TechCentral’s IT Leadership Series: Investec’s Minal Nagin on risk-taking

Minal Nagin

Minal Nagin, group risk chief operating officer at Investec, started his career a mere 11 years ago, but he has achieved much success already.

After completing his BCom accounting and finance degree at the University of Johannesburg, Nagin went on to achieve honours in accounting at Unisa.

He is a strong risk professional and an experienced data scientist with a demonstrated history of working in the banking industry. His skills range from data analytics to business intelligence and risk management.

His key focus areas are leadership, collaboration, and providing insight and foresight. He is passionate about using data to unlock current and future value.

While attending a recent TechCentral C-suite roundtable event, we posed some questions to Nagin.

1. What does your company do?

Investec is a premium private banking and wealth and investment business. Our core aim is to create and manage wealth through a range of product offerings spanning private banking, business banking, corporates, institutions and intermediaries.

2. What do you see as the CIO’s top priorities in 2022?

  • Stability in operations through automation, optimisation and clearly defined process while reshaping in a hybrid working environment.
  • Execution and delivery at pace: increasing the cadence of technology change and innovation to support, enable and drive growth in the business.
  • Retention of top talent, technology leaders and technology intellect.
  • Harnessing data and data enablement to drive organisational strategic objectives, derive new insight and accelerate decision making.

3. Who do you most admire in business and why?

  • One of the leaders I admire most in business is Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group. His ability to persevere through failure and rejection in becoming one of the most successful business leaders in the world stands out for me. He is a prime example that success is not an overnight achievement, and it requires tons of hard work, dedication and resilience.

4. How do you attract and retain talent?

  • In this new way of working, the way we would have attracted talent in the past is, in most instances, no longer relevant. We’ve had to adapt our approach to how we create visibility around our culture, values and the impact we have on society. We remain focused on enhancing our brand in the market through the work we do, and are deliberate around not just being a traditional bank but pushing the boundaries around collaboration, technology innovation and digitisation.
  • The principles around retaining talent remain a core focus of our operating model. Creating a space for diversity, belonging and inclusion is still at the centre. Built around this is our entrepreneurial culture, the long-lasting relationships built and maintained, and the innovative way of taking up your role and having the freedom to drive your growth and personal brand.

5. If you could go back and give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

If you’re going to take a big risk, take it as early as you possibly can. Your ability to recover from a risk diminishes over time.

6. What’s your favourite productivity hack?

Context switching can be quite difficult, especially in a high-pressured environment. Sometimes the ability to decompress between context switching can help reset the thinking engine. I try to do this quite often, which means being disciplined with my time and how I engage on a variety of topics.

7. What occupation (other than your own) would you like to try?

I’d love to try being a sign-language interpreter – sign language has always been a massive part of my life, my journey and my story. This is absolutely something I will give a go at some stage of my life.

8. Where do you see the technology industry heading in the next three to five years?

I see continued evolution in moving from application-based to more service/product offering-based. Technology is one part of an ecosystem that needs to coexist in order to create and sustain business value. Senior leaders across technology and business are starting to focus more time and energy on finding the right level of balance in delivering hi-tech solutions that drive business innovation.

9. What is one book you’d recommend to our audience and why?

The Art of Strategy by Avinash K Dixit and Barry J Nalebuff. The book puts into practical terms how strategic thinking can influence every part of your life, consciously or not. One of my favourite concepts discussed in the book is around how a combination of looking ahead, reasoning back and experience sets you up for ultimate success.  — (c) 2022 NewsCentral Media