Armed with a rich profile in Content Management, Thapelo has lived and worked as editor and journalist between London, Johannesburg and Cape Town since 2002. His entrepreneurial drive saw him establish a digital content start-up in London, FullCircle Circle Online, which he sold in 2013.
Thapelo attained his Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSosci) at the University of Cape Town, where he studied International Relations and Industrial Sociology. He continued his studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, Canada.
Thapelo’s vast digital content experience is supplemented by further studies at the University of Westminster Business School, where he recently attained a Certificate in Digital Marketing (Institute of Digital Marketing).
He enjoys playing and watching football (Arsenal fan who lives 10 minutes from the Emirates Stadium), reading up on the latest in Fintech and also keenly follows trends in international politics and socio-economics.
Latest posts by Thapelo Moloantoa (see all)
- Raymond van Niekerk: I like adventure but not too extreme like Sir Branson - 24 Oct 2016
- Optimism reigns supreme at Great Post-Brexit Debate - 19 Oct 2016
- Bloomberg’s Square Mile Relay runs the City! - 14 Oct 2016
He may not be a Bruce Lee but Ashley Boolell certainly knows his stuff when it comes to making moves on the trading floor. The analogy with Lee is deliberate because Boolell is an investment banker who not only writes non-fiction books in his spare time but is also a certified martial arts practitioner.
Finbuzz.com sat down with the metal commodities market specialist at Natixis at a recent wine-tasting event organised by The Golden Network, London’s elite members-only networking and socialising community, where Ashley Boolell has been a member since 2014.
As someone from Paris, how do you find the professional scene here in London?
I moved to London three years ago after being recruited by my current employer Natixis. It was a move that I wanted, London is the main player in global finance and I believe it will remain so for quite some despite the Brexit.
What benefits do you derive from being a member of the network?
This type of gathering helps to get me out of the banking and finance routine, which is my daily grind. Getting out of this bubble, and meeting new people is always going to be beneficial. When you meet new people from different walks of life you tend to gain perspective on yourself, your profession, your plans and other aspects of your life. I think it is important to gain perspective as an individual and not to be constrained by what you do on a day-to-day basis.
Secondly, having a network not only for professional but also for personal reasons is an absolute necessity in a city like London. You just cannot live in this city and be disconnected with its incredible diversity and the energy it exudes, which is a lot more than in a Continental city.
Thirdly, one gets to interact with individuals of a high-calibre, so this makes one to challenge their own ideas.
How would you compare the professional and social life London to other cities on the Continent?
I’ve had similar experiences in both London and Paris but the way of life is completely different. In London you develop a natural instinct to go and talk with people. I think there are officially about 300 nationalities in this city, which is just incredible. I don’t think there is any other city in the world which has such a wide range of people living in it.
In continental Europe, you find that the rules are more rigid and you tend to meet the same type of people a lot of the time, so it not as enriching as in London. I wouldn’t say that this is the absolute truth, but it is indeed my relative truth.
You have actually published books before, please elaborate on that for us.
Yes I am a writer, in addition to being an investment banker. I have written three novels in French.
There had been books about the industry from the likes of Jordan Belfot (Wolf of Wall Street) but while I was in Paris I realised that there was no other title that could differentiate itself from these novels, something that can be targeted at the new generation of young bankers, the Generation Y.
After the financial crisis you had a lot of people who were publishing books about the crisis, and about the 1980s or 1990s but none of them were targeted at Generation Y. I decided to step into this vacuum with the publishing of these titles, which are written in French. I’ve had people suggesting that I should translate them into English..in order to increase the readership reach. I tried with one but this didn’t work, so I’ve decided to keep them in French for now.
What else do you do when you are away from the work environment?
I am a martial artist – which I have been from my time in Paris. I practise Jeet Kune Doe, which is famously advocated by the legendary Bruce Lee. Comparatively speaking, Jeet Kune Doe is similar to the Israeli martial art Krav Maga.
Brilliant, thank you for your time and all the best with all your endeavours.
Thank you, I wish the same for everyone at Finbuzz.com
Photo: Ashley Boolell with Finbuzz.com’s Thapelo Moloantoa