Global Corospondent - October 2016

Quarterly Publication - October 2016

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Kirshni Totaram

Kirshni Totaram

Kirshni is Global Head of Institutional Business. She joined Coronation in 2000.

As a truly South African business, Coronation has been committed to real economic transformation since we first opened for business in 1993.

Today, the majority of our employees are black. Together they own a direct and broad-based stake of more than 20% in the business (as measured in terms of the Financial Sector Code). In addition, we pioneered a number of corporate initiatives that have contributed to transformation and the development of skills in the asset management and financial services industry in Southern Africa. This includes our deliberate intervention in the South African black stockbroking industry over the past decade, which has created sustainable stockbroking houses with value-added offerings to the investment community as a whole.


Coronation is a meritocracy. Every employee has a meaningful and measurable contribution to make in ensuring the continued success of our business. By following a disciplined recruitment and selection process, we have successfully recruited, trained and retained exceptional black talent, some of whom now hold critical management roles within the business. A key measure of the success we have achieved over the past 16 years is illustrated in the following graph.

Highlights as at the end of September include:

  • Three out of four executive committee members are black.

  • Three out of four executive committee members are black.

  • Close to 60% of our total South African staff complement are black, and more than half are female.

  • Within the South African investment team of 47 individuals, 20 (more than 40%) investment professionals are black.

  • 75% of the senior managers within the South African investment team are black.

  • 50% of the portfolio managers within the South African investment team are black, two of whom are black females

We continue to invest in black talent in the investment industry through a number of internship programmes and we also have dedicated black trainee analyst roles within our investment team.


Staff ownership is an integral part of our culture. We believe that being part-owners in our business, our people can make the right decisions for the long-term benefit of our clients and the business as a whole.

In 2005, we created South Africa’s first staff-only black economic empowerment deal, the Imvula Trust (Imvula). Today, more than 20% of our business is directly owned by our black staff (comprising their holdings via Imvula as well as direct holdings in Coronation). When measured in terms of Coronation’s market capitalisation, more than R5 billion is represented by this direct shareholding of our black staff.


We believe we can have a great impact on transformation by focusing on the South African stockbroking industry.

As an asset management company, we are responsible for the procurement of stockbroking services on behalf of many of our clients. In 2006, we used this ‘purchasing power’ to launch the Coronation Business Support Programme. Over the past decade, the programme has proven to be a sustainable and effective intervention to grow niche black stockbrokers. Since inception, the programme’s allocation to participants has grown consistently, amounting to more than R200 million (in terms of new business). Were it not for the insights and hands-on support by Coronation management and staff as part of the programme, many of these stockbroking businesses would not be in existence today.

The transformation enabled by the programme has been both material and meaningful. More recently, it has inspired the launch of a broader industry programme with the aim of further transforming and strengthening the black stockbroking community. In collaboration with the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (Asisa), four leading industry participants (sponsors), of which we are one, launched this new and exciting programme on 1 August 2016.

We believe the success of our approach to transformation rests with the fact that its principles have been consistent with our key values of owner-management, being performance-driven and a meritocracy. Our commitment to real transformation has also been embedded in our culture and how we do things on a day-to-day basis. For a more detailed account of our transformation journey over the past two decades, you can read more in our brochure on