How Louis Completed his Professional Bucket List in 5 months

How Louis Completed his Professional Bucket List in 5 months

When I started working in 2013, I developed a so-called professional “Bucket list” of clients I want to work with throughout my career.  The Bucket list contains South Africa’s entire banking sector and many top institutional investors.  At the end of my career, I would have counted myself lucky if I completed even half of the list.

I began my employment with Opti-Num in January 2017 and within my first 5 months I ticked off every company on the list – in fact, before lunch time on my very first day at Opti-Num, I attended a meeting with an institutional investor on the list!

What makes Opti-Num Solutions special is the people.  We have a broad range of highly skilled people from all walks of life, with wildly different interests, ideas and specialities.  We all have a shared passion for problem solving though. For example, if you write any interesting mathematical problem on a whiteboard at Opti-Num, the entire team will not rest until the most elegant solution is found.

Almost everyone in Opti-Num’s Consulting team has a background in engineering.  I enjoy working with engineers on quantitative finance projects, because they bring a fresh perspective to the projects.  There is a lot of overlap between engineering and quantitative finance disciplines for example Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Mathematical Optimisation are used in both disciplines.

I also like the open-mindedness of our consulting team.  We are willing to try anything to solve a complex problem.

I enjoy meeting finance clients – those I have met in my first 5 months are extremely clever and interesting.  Spending time with these clients has made me smarter!  It is interesting to see how our clients solve common problems in wildly different ways.

Working at the official distributor of MATLAB also comes with perks.  I have access to all MATLAB® Toolboxes and great resources.  For example, if I have a problem I need help with, I can ask MathWorks® directly.  I also regularly get to attend MATLAB training courses.

Given how exciting and enjoyable the first 5 months at Opti-Num has been, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 5 months and beyond.

Louis Janse van Rensburg

Finance Consultant

January 2017 –  Present


BSc in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics

BSc Honours in Financial Engineering

Louis plans to qualify as a Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) in the near future.


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