A passion for finance, investing, how businesses work and the drivers of various industries were behind Mamedupi Matsipa's decision to switch from IT to a career path that has lead her to her current role as chief executive officer (CEO) of Ata Capital.
Mamedupi Matsipa, CEO, Ata Capital
"As a student, my career choices were really driven by the IT boom but also by my curiosity about systems and how things work. A couple of years into my IT management consulting career, I realised, however, I wanted to be a key decision maker and ultimately a captain of industry. This led to a career in investment banking and ultimately private equity investing.
"I began my career as an IT management consultant specialising in the telecoms space. Ultimately, I moved into financial services, firstly investment banking and now fund management and private equity, where I have been for the last seven years. As the CEO of an expanding private equity fund management company, my focus is on growing an organisation motivated by providing investment solutions with the potential to grow and transform our economy and drive impact, relevance, and sustainability," she says.
Matsipa grew up in Diepkloof, Soweto and lived there until she moved out in her early 20s. She studied a bachelor of commerce degree, majoring in accounting and information systems and then completed her honours in information systems.
She says no day is ever the same, which is what is most stimulating and exciting about her job. "My day might include negotiating the terms of a deal, sitting in a boardroom discussing the strategic direction of an investment company, networking with industry leaders or evaluating a potential new opportunity and modelling the financials and return profile."
Growing up, Matsipa's dream job oscillated between being an IT expert or a speech therapist. And, now, if she could do anything else, she says it would be one of two choices. "A role in a musical production or choral music choir, or something in the design and decorating space as I really love beautiful objects and spaces and could easily see myself pursuing that kind of role."
The best advice any one has ever given her came from one of her ex bosses, who told her that:
I need to be proud of what I know and what I bring to the table. This advice was motivated by concerns about black professionals always being “in training”.
While the advice she would give her younger self, would be:
Be kinder to yourself. Trust yourself. Patience and persistence ultimately pay off.
Matsipa says that she's all about new experiences, so her bucket list items are driven by that. Her top three items are:
- Watching the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti.
- Going to an international jazz cruise - I love good music and believe this would be a
once-in-a-lifetime musical experience.
- Learning and becoming fluent in a foreign language – I learnt French in high school and would love to pick this up again.