In the Spotlight: Natasha Narsingh, CEO of Sanlam Investments Active Manager
We are excited to introduce a new addition to our newsletter, ‘In the Spotlight,’ where we bring the stories of influential figures and dedicated professionals from various domains within our organisation.
In this edition of “In the Spotlight,” we profile Natasha Narsingh, the CEO of Sanlam Investment’s Active Management business.
As a seasoned investment professional with an extensive wealth of experience in asset management, Natasha’s expertise spans a wide range of multi-asset classes, including derivatives. Natasha has been an invaluable member of our business for over 16 years.
Her journey at Sanlam Investments encompassed several key roles, including senior Portfolio Manager, Manager of SIM Managed Solution Funds and Co-Manager of the SIM Absolute Return and Inflation Plus Funds. Notably, she successfully headed up Absolute Returns from 2016, marking a pivotal milestone in her career. Natasha’s remarkable contributions have been recognised with prestigious awards, including the Sanlam Group’s CEO award in 2018, the Sanlam Investment Group’s Living the Values Award in 2017 and the Multi-Asset Fund Manager of the Year award* at the ABSIP Financial Services Sector awards in 2016.
In this Leadership Spotlight, we delve into her career journey, the factors behind her success in asset management and her approach to overcoming challenges.
1. Role Overview:
As the CEO of Sanlam Investments Active Management business, my role is to lead and motivate the team, steering the strategic direction whilst ensuring consistency with the overall Group strategy and mission. Client satisfaction is important, ensuring that clients are happy and that we’re meeting their performance requirements and providing responsible communication on investment risks, returns and other relevant information. I also spend a lot of time engaging with stakeholders across the business; collaborating with a diverse team of experts and specialists is essential. I value the collective knowledge and expertise that a well-coordinated team can bring to the table.
2. Career Journey and Expertise:
I began my career as a junior investment analyst within equities, later specialising as a mining analyst, before moving to head up a mining team of analysts and portfolio managers. Subsequently, I took on roles such as Portfolio Manager for diverse funds, including general equity, balanced, absolute return, and multi-manager funds. Joining Sanlam Investments in 2007 as a Senior Portfolio Manager, I later joined the multi-asset SIM Absolute Return team in 2019 before being appointed to head the Absolute Return capability in 2017. In April 2023, I assumed my current position as CEO of Sanlam Investments Active Manager.
3. Success Factors in Asset Management:
If I attribute my success in asset management to one word, it’s “consistency.” I have never been afraid of hard work and consistently and relentlessly delivered sustained effort throughout my career. Perseverance, continuous learning and genuinely enjoying my job have been essential elements for success. Building strong relationships with clients has always been a top priority for me. I actively listen to our clients’ goals and concerns, in ensuring tailored strategies to meet their needs. Upholding ethical standards is also a non-negotiable. I ensure that all my actions are transparent, honest, and aligned with the best interests of our clients.
4. Your Approach to Challenges:
I’ve always tried to give my best. It hasn’t been all difficult though – I have been given chances and opportunities along the way, and I’ve grabbed those with both hands when they were offered to me, putting my heart and soul into everything I did. My advice to professionals starting out is that while it’s a tough training ground, it’s important to stay mentally focused and do what feels right for you.
5. Industry Demands and Work-Life Balance:
One can appreciate that balancing a demanding career and a family has proven to be a constant challenge; to this end, I try as far as possible to ensure a reasonable work-life blend, with a harmonious life as my ongoing goal. I try to be fully present and attentive when I’m at work and when I’m at home. I admit it is a busy life where I do over-compensate when I’m with my family and try to make that time count as much as possible. When I’m with my two boys, I pay attention to things they share as well as things that they don’t share (directly) with me; I am a very hands-on parent. I try to carve out specific time for my family and ensure it’s quality time; whether it’s having dinner together, going for walks, or engaging in physical activities, this dedicated time is precious. I give a lot of myself both at home and at work, so you’ll very seldom find me resting!
6. Interpersonal and Social Factors in Growth:
I’m very personable in my interactions with people. I may be ‘high-energy’ in how I manage myself and the funds I oversee, but I’m never overtly aggressive in how I engage with people. I’m also open and amenable to opportunities and challenges. I embrace them and don’t run away from them. I see them as a chance to grow and learn something new, so I never limit myself.
Sanlam Investments consists of the following authorised Financial Services Providers: Sanlam Investment Management (Pty) Ltd (“SIM”), Sanlam Multi Manager International (Pty) Ltd (“SMMI”), Satrix Managers (RF) (Pty) Ltd, Graviton Wealth Management (Pty) Ltd (“GWM”), Graviton Financial Partners (Pty) Ltd (“GFP”), Satrix Investments (Pty) Ltd, Amplify Investment Partners (Pty) Ltd (“Amplify”), Sanlam Africa Real Estate Advisor Pty Ltd (“SAREA”), Simeka Wealth (Pty) Ltd, Absa Asset Management (Pty) Ltd (“ABAM”) and Absa Alternative Asset Management (Pty) Ltd (“AAM”); and has the following approved Management Companies under the Collective Investment Schemes Control Act: Sanlam Collective Investments (RF) (Pty) Ltd (“SCI”), Satrix Managers (RF) (Pty) Ltd (“Satrix”) and Absa Fund Managers (RF) (Pty) Ltd. Sanlam is a full member of ASISA. Please note that past performances are not necessarily an accurate determination of future performances, and that the value of investments/collective investment units/unit trusts may go down as well as up.
Collective investment schemes are generally medium to long-term investments. Please note that past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance and that the value of investments /units/unit trusts may go down as well as up. A schedule of fees and charges and maximum commissions is available from the Manager, Sanlam Collective Investments (RF) Pty Ltd . Additional information of the proposed investment, including brochures, application forms and annual or quarterly reports, can be obtained from the Manager, free of charge. Collective investments are traded at ruling prices and can engage in borrowing and scrip lending. The Manager does not provide any guarantee either with respect to the capital or the return of a portfolio. The fund may from time to time invest in foreign countries and therefore it may have risks regarding liquidity, the repatriation of funds, political and macroeconomic situations, foreign exchange, tax, settlement, and the availability of information. The Manager has the right to close any portfolios to new investors to manage them more efficiently in accordance with their mandates. Performance is based on NAV to NAV calculations with income reinvestments done on the ex-div date. Lump sum investment performances are quoted. The portfolio may invest in participatory interests of other unit trust portfolios.
The information in this article does not constitute financial advice. While every effort has been made to ensure the reasonableness and accuracy of the information contained in this document (“the information”), the FSP’s, its shareholders, subsidiaries, clients, agents, officers and employees do not make any representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or suitability of the information and shall not be held responsible and disclaims all liability for any loss, liability and damage whatsoever suffered as a result of or which may be attributable, directly or indirectly, to any use of or reliance upon the information.
*Full details of the award are available from Sanlam Investments.