iX Teacher Spotlight —Jonathan Miller Investment Finance 2021.
"My personal enjoyment comes from seeing people’s personal day to day lives colliding with investment choices, investment structuring, and general financial literacy. I see myself as the GP of the finance world, knowing much about a lot of areas." - Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller is a wealth manager and co-business owner based in Cape Town, South Africa. He was registered as a Chartered Accountant in 2005 and holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Accounting and Finance from the University of Cape Town. In 2021 he is pursuing a postgraduate degree in financial planning.
Mr. Miller has over 15 years of experience in the world of finance. After completing his articles at Ernst and Young Cape Town he moved to an international family-owned property company where he worked for 3 years. He was involved in sourcing and deploying investor capital into several large property projects in Europe, the UK, and South Africa. In 2009, Mr. Miller transitioned to becoming the part-time CFO to a tech startup involved in mobile payments known as wiWallet (later to become wiGroup). He was involved in several rounds of Strategic Capital Raises and creating finance structures that ultimately saw the entity move from being an investor-dependent fledgling company to a serious player in the South African and international fintech space. During this time Mr. Miller also served as part-time CFO to several NPO and small commercial entities where he grew his skill set in leading diverse teams, property developments, and project management. Since 2013, Mr. Miller has worked in the wealth management and financial planning space at Geach Donaldson and Associates, providing investment, retirement, tax, risk, and estate planning to high-net-worth individuals.
Mr. Miller has a particular passion for providing and growing financial literacy and decision-making in the South African context. He has been involved in collating and running finance courses in churches, small businesses, and schools throughout his career.
Jonathan Miller, Investment Finance
Q&A with Jonathan Miller
What do you enjoy most about the finance industry?
The finance industry really is a massive industry with opportunities for different skillsets and personalities. My personal enjoyment comes from seeing people’s personal day-to-day lives colliding with investment choices, investment structuring, and general financial literacy. I see myself as the GP of the finance world, knowing much about a lot of areas. Perhaps you would prefer to be the specialist of the finance world working on a derivatives desk or a bond trading desk somewhere in the world.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am trying to wrap our year up after a very very different 2020 with a newsletter to all our clients, prepare for iX Summer, and get ready for our annual camping vacation on the beach in South Africa.
Why did you decide to get involved with teaching and how do you continue to keep things fresh?
Throughout my working career, I have been involved in teaching in one way or another and love that moment when a student grasps a concept or idea. I also enjoy that much of what we teach in finance is very practical to people’s personal investment/planning choices. The explosion of Zoom/Teams/Google Meet has meant that we have all needed to up our game in the way that we interact online and convey concepts.
How do you see the industry changing in the next 10 years? What skills will industry professionals need to have?
Technology has radically changed our industry. The amount of good information, speed of transactions, and reduction in costs have meant that you can no longer rely on being a middleman in this industry but will need to add clear quantifiable value. I am also excited to see the alignment of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance goals within the finance industry and believe that even in the short term this will have a marked change on the way we Invest and think about our world.
What are you looking forward to about the program?
I love the idea of meeting people from all over the world, sharing stories, and learning from each other…..from the comfort of our own homes and studies (or beds as I have seen from a few students). I am a massive people person and apart from teaching great content I really am looking forward to working with and meeting young energetic students.
What skills will students have after graduating from your class?
I really hope that students leaving this course will have a clearer view of the scope of the finance industry, will not be scared by the jargon that goes with the finance world, and will be enticed to delve further into a field that caught their interest over the weeks of being together. The opportunity to also test some of this knowledge out in a real firm is invaluable to personal growth and development.
What’s one piece of advice that you have for the class of 2021?
Stay in the moment. As with many of us, we may have spent too much time online but do all we can to stay engaged with the content and the teaching. Maybe you need to leave the camera on, maybe you need to go for a run beforehand or maybe you listen to the content standing up but…..stay in the moment.
What would students be surprised to learn about you?
I may not look like it but my wife and I are ultra-marathon runners. I am definitely not fast but finishing a 50-mile marathon gives one a huge sense of achievement.
What are your ‘desert island’ books or movies?
Not so sure about a desert island but this holiday I have packed:
Michael Lewis – The undoing project (the same guy who wrote Moneyball)
Daniel Kahneman – Thinking, Fast and Slow (been on the to-read list way too long)
Wilbur Smith (Great South African novel writer) – Rag
What song do you know all the lyrics to?
So embarrassed and probably giving away my age but I know the words to ‘Do you have the time? by Green Day. And to be honest I am not too sure I will share this with my kids. be honest I am notbe too sure I will share this with my kids