Bryan Viewpoints Speaker
Simba Chakanyuka, C'18
“The Opportunity to Lead with Purpose and Drive:  Reflections on the Journey (so far) in Financial Services”
4:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024
The Torian Room, duPont Library

Simba Chakanyuka, vice president at BlackRock, will be the Babson Center’s Bryan Viewpoints Speaker for the 2024 Easter semester. He will discuss his journey from Zimbabwe to Sewanee and the skills he acquired that launched him into a fascinating career at BlackRock. During his presentation, Simba will reveal current trends in the asset management industry and highlight strategic initiatives that he has led as a manager in the Financial Institutions Group (FIG). 

While on campus, Simba will engage with students at several events including a campus lecture, “The Opportunity to Lead with Purpose and Drive: Reflections on the Journey (so far) in Financial Services,” at 4:30 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 8, in the Torian Room at duPont Library. All are welcome to attend.

BlackRock is a global investment management company and is the world’s largest asset manager with over $9 trillion in assets. Committed to sustainability, BlackRock views “climate risk as investment risk,” and its portfolio managers integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors across their investment platform. Mr. Chakanyuka is a relationship manager in FIG, which provides expertise, advice, and risk analytics to insurance companies that are BlackRock’s clients, and his role is to retain and expand those relationships.

Currently, four Sewanee alumni work at the BlackRock office in New York City. Simba feels that their critical thinking skills learned in a liberal arts education and the ability to communicate their thoughts effectively have helped them to stand out and succeed. 

Komal Kunwar, C’19, an analyst in the Sustainable Investing Group at BlackRock, said, “Simba was a year ahead of me in Sewanee and also an international student and Carey Fellow so he's been a close friend over the years. Being a diaspora in the US is challenging (as many of us know) but to have seen him navigate Sewanee and, later, BlackRock in New York and London, was incredibly inspiring to me. I admire his resiliency which is reflected in his work, relationships, and friendships.” 

Remembering his time at Sewanee, Simba acknowledged the challenges of going to college so far from home and expressed his gratitude to Sewanee:  “Thankfully, I landed in a great community, where I was able to learn from various friends and mentors and create a foundation for my career in the U.S.”

Simba received his B.A. in economics from the University of the South and recently completed his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification. While attending Sewanee, he was a Carey Fellow business honors student and completed a summer analyst position at BlackRock. Following graduation, he accepted an offer as an analyst in FIG for BlackRock in London and moved to New York City in 2021 as an associate.

This visit is cosponsored by the Department of Economics, the Department of Finance, and Sewanee’s Integrated Program in the Environment. The Bryan Viewpoints Speaker Series is made possible by a generous gift from Peggy and J.F. Bryan IV, C’65. For more information about the Babson Center for Global Commerce and our events, please visit: