School of Business

ULSB Edition Four December 2023

Renat Bekturov was appointed the AIFC Governor of the Astana International Financial Centre in the Republic of Kazakstan in January 2023.  He started working at the AIFC in 2016 as the CEO as Astana International Exchange.  We were delighted to host Renat at the University  earlier this year, and during his visit we sat down and spoke about this time in Leicester.

Why did you choose the University of Leicester for your degree?

The University of Leicester was named University of the Year by The Times for 2008-09 and as well as this I liked the curriculum and modules offered on the Banking and Finance programme.  They included some fundamental modules like Qualitative Methods and Econometrics to broader subjects like International Markets.

What where the highlights of your time at Leicester?

One of the highlights was the people I met during my university years, as well as the knowledge I gained.  I really enjoyed studying in general and particularly liked derivatives and econometrics.  Outside of my course I enjoyed watching ELP matches with friends in the old Freeman's Common and having dinners in Opal Court as well as walking to the city centre.  A definite highlight was the paternoster (a cyclic elevator) in the Attenborough Tower, and it is sad to know this has now been removed.

Can you tell us a little bit about your career journey and your career highlights?

I'm now Governor of the Astana International Financial Centre - the financial centre created in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, to mobilize capital that will fuel the growth of the economy of Kazakhstan and the entire Central Asian region.  The centre is a special jurisdiction that is based on English common law and has its own court and international arbitration centre as well as its own financial regulator and stock exchange.  I was involved in creating and developing the centre from the very early days in 2016.

How did the studying your programme support your employability and career success?

Since my undergraduate programme was in international relations, my study at the University of Leicester made it possible for me to make the career shift to finance.  After graduation I was able to secure a job in portfolio management.  Through the University and its CFA certification I was able to become a charter holder after my masters.

All this has contributed to who I am today and what I am trying to do in my country to create vibrant and liquid capital markets that can mobilize capital to fuel growth of the economy.

How do you feel your company has benefitted from your studies?

Knowledge.  The knowledge I acquired at Leicester secured me my job in the Kazakhstan financial sector with a focus on financial markets and investing.  That exposure I had to global financial markets and fundamental knowledge acquired at the University set me on the journey to elevate Kazakh financial markets to international standards to make sure it is connected to global capital.

Are you in touch with anyone from your cohort?

Yes, I'm in touch with a few people, especially Monica Fu, who also works in the financial industry.  Given we have close ties with the Shanghai Stock Exchange, I was able to meet her in 2019 in Shanghai - 10 years after graduating.


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