Fani Titi on possibility
In this introduction to the Inside Out of the Ordinary film series, Investec CEO Fani Titi shares his life's journey from a dusty school in the Free State to head of a global investment bank.
Meet Fani Titi
As a child, Fani Titi lived in a small Free State town with his 13 siblings and was destined to become a tractor driver until fate stepped in and education set him on a new path of possibility.
“My journey is a journey of change and hope. My father believed fundamentally that one could change one’s future. That sense of possibility that sense that you can create a better future for yourself and for others that’s driven me for the better part of 25 years,” says Fani in the introduction to Investec Wealth & Investment’s film series, Inside Out of the Ordinary.
A penchant for mathematics earned Fani the prestigious Fulbright scholarship to study a masters degree in maths at the University of California Berkeley. The experience opened his eyes to opportunities beyond a specialised field of study, and he completed his MBA at Wits and worked his way up to a captain of industry.
His journey led him to Investec, where, after occupying a non-executive role for over 11 years, he was named joint CEO in 2019.
At Investec, Fani believes in the power of the collective: “You have to rely on the wisdom of the people that work with you, both your immediate team but the rest of the 8,500 people that work in the bank and wealth team.
"You need a group of professionals that are steeped in markets and have a proven track record and they can declutter the noise and the volatility and bring their insights for the benefit of our clients.”
One such group of experts is Investec’s Global Investment Strategy Group (GISG). This global team, led out of the United Kingdom, directs the strategy that informs the investment decisions behind US$60 billion of private client wealth around the world.
“The GISG is a group of very experienced investment professionals that are based around our offices across the world and they bring their insights to bear on the work that we do. Whether it be Annelise [Peers] from Switzerland, John [Haynes] from London or Prof [Brian] Kantor from Cape Town, they bring the collective experience of markets to the benefit of our clients.”
Talking about his unique life story, Fani remains an optimist: “I think I am somebody who has always been hopeful about building a future that is better than where I am. I am passionate about the power of education both at an individual level but also at a community and societal level. But for education I think my life would have turned out very differently. The force of progress will continue to sweep everything aside, my life is such an example.”
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