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Day in the life of a

Portfolio Analyst


Delving into the details of our portfolio, Ilze Coetzee, a portfolio analyst, runs us through a day in her role, from waking up to winding down.


Cycling and coffee

I believe an early start is the secret to having a productive day. When I’m in the office, I start with an early morning bike ride alongside my colleague and fellow portfolio team member, Morne Nortje. We cover around 45 kilometres from our Cape Town office to Hout Bay and back, setting the pace for the day ahead.

On work-from-home days, I opt for a more relaxed start. I take a leisurely stroll in the park with my two sausage dogs or hop on the indoor bike for a workout.

No matter the routine, my day doesn’t officially begin without that crucial cup of coffee. Whether it’s grabbed en route to the office or a freshly brewed cup on my patio, it’s my morning ritual that seals the deal.

To-do list planning

Every day brings something new, which is why I love what I do. My schedule revolves around the ever-evolving needs of my portfolio companies, alongside exploring exciting opportunities and leads for our USDA bridge loans.

Yet, despite the variability, my initial morning routine remains consistent. I weave my to-do list into my calendar each morning, ensuring I have time to tackle the most pressing tasks of the day.

Taking calls

While no two days are the same, my schedule will always involve calls both internally and externally.

We have a portfolio team meeting every Monday morning, which is our opportunity to come together and chat through the portfolio, problem solve together and share key learnings and ideas.

I catch up with Portfolio Director, Celeste Dowie, and Chief Risk Officer, Lejla Hodzic, once a week to discuss existing USDA portfolio companies in more detail, as well as new USDA deals being worked on. The aim of these calls is to provide a progress update, as well as work together to find solutions to any potential challenges.

Externally, I speak regularly with clients and/or prospective clients during the week. For existing clients, these discussions often revolve around monthly management accounts, understanding deviations between actual vs budgets etc. From a USDA perspective, I check in on the progress of  USDA applications and updates on the project we’ve funded to ensure things remain on track. For new USDA clients, these discussions entail identifying where they are at with their USDA application, understanding the quantum of the facility, potential risks associated with the deal.

During quarterly reporting I try to have all my calls within the first two weeks of the month, leaving enough time to draft the quarterly reports and clear up any review queries before the deadline.


Lunch varies based on my location: at the office, I take the opportunity to join colleagues for some food; when working from home, I aim for a break on the patio away from my laptop.


Catch-ups, coaching and credit papers

Afternoons depend on how busy my portfolio companies are and whether we are in our quarterly reporting cycle or not.

Typically, I spend more time on calls with internal/external parties as required. I also actively work on putting together term sheets, sighting papers, and/or credit committee papers for any new USDA opportunity. Working on new USDA deals enables me to get into the nitty gritty of various industries throughout the US, which is a fantastic learning experience. Structuring these deals also allows for creativity, problem solving and collaboration.

There are also instances where we have company-wide training sessions scheduled or individual coaching with our Organisational Psychologist, Heather Worsfold.

The afternoon might also be spent working on credit committee papers, relating to our existing portfolio companies or delving into the details of our USDA bridge loans.

Last tasks of the day

Before logging off, I write up a rough to-do list for the next day, which I’ll always go over the next morning in case any emails came through overnight.


A balanced wind-down

My evenings vary based on the day and where I am. On Mondays, the portfolio team often gathers for a post-work drink.

When I’m at home and miss my morning exercise, I make it a point to move in the evening. Whether it’s walking the dogs with my husband—perfect for unwinding and chatting about the day—or a session on the indoor bike.

Given the chance, I also enjoy a Netflix series with a cup of tea to cap off the evening.