Investec’s Monde Nyawose makes his mark on Mauritius

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Monde is proof that a CA qualification can open a world of opportunities.

Growing up in the KZN township of Umlazi, CA Monde Nyawose was determined to use education to uplift his family. Now 35 and having recently relocated to Investec Mauritius as a credit risk manager in their Group Risk department, it’s clear he succeeded.

Having served as a credit risk officer for the past five years at Investec Sandton, Monde has a passion for the global economy. He has a particular interest in its various dynamics and implications for emerging economies in developing regions, such as Africa. That’s why when the unexpected opportunity to transfer to Mauritius arose, he grabbed it with both hands.

“I still had big plans within the Investec Group in South Africa, but this role offers a broader perspective,” says Monde. “The Mauritius role satisfies a number of regulatory requirements with regards to the segregation of duties when it comes to oversight functions, which is where I come in given my experience in the South African office as a risk officer.”

Having just bought a property in South Africa, Monde was not planning a move, but it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. “The role brings great international exposure and broader responsibility, so from a career growth perspective, it is absolutely phenomenal,” he says.

The move also offered Monde the chance to put his two sons into a new enriching and multicultural environment where they’d be able to attend an international school. “It ticked all the boxes in terms of creating a very interesting life.”

Mauritius ties into Monde’s love for the great outdoors. A keen long-distance runner, he has conquered many a 21km marathon. He’s also a golfer, although he admits to having fallen off the wagon of late. “As the father of two boys, I try to do a lot with them, also getting them away from the TV and playing outside as much as possible,” he says.
Separated from his children’s mother, Monde says he’s not only filling a challenging new role, but is also on the island as a single dad of two. “I still ask myself how I balance everything,” he laughs. “Having grown up without a dad myself, I knew I’d never want my boys to go through what I did. I need them to be with me.

“Their mom was happy for me to take them to Mauritius and I’m so happy to be able to see them grow. I’m home every night reading them bedtime stories and I’m committed to ensuring that they've got the best opportunities that I can afford them.”

His humble beginnings made Monde determined to build a career that would allow him to provide and be present for his family. In a way, he’s been preparing his whole life for the professional success he’s now attained. The product of a single mother, Monde worked hard at school, knowing it was the only way to improve his home situation.

“In high school, I had a keen interest in accounting and finance,” he recalls. “I did a bit of research and my teacher said that one of the best careers in this field would be becoming a chartered accountant.” It was a (now late) teacher who, in collaboration with UKZN Professor Msizi Mkhize, helped Monde – who had good matric results and a clear passion for accounts – to secure a bursary through SAICA.

After completing his studies at Nelson Mandela University, Monde kicked off his career at Standard Bank, completing his articles and later joining their property risk and then their corporate credit team. “From day one, I built a career around being a risk professional with a focus on credit risk,” he says.

“Credit risk is all about promoting responsible lending,” he explains. “While it’s not the most glamorous of jobs, it gives you a say in how a bank is actually built. We are entrusted with the responsibility of saying yes or no to transactions, one that if left unchecked might take the bank in a different direction. For me, risk has been a highly informative and dynamic role because you never do the same thing every day – there’s always something new to learn.” It’s the lessons he’s learned through this specialisation that made him the ideal candidate for the Mauritius gig.

After five years at Standard Bank, Monde joined The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). Then, Investec came knocking. “To this day, I consider that to be one of the best opportunities I’ve had, purely because of how Investec is set up,” he says. “It gave me the opportunity to sit at a group level, which provided a view across the bank’s entire suite of products. That catapulted my career growth tremendously.

“One of my deliverables at Investec was being responsible for reviewing and looking after the bank’s lending policies,” he continues. “A particularly high point was being key in a team tasked with drafting the bank’s COVID policy from scratch when the pandemic struck – a major career highlight. I made a difference in a very big space in a very small way.”
The recipient of a bursary himself, Monde is also committed to paying it forward. “I grew a keen interest in helping other individuals who had been in a similar situation to me,” he says. “Since leaving varsity, I’ve been involved in educational initiatives within and outside of the banks I’ve worked at.

“I participated in a KPMG and SAICA high school education programme and mentoring workshops where we’d go to high schools and talk to the kids to inspire them to stay focused on school and to give them guidance on what’s possible. If you’re someone who has been exactly where they are, it’s easier for them to translate the possibilities – you’re not some pamphlet on their desk, you’re an individual. Telling my story to kids like that has always been something that I take seriously.”

Considering where he came from and where he is now, it’s easy to see why those from challenging backgrounds would be inspired by Monde’s story. “After I qualified, one of the first things I did was buy my mom a house,” he says. “She has nothing to worry about – aside from the neighbour’s goats trampling over her flowers,” he laughs. “She’s taken care of, and that's almost everything that I’ve ever wanted, especially considering her struggles when bringing us up.”

While he says becoming a CA is not the easiest of routes, Monde wouldn’t change a thing. “Nothing worth having is ever easy,” he says. “I don’t think I would have been able to live the life I’m living now or be able to provide what I’m able to provide for my family and my kids if I hadn’t become a CA. One of the best things about it is the opportunities that it opens up. The world is actually in the palm of my hands. From here I could literally go anywhere.”

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