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Launch of White Man’s Numbers by Sunil Shah (in discussion with Mervyn Sloman)

Friday, November 9th 2012 at 5:30 PM

The White Man’s Numbers(left) is a fictional financial thriller about capitalism and its pitfalls, seen through the rollercoaster lives of four characters in a fund management house.

Something like Grisham’s The Firm, but in the domain of stockmarkets, where the joys and blunders of the protagonist, Ravi, help to demystify the intriguing but jargon-infested world of money.

Every character and incident is a derivative of real people and events; Nigel the serial optimist of an IT start-up whose killer app will usurp Microsoft; Christopher, Ravi’s boss, who turns dramatically from benevolent mentor to ruthless corporate opportunist; Arnold, Precision Engineering’s founder and CEO who refuses to admit even the most rudimentary finance principle into his conglomerate.

The timing of this novel could not be more opportune, as the world reappraises our economic system.

It asks whether this particular strain of capitalism, replete with cronyism and a corporate casino mentality, has a future. Ravi, the protagonist of the novel, personifies what it takes to get ahead, and the price one inadvertently pays for it.

“Sunil shares inside knowledge of the money game by morphing his story into an imaginative fictional thriller. Very much in Geraint Anderson’s Cityboy tradition. Sunil deserves the same plaudits. And with this book, is sure to receive them.”–Alec Hogg, Founder and CEO of Moneyweb, South Africa’s premier financial and business website

Sunil Shah was born in Kenya and attended the London School of Economics for University. He trained as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG before joining Schroder Asset Management in London. He was initially an analyst on the US Desk, later promoted to fund manager on the Emerging Markets Desk to optimise on his multi-cultural background (fluent speaker of Gujarati French and Swahili).

He moved to Cape Town and joined Coronation Fund Managers in 1998. He was the mid/small cap fund manager of their fund, and had the best one, three and five year record in his sector at the end of 2002.

He left Coronation in 2005 when he was their Strategist, to pursue his passsion in writing. This is his first novel.