Instilling calm amidst unprecedented challenges

Bongiwe Momoza tells us how she is staying calm for her family and clients during this pandemic.

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“Relying on previous methods to help us navigate this time is simply not an option, as we are faced with unprecedented challenges”.

What’s your role within Sasfin?

I’m a Senior Asset Consultant.

Talk us through your career so far.

I have a BCom Honours in Economics from the University of Pretoria and a Masters in Finance and Investments from Wits University. With over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, I’ve worked for Alexander Forbes, Riscura and Absa, consulting to retirement funds such as the Road Accident Fund Pension Fund and the Mercedes Benz South Africa Provident Fund. I’ve been with Sasfin for two years, looking after various retirement fund clients in South Africa and Botswana, as well as chairing the Manco of the Sasfin Umbrella Fund.

What is your greatest personal challenge during this COVD-19 lockdown?

As a working mom, my greatest challenge currently is balancing my working from home and also trying to home-school my 8-year-old son. I’m also trying to instil a sense of calm and hope in my child, to make sure that he’s coping with all the changes that come along with this difficult time.

What is your greatest career challenge during the lockdown?

By far the greatest challenge currently is keeping our clients calm. It’s such an uncertain time and none of us know when markets will turn. Relying on previous methods to help us navigate this time is simply not an option, as we are faced with unprecedented challenges.

Name one practical thing that has been helpful to you.

What has been helpful for me over and above my daily prayers and devotions is meditation. I do this first thing in the morning, and this really helps set the tone for my day (there are lots of meditation videos available on YouTube). At the end of each day, I also sit and compile a list of things I’m grateful for.

As a woman in a leadership role, what 3 pieces of advice would you give to others as they navigate this unprecedented global crisis?

 

  • Take care of your mental health: Try and limit the amount of crisis-related news you consume, and actively pray or meditate.
  • Do something that nourishes your soul: This could be anything from listening to your favourite song, calling a friend or family member, making a delicious treat or taking time to exercise.
  • Try and learn something new while at home: This could be anything from taking up sketching to making a new dish.

How do you think that the lockdown will affect the South African financial services sector?

This has had a rapid negative effect on the financial markets and on the companies that operate within this space. This sector is currently facing challenges on multiple fronts, whether it’s the quality of customer service they can deliver, or sales targets they can no longer achieve.

Consumers face job losses which impacts their income and could result in defaults for the banks. The situation requires careful handling from the financial services sector as companies try to cope with these new challenges, seek to reassure consumers and earn their trust during this very tough period. Many companies in the financial services sector will be forced to develop strong and reliable digital infrastructure and services that can handle the current challenges – and this may very well be a positive thing in the long run.

What do you hope will change within the financial services industry, and the wider world, once we come out of it?

The financial services ecosystem has a chance to review and develop the way it services its clients. In light of this new environment, there is space for more collaboration with other companies in the financial services sector, as well in the greater fintech universe. I also think we’ll see a rise in importance of advanced data, for example with more automated customer compliance processes.

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About the Author
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Bongiwe Momoza

Senior Asset Consultant, Sasfin Wealth

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