COVER interviewed Kate Rushton, head of credit at Stanlib.

COVER: What was your intention in studying for a BComm?

I had started studying a BSc in Physics and Mathematics, but when the financial markets bug bit, I quickly realised that a BComm would be more beneficial.

COVER: Which of your dreams have been fulfilled through your current achievements?

My dream of rising through the ranks while maintaining my integrity has been fulfilled. I spent five years with the Financial Mail as a financial journalist, and then completed my BComm. After leaving Martin & Co. (now JP Morgan SA), I spent two years at Standard Bank, on the research side, before joining Absa Capital for four-and-a-half years. I still mentor many individuals whom I have met along the way.

COVER: What dreams or goals would you still like to see fulfilled in your life?

I would like to undertake a short course at an international university.

COVER: Any unconventional aspirations?

I would love to write a book. I have met so many characters in the markets and can already visualise them on paper.

COVER: What is your philosophy regarding leadership?

Lead by example. You have to have a certain amount of passion and drive and you must take the team with you. As a team leader, I have developed my listening skills extensively. I am a big advocate of transparency and communication, as it assures staff of what is going on, especially in inconsistent and uncertain times. I believe in developing team members’ skills, and allowing them to grow.

COVER: Given the demands on women to fulfil many roles simultaneously, how do you achieve a balance?

I would describe myself as a bit of a workaholic but, I believe one can achieve balance between personal and professional life. Achieving balance requires a shift in mindset. Not feeling guilty about going to gym for an hour instead of poring over a report is still difficult though. Finding a balance continues to be a work in progress!

COVER: On the personal front, what are you reading at the moment? What entertainment do you enjoy? What kind of vacation do you prefer?

I have just picked up Geraint Anderson’s CityBoyBeer and loathing in the square mile. I am looking forward to reading it. I rarely go to movies, preferring the theatre; I saw Boys in the Photograph recently and it was superb. My next holiday will be a mini bush break in South Africa, but I hope to head to London for the New Year to visit family and friends.

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