I am a people’s person and find the interaction with clients and colleagues very stimulating. It is a challenging and dynamic work environment that requires flexibility and resilience. We have a collaborative culture where colleagues readily share their insights, creating a very supportive workplace. This enables me to identify and evaluate both my strengths and weaknesses and strive to better myself continuously. Being a die-hard optimist and my ability to see the bigger picture would be some of the strengths I believe I bring to the team. Resilience is required when times are tough, I’ve been at Investec Asset Management for 17 years and have observed many ups and downs in investment markets. Of course, a sense of humour helps to lighten the mood in the down cycles.
I grew up in a small mining town in Limpopo, and although I had an ideal setting growing up, I was not exposed to many different vocations. A career in law seemed to suit my attributes the best and so I enrolled for a B.Com law degree at the University of Pretoria. As early as my first year, I realised that law wasn’t for me. The law subjects didn’t resonate with me, but I found the economics and statistics classes challenging and interesting as I have always liked working with numbers. I persevered with my degree but decided not to pursue a career in law. My love for economics and numbers sparked my interest in the investment industry. This, together with my love for people, drew me to client-facing roles in asset management. I started in the advisory side of the business, but I really feel I have found my niche in institutional sales. I enjoy the interactions with corporate clients and the daily stimulation that this environment offers.
Family time is very important to me. My husband and children love the outdoors and we make time every year to escape from the hustle and bustle. I was born in the Kruger Park region, so the bushveld is in my blood. Every July we go camping in the Limpopo province and being close to nature makes up for not always having hot water! During the summer months we head to the coast where my husband and kids spend their days fishing and diving.
Absolutely! I think goal-setting is very important as it really boosts your motivation and focuses your mind. One of my goals was to do a half marathon, which I did, and the next one is in Portugal later this year – hopefully with a better time on the clock! I also decided to explore mountain biking, and so far it’s been great fun. I’m still getting the hang of it – at least I’m still getting exercise when I push my bike uphill. Another goal of mine is to live in the moment. This is quite a challenge for me as I tend to get caught up in all the planning and organising instead of appreciating the here and now. This is obviously an ongoing goal.
I draw energy and inspiration from so many people around me. Besides my family, I have a wonderful circle of friends who inspire me. I surround myself with people who fulfil different needs in my life and encourage me to reach my dreams and help me strive to be a better me.
I would like to see my two boys grow up to be happy, balanced people.
Jelene is a Client Director with Investec Asset Management’s South African institutional team. She transferred to the institutional team in 2004 from the South Africa advisor sales team, where she spent three years as a Sales Manager. Jelene joined the company in 2000 from RMB Asset Management where she worked as a member of their retail sales team for three years. Jelene graduated from the University of Pretoria with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Law, SAFEX market qualifications and a higher diploma in financial markets.
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Investec Asset Management is an authorised Financial Services Provider. Issued by Investec Asset Management, June 2017.