B Com UWC, B Com (Hon) UWC
Credit Analyst at Sanlam Investment Management
Rachma’s story is both interesting and inspiring – not just because she is an intelligent, driven young woman building a career and making a difference as she does so, but because she was taught that she could do anything she set her mind to by her father, a bricklayer, and her mother, a stay-at-home mom, neither of whom had the opportunity to finish school. When Rachma’s dad gave her pocket money at a young age, he taught her how to save. Perhaps this is one of the reasons she has forged a career at Sanlam Investment Management?
Rachma’s love for numbers and for people were key passions that led her to pursue a career in financial services. While the sector isn’t commonly associated with human interaction, Rachma draws a strong link and explains, “I enjoy helping people, connecting and collaborating. For me, it made sense to join an asset management or financial services company so that I could network with people and help them manage their lives as well.” Furthermore, Rachma feels like she’s come home at Sanlam, where she has found like-minded colleagues and friends. “Being able to work with people who share the same values as me is definitely what keeps me at Sanlam.”
Rachma believes deeply in the meaning of her work. “Getting things right and making a difference is what motivates me,” she says. Respect for all people is something that she learnt from her parents and these core values form the basis of her approach. “It’s about how you interact with people and how you give back. My mom wasn’t formally educated, yet she’d always sit with us, helping us to read and instilling morals in us.”
At university, Rachma completed a Bcom in finance, followed by honours in finance and investment. At this point, she thought Sanlam was a great company but didn’t know the spectrum of opportunities that were available. She explains her mind shift further, “Sanlam was known to be predominantly white and very Afrikaans. When you’re at university you only see the big ‘mothership’ of the organisation, and you might not know about the investment side of the company. Once I found out more about the work they were doing I applied.” Since starting work at Sanlam her perspective has changed even more and one of the things she enjoys most about her role is how it brings her into contact with new and diverse people.
Since starting at the company Rachma has moved from a junior credit analyst to a credit analyst and has her sights set on eventually becoming a portfolio manageress. “Sanlam has great incentives and I’m lucky to be part of their incentive programme”, she admits. Already a rising star, Rachma was one of the three finalists to receive the Sanlam Investments Living Values Award this year. With such a comprehensive research and voting process, it is an honour to be nominated. “Every year they measure employees within the company and how they live the Sanlam investment values: passion, innovation and transparency. A panel investigates whether you live up to these values. They interview your coworkers, cleaners and everyone in between."
While speaking about professional development, Rachma acknowledges the good work that competitors are doing to aid graduate growth. Although she thinks a lot more can be done at Sanlam, she believes the company is on the right track. “I think Sanlam has come a long way, speaking from my experience in starting here six years ago as one of the few young professionals. Since then, head office has started the Graduate Programme and in Sanlam investments we have the Investment Academy as well. Because of these programmes we’ve had a lot of young professionals entering Sanlam investments.”