Born and raised in Cape Town, I was exposed to the hustle and bustle of an African developing country as well as its vast challenges, particularly the immense (and widening) gap between the Haves and the Have Nots.
Shortly after finishing my studies at UCT, my wife and I left for Zurich with the little we had saved, no jobs and high ambitions. I knocked on enough doors to eventually land a role with an asset management firm, where I quickly became encapsulated by the excitement of the capital markets. Thrown into the deep end, I was fortunate to be given the responsibility and autonomy to develop investment infrastructures and processes as well as to actively manage a $2.5 billion short duration portfolio. This eventually progressed into trading all sorts of weird and wonderful derivatives and eventually onto landing in the seat of a sovereign fixed income portfolio manager.
But after a few years walled behind eight monitors, deciphering numbers that I no longer found exciting, I began questioning my impact on this world and started realising just how deeply flawed our current financial system and global economic model really is. They both fail (miserably) to address the burning systemic challenges that we, our children and our future grandchildren currently face. I wanted to do something about this. This led me on a journey where I met incredibly inspiring people, to whom I am extremely grateful for introducing me to an enlightened form of investing - impact investing. It is real investment into the real economy and it is powerfully transformative. Impact investing changes the financial lingo from OR to AND, where market rate financial returns and positive social/environmental impact are no longer mutually exclusive.
I co-founded Chi Impact Capital, a Zurich based impact investing advisory and management firm. Our purpose is to assist private and professional investors channel their capital into conscious, holistic and impactful investment solutions that enable them to achieve both financial returns, while simultaneously being pro-active shapers and enablers of positive change.
Along my journey I enrolled in the CAIA designation, which was instrumental in advancing my understanding of how everything is intrinsically interconnected, reinforcing my holistic and conscious investment approach. I continue to learn something new every day as I channel my passion for business and investing into tackling the world’s most pressing issues through impact investing. As a firm believer that a conscious and holistic approach to investing and business is fundamental for sustained economic, social and environmental prosperity, I encourage every investor to consider the impact of their investment before lifting an offer, hitting the bid or signing the dotted line.
Luke Gillot, MBA. CAIA is a co-author of the book Conscious Investing, a revolutionary book on conscious investing. He holds an MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School, postgraduate and graduate degrees in Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management from both the University of Cape Town and University of Stellenbosch and is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) charterholder.