I am passionate about creativity, creative problem-solving, innovation, design thinking and how all of these tools and frameworks can be used to build better and more sustainable businesses. My background as an engineer led me into a 36 -year career in the financial markets but I have now made a fundamental career shift to pursue my passions which I would broadly define as "business coaching", where I work with clients to become more innovative and build better businesses using a range of these tools, frameworks and processes.

GRAHAM HILTON SMALE

ACADEMIC CAREER

  • B.Sc. Chem. Eng. (cum laude) University of Natal 1980
  • MBA (cum laude) University of Cape Town 1986
  • CFA (Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts USA) 1991
  • Institute of Financial Markets (South Africa) – Junior, Ordinary and Compliance, 1990
  • Fellow of THNK School of Creative Leadership, 2016

SUMMARY OF EXPERIENCE

Graham has over 30 years’ experience in the financial markets, in a variety of both technical and managerial roles with special emphasis on the trading, structuring and risk management of bonds, convertibles, interest rate products and derivatives and the management of hedge funds.

Graham has recently changed direction in his career into specialising in applied creativity, creative problem-solving and innovation, particularly in the context of developing an organisational-wide competency to align innovation processes with organisational strategy.

Graham’s formative years from 1987 to 1995 were built in various quantitative and risk management roles working at stock-brokers (1987-1989), actuarial asset consultants (1990-1992) and in the trading rooms of investment banks (1993-1995).

Graham was a founding shareholder of Decillion Limited, a niche financial services company listed on the JSE. The firm was founded in 1996 and specialised in the proprietary trading of fixed income products and derivatives as well as managing a suite of hedge funds. Graham filled several roles at Decillion with a focus on infrastructure development, risk management and quantitative analysis of trading opportunities and historical portfolio performance. During this period, he spent 2 years in Switzerland with responsibility for the launching, capital raising and risk management of a convertible arbitrage hedge fund.

After leaving Decillion in August 1996 he formed Gordian Risk Advisors, a risk strategy and consulting firm. From March 1997 to July 2009 he consulted to the Bond Exchange of South Africa (BESA) in various roles, latterly on the creation of a remote class of membership of the exchange and the establishment of an interest rate futures and options market. This was a joint venture between BESA and Nasdaq OMX and Graham was targeted to head up the initiative. In July 1997, he continued to consult to the JSE post the merger between the JSE and BESA and in October 2009 took over as the Director in charge of the newly formed Interest Rate Products division of the JSE, formed through the combined market operations from BESA and Yield-X, the JSE interest rate offering to the market. In January 2012, his portfolio was expanded to include all financial derivatives and Nautilus, a hedge fund managed account platform.

Post a re-structuring at the JSE in August 2014 he was appointed to head up a new market Development and Innovation team with a mandate to develop an organisational-wide innovation capability based on a sound creativity and innovation framework, supported by tools and templates. After completing his studies at the THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam in March 2016, Graham left the JSE in June 2017 to found innoFindo, a specialist innovation consultancy.