Living in society, not off it

15 Sep 2020

Fani Titi

Investec CEO

One of Investec’s most cherished values is that we strive to live in society, not off it. It is a deeply held belief and one that we encourage all our staff to live by.

Early in the building of Investec, the founding generation realised that our culture and values formed an essential signature and a competitive advantage for Investec. That DNA is what makes us successful and different and we guard it vociferously.  
 
At a personal level, having lived in a shack in the worst poverty not more than 30 or so years ago, I am passionate about investing my time and resources into businesses and activities that will ensure my grandchildren, and their grandchildren, enjoy a life of purpose and meaning. It is therefore important to me that we, as a business, take very centrally the issue of inequality and do our utmost to address sustainable development issues like poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunities.
 
This is one of the reasons why I decided to join the United Nations CEO Alliance of Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD).  Two of the greatest challenges the world faces are climate change and inequality. Having grown up in abject poverty, I care about bettering the lives of people and the health of our planet.
 
Countries and companies must commit to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and work towards solutions with urgency. If we fail, life as we know it will soon become fundamentally threatened.
Two of the greatest challenges the world faces are climate change and inequality. Having grown up in abject poverty, I care about bettering the lives of people and the health of our planet.
The SDGs call for increased action and deep reflection on the inequalities and injustices in our societies, no matter where we live. COVID-19 has made investment in the SDGs more urgent than ever. Investment in sustainable, innovative and resilient infrastructure is critical to pave the way for an inclusive post-COVID economic recovery. Shareholders and asset owners are showing significant interest in this area. In fact, as we go forward, the commercial opportunity around investing in sustainability will really drive a lot of progress with respect to capital being allocated to where it is needed most.
 
We understand, that as a corporate, we must take greater responsibility and actively participate in finding more sustainable ways of doing business. At Investec it is core to who we are, core to our philosophies and values, and core to our commercial success.
 
We have a long history of caring for people, supporting our communities, and driving economic growth. Our businesses serve as a positive force for a greener, more inclusive world. Our goal is to support the societies in which we live, to support our clients and through their activities, impact the societies in which they do business. So, it is fundamentally and commercially important for us to see society progressing because that determines the future success and sustainability of our business.
 
It is that sense of possibility and the desire to create a better future for yourself and for others - that is what has driven me for the better part of 25 years. As a consequence, I look to find significance and meaning in everything I do, while living within society.

Discover more about Fani Titi

‘My journey is one of change and hope’


A better future is always possible. Fani Titi shares his story of progress, from humble beginnings in the heart of the Free State, South Africa, to CEO of Investec.