Mandy Muchnick is a dynamic young woman who has an incredible zest for life and people and is doing all she can to leave the world a better place than she found it. Besides her role as a transactor in the private equity industry, she spends a significant amount of time investing in the future of the continent through her role as the Africa Chair for One Young World (OYW), in her non-profit imagine.nation, and as the co-chair of the FinBiz2030 task force. She has proven that one does not need to quit one’s job to make a difference and that working in a corporate provides a strong platform from which to effect societal change.
Mandy Muchnick played competitive tennis growing up, which she credits for having had a huge impact on the person she is today.
‘The skills and life lessons that come with playing a sport or doing any extracurricular activity on a competitive level, such as grit, work ethic, meeting people from around the world and the ability to get through challenging times or situations have served me well in my adult life, says Mandy.
The first five years of her career at Investec were exciting and fulfilling and were spent with people who have helped her in many ways to get to where she is today. She successfully navigated a highly male-dominated industry to land a role in private equity before the age of 30.
But what she is most proud of is playing a role in changing the trajectory of the lives of hundreds of people across Africa − from preschoolers in poverty to dreamers who just needed to be given the platform and resources to grow and realise the power and impact of their work.
‘I am passionate about empowering and uplifting people by giving them a real fighting chance to be the best version of themselves regardless of where they come from, and I have worked tirelessly to do so since 2011, says Mandy.
OYW is the leading global forum for young leaders. The annual summit convenes the brightest talent from over 190 countries across every sector, working to accelerate social impact. Delegates are counselled by some of the most influential political, business and humanitarian figures such as the late Kofi Annan, Dr Jane Goodall, Paul Polman and Professor Muhammad Yunus.
Mandy’s passion for not only contributing to society through her own work − she has built and supported two crèches providing a safe learning environment for over 100 children annually and reaching over 20 000 vulnerable children together with her team through initiatives such as their annual Winter Warmer since 2014 − but also for wanting others to be given the opportunity to attend OYW and gain access to the platform led her to become a formidable asset to the OYW organisation since she first attended a summit in 2015. She was selected to be the coordinating ambassador for Southern Africa, a role that requires holding the community together and acting as the linchpin between OYW HQ in London and ambassadors. Under Mandy’s leadership, the region went from being relatively fragmented to a highly connected, constantly engaged community of over 500 ambassadors who are delivering results on the ground. In OYW co-founder Kate Robertson’s words: ‘We always knew Southern Africa had the potential to be a leading hub globally and it had now not only been done, but the pace had been set for the continent. Since her tenure, the cohorts of coordinating ambassadors throughout the continent turn to her for guidance and support and we continue to see Africa move from strength to strength.’
Mandy has played an integral role launching FinBiz2030 and establishing a task force committed to tackling our most pressing issues.
As someone who is passionate about continued learning she loves to travel, explore new places and meet people from different walks of life.
‘I have been fortunate to travel to over 14 countries and see over 30 cities in my adult years. I enjoy reading, particularly autobiographies set in places in the world which I would like to know more about.’ Two of her favourite reads are Red notice: a true story of high finance, murder, and one man’s fight for justice by Bill Browder and In order to live: a North Korean girl’s journey to freedom by Yeonmi Park.