Bongani Khulu

Head of family offices and client engagement, Barclays

At 30, Bongani Khulu joined First National Bank as an executive assistant to the then chief executive Michael Jordaan, a move that has been significant in his career in retail banking. He’s since been the director of FNB Botswana Consumer Banking and headed up the Wealth Segment of the bank. He is currently with Barclays as the of head of family offices and client engagement, where he oversees ultra-high net worth individuals and internationally wealthy families.
Khulu is optimistic about the wealth and investment management industry, which he believes is undergoing a major shift, as more previously disadvantaged communities are attaining wealth. As one of the few black executives in his space, he is a strong believer in innovation and social entrepreneurship as a means of bridging the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Khulu is passionate about using his skills to improve and create conditions for the next generation to achieve financial freedom. He and a group of friends started the ByForce Youth and Economic Development Agency, an initiative that provides township high school and university students with mentorship and tutoring opportunities, to become more equipped entrepreneurs.
He attributes his entrepreneurial drive to his late maternal grandfather who owned a general store, where he worked as a young person.
Being one of the youngest people at management level in his field, Khulu says that the responsibility often requires making executive and strategic decisions affecting the direction of the business, which can sometimes be daunting. “I am becoming more and more comfortable with making those decisions and taking full responsibilities for their outcomes.”
He holds an MBA from Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid and a BSc with honours from the University of Pretoria. He started out his career as an assistant lecturer at the University of Pretoria in mathematical statistics and econometrics. He joined the corporate sector in 2007, and his first executive role was at the age of 27 as chief actuarial audit manager for FirstRand. — Welcome Lishivha