 trillion. I was captivated by its culture of excellence and prominence in the asset management sphere, aiming to utilise it as a fertile environment for learning and advancing in my career. In an atmosphere like M&G Investments, which prioritises continuous learning, the opportunities for personal and professional development are simply irresistible.

 

Q: What are your goals, hopes and aspirations in completing this programme?

 

A: My primary professional goal is to enhance my financial skills, recognizing that success as an investment analyst requires acquiring the right education and continually developing expertise. Additionally, I aspire to attain the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification. My aim is to become a valuable asset to the team by acquiring essential skills. Fuelled by enthusiasm for investment intricacies, I aspire to emerge as a leader in the industry.

 

The honour of being selected for the 2024 investment graduate analysts reaffirms my pride, reflecting unwavering dedication and a commitment to excellence in my career.

 

 

Sibusisiwe shared her insight:

 

Sibusisiwe Khuzwayo

 

Q: Why did you choose this programme?

 

A: This programme stood out to me as it offers exposure to various sections within asset management, allowing me to explore different facets of the industry and broaden my skill set. Coming from an engineering background, I’ve always been intrigued by the intersection of technology, data analysis, and finance. Additionally, the opportunity to work with industry experts and be part of an organization like M&G Investments greatly appealed to me.

 

Q: What attracted you to apply for this programme at M&G Investments?

 

A: I was attracted to the structured nature of the programme, offering rotations across different departments and providing a holistic understanding of asset management, which is essential for my career growth and development. Additionally, the opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals and be mentored by experts in the field is invaluable for someone like me transitioning careers. Lastly, M&G’s commitment to incorporating ESG considerations into their investment decisions strongly resonates with my interest in sustainable and responsible investing practices.

 

Q: What are your goals, hopes and aspirations in completing this programme?

 

A: My aim is to acquire a comprehensive understanding of asset management including equity, fixed income, and multi-asset strategies. Moreover, I hope to build a strong professional network, connecting with peers and mentors who can provide guidance and support throughout my career journey. In the long term, I aspire to contribute meaningfully to M&G Investments, whether through innovative projects or research initiatives. Ultimately, I envision this programme as a steppingstone towards a successful and fulfilling career.

 

Building a diverse talent pipeline

 

In summary, the M&G Analyst Graduate Programme is a strategic investment in cultivating future talent within our investment team and ultimately having a positive impact on building the talent pipeline in the industry. We provide these young professionals with extensive exposure to the investment management profession, with no obligation for them to stay with us for the longer term. We believe that this investment will continue to bolster the industry, such as narrowing the growing skills gap, fostering more diversity, as well as making the industry accessible to all.

 

 

ENDS

 

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@Farzana Fakir
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