Pursuing greatness

Nothing foreign about foreign exchange for Francois Steynberg

14 August 2020 | People

MARISELLE STOFBERG

Francois Steynberg is one of only two Namibians who hold a Chartered Markets Technician (CMT) qualification. His rise to the top in the foreign exchange field is proof that small steps, taken consistently, can lead to greatness and a rewarding future. This takes courage, drive and perseverance, attributes that Francois possesses.

The 31-year-old completed high school in 2006 and was unsure if he wanted to study full time or part-time. But as fate would have it, he applied for a place and got accepted to the Bank Windhoek Bankers Programme in early 2007.

“I wanted to pursue a career in finance, so I decided to apply. The course covered most parts of the banking sector, but from the start, I was interested in foreign exchange studies,” Francois said.

Since then, the foreign exchange field has become his forte.

After graduating, Francois worked in the foreign exchange department as a teller, rising through the ranks until he was responsible for processing overseas payments. As an ambitious young man, Francois was not content with his newfound success.

“I knew that the only way to advance my career was to study further, so I enrolled at the University of South Africa (Unisa) for a Certificate in Banking in 2008, followed by my bachelor’s degree in 2009. I kept my eye on internal vacancies, and I eventually moved to our Share Custody Department for about three years.”

In 2013, Steynberg moved to the Treasury Department where he is still working.

“The industry standard in treasury is to complete the ACI Dealing Certificate, which I had to do when I moved to the department. The ACI Dealing Certificate certifies and enables you to manage and trade the money market, foreign exchange, and derivative instruments,” he said.

At the Treasury Department, Francois worked at the Money Market and Funding desk before moving to the Foreign Exchange and Fixed Income desk where he is responsible for managing foreign exchange risk for Bank Windhoek, trading fixed income instruments and commodities.

Besides his obvious passion for work, Steynberg is also an avid runner. He took part in last year's Two Oceans Half Marathon where he was inspired by some of the athletes’ determination and perseverance. “Just looking at the participants finish, some of whom were unfit and over 80 years old, inspired me to stay fit, healthy and active.”

Steynberg believes in the power of mentorship. He said finding a mentor that can guide you through your career choices and studies is priceless. He said he is lucky that being a part of Capricorn Group has given him ample opportunities to collaborate with others who have helped him to hone his skills.

“I love analysing and trading, so I am continuously looking for new challenges and ways to improve my skills and experience,” Steynberg said.

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