Nicola Gubb didn’t always know she’d want to work in the financial services industry.
“As a teenager, I had a dream of becoming an aeronautical engineer as I loved flying and the whole space race. Later in my high school career I thought of becoming an architect, but in matric I decided to study for a B Com degree as the stock markets had always interested me.
“My dad has been an investor his whole adult life, making it his personal goal to outperform his pension fund, and my grandfather was a stockbroker, so I guess some of the love of the markets and investing had rubbed off on me! After University I joined RMB Fund Managers, the retail unit trust arm of RMB Asset Management, and was completely drawn into the financial services industry.”
It was at RMB that Gubb was introduced to the CFA Charter Holder qualification.
“Most of the team members were encouraged to study for the qualification and it was something that the company paid for.”
A job at HSBC’s Equity Capital Markets division followed and it was around this time that she decided to apply to become a CFA candidate and to write the three levels of exams.
Gubb joined WDBIH in 2005 as an Investment Executive and become the Chief Investment Officer in 2012.
“I do believe that being a CFA Charter Holder enabled me to become the CIO at WDB Investment Holdings,” she says.
WDB Investment Holdings is a broad-based, women-owned and -managed business. The company is 89% owned by the WDB Trust, which is a public benefit organisation and is mandated to bring about economic upliftment and social advancement of poor rural women and their households. Since its inception 22 years ago, WDBIH has built a portfolio of investments across sectors such as consumer goods and services, financial services, diversified industrials, property and TMT.
“WDB Investment Holdings is a long-term, patient capital investor that seeks to play a strategically active role in its investee companies through Board participation and consultancy in transformation – particularly gender transformation and empowerment. To date, WDBIH has total assets under management of R6bn and has repatriated approximately R200m of dividends to the WDB Trust,” Gubb says.