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International Women’s Day with Kirshni Totaram

To Celebrate International Women’s day, I talked to Kirshni Totaram, Global Head of Institutional Business at Coronation and boy is she a powerhouse! She is a CFA charter holder and a qualified Actuary.


Kirshni’s background

Kirshni grew up with a single mom and money was always tight, but thankfully, she was very good at Maths. Her guidance counsellor advised her to further her studies in Actuarial Science…because naturally that’s what you study when you are good with Maths, right?

And if it hadn’t been because of the bursary she got, she would have not been able to complete her studies.

Giving back & Equality

Because Kirshni has experienced first-hand what education and exposure can do, she started an initiative where she empowers young girls with financial literacy to broaden their knowledge about money management.



Since she grew up witnessing the financial struggle her single mom went through every month, money represented financial freedom to Kirshni and she targeted this financial freedom. From a very young age, she knew that she wanted a different life for herself. She knew she didn’t want to feel anxious and be in a situation where she wondered how she would pay the bills every month.

She says her relationship with money has always been a respectful one. She knows that money is an enabler and a tool to achieve financial freedom.


Money mistakes

The excitement of finishing university and earning your first salary can catch even the best of us off guard as we end up with credit cards and store clothing accounts. But Kirshni learned her lesson very quickly as she realised that one needs to pay back the money spend on credit.

That is why educating young girls, especially on financial literacy, is so important to her, to start them off young so they don’t make similar mistakes.

Her best investment so far?

Kirshni believes that her best possible investment has been her education. It is through her education that doors have opened to her. She further says that education is not only limited to the classroom.

With advancements in technology, one can continue to learn and thereby become a lifelong student.

Money advice for women?

  • Live within your means
  • Save a percentage of your income every month
  • Start early
  • Keep at it
  • Don’t be bogged down by too many options, you can start with a balanced fund and build your knowledge      and investment portfolio from there i.e. Coronation Balanced Plus Fund

Takeaway from Kirshni’s story

Kirshni’s background is very similar to many in South Africa, but she still rose above her circumstances and has gone on to become a success.

It is clear from Kirshni’s story that the road to success is not an easy one but equipping yourself with the right tools, i.e. education, passion and determination, will certainly get you there!

If you would like to start your investment journey with Coronation Fund Managers, visit their website on www.coronation.com

Or if you are interested in a career in investments visit Coronation’s careers page at https://www.coronation.com/personal/careers/


Happy International Women’s day Tribe!


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