Nana Phiri

Panelist > Lead with Her 2022

Chief Executive Officer,
Sanlam Specialised Finance

Nanagolo Phiri, personally branded as ‘Nana Phiri’ is authentically and sincerely interested in ‘Gender equality’, holistically. The subject of gender equality, the proactive break down of gender bias in and out of work environments, is a matter Nana drives organically. Nana does this by virtue of her organisational structure standing as the current CEO of Sanlam Specialised Finance. Outside of Sanlam, Nana is a woman global citizen, present wife, mother and a human being. She wears all hats and acutely uses her femininity, structural power, self-actualization, cultural intelligence and quiet influence as a personal crucible that is purposeful in its aims to challenge, reset,
co-create and enable systems, programmes, dialogue and opportunities that shift the issues of gender equality from rhetoric, to lived experiences that can potentially be transferred from one woman leader to another, for generations to come.

Academically, Nana holds an undergraduate degree with majors in Finance and Economics from the University of Cape Town (2006). She also holds a Master of Science: Finance Degree from the University of London (School Oriental and African Studies) (2013) and has completed the SAID Business School Executive leadership programme from Oxford University.

In her current role as CEO of Sanlam Specialised Finance (SanFin), a division of Sanlam Limited, Nana, through collective leadership has been mandated to manage financial risks; develop products for insurance, optimize the balance sheet and pursue investments and financing opportunities in assets, sectors, markets and geographies within acceptable risk parameters. She manages a business that looks after over R270 billion (US$18 billion) of assets across various asset classes including credit.

Prior to joining Sanlam, Nana was at Rand Merchant Bank for just under a decade as the Co-Head of Debt & Trade Solutions. Her background spans across investment banking and financial institutions having worked in corporate finance advisory, leverage finance, debt capital markets and credit structuring and lending.

Nana is passionate about the African continent and has spent a considerable amount of time funding large corporates / DFIs / organizations in Africa. She intuitively and strategically seeks to accelerate sustainable economic growth for the continent, within a geopolitical setting that has a scarcity of women, African women as catalysts of this agenda and narrative.

Nana allows herself to not only lead with confidence, but be led by other women and men with personal presence and power that can catapult her to be that long lasting distinct leader that many can learn from and pass the baton on for other ‘HERS’ to draw strength from.