Thoby Solheim


Picture of Thoby Solheim at Moller Institute

Ex-Equities trader at investment banking giants Robert Fleming, Deutsche Bank & Macquarie, Thoby worked for two decades in aggressive international corporate and now coaches professionals who seek sustainable, positive transformation professionally and personally.

He has been coaching since 2013. Thoby works best with those who are ready to aim for the most challenging and meaningful goals: true transformation. His experience lies in career transition, leadership, performance, purpose and work/life harmony. Whilst fluent in the Financial Services industry, he has coached at all levels of management in varied sectors including investment banking, fund management, TMT, accountancy & consultancy, shipping, beverages and the law in the UK, USA, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.

Thoby is a WABC Certified Business Coach™ (CBC™), holds a Masters in Management Coaching (Cum Laude) and has a strong track record in global corporate in leadership and sales roles. He describes coaching as “finding him” in the search for a more meaningful career outside of investment banking and a pressing desire to learn again academically, about self and to help others. Executive coaching felt like a natural fit for a second career with is constantly evolving learning frontier and its role in leadership and talent development organisationally.

His perspectives are most influenced by the work of Nancy Kline and her Thinking Environment: that in order to ignite the human mind we need to learn to listen without interrupting whilst deploying a secure, appreciative environment of encouragement, ease and equality that is focused on the thinker. He is also influenced by the Solutions-focused Coaching work of Jackson and McKergow and the idea that the route to the solution is not necessarily through the problem; the Positive Psychology work of Dr. Martin Seligman which combined with the Mindset work of Dr Carol Dweck provide a powerful framework for deploying a growth mindset and an optimistic outlook towards setting and reaching goals. Finally, a growing lay understanding of neuroscience and its role in coaching are a new area of interest.

Thoby has built his coaching practice on experience – around 2500 logged executive coaching hours – academic learning and a process of CPD. The academic rigour came from a two year’s MPhil in Management Coaching at the Graduate School of Business, Stellenbosch University in which he achieved a First Class degree and won the award for the best Master’s thesis in the University that year (2015). The coaching credential came from working with the World Association of Business Coaches – the WABC – as a WABC Certified Business Coach™ (CBC™) and developing their academic programme and the required demonstrable time spent coaching. Finally he continues to embrace a programme of CPD – coaching is an evolving frontier, one he would like to add to the body of knowledge, having been published in the Journal of Evidence-based Coaching and Mentoring August 2020. He has taken numerous coaching courses since 2015 – in the world of neuroscience, Time to Think, is a Thomas International PPA practitioner and will continue to develop his knowledge. Not wedded to any one coaching model, but fluent in many, Thoby tries to coach the “whole person” through watertight contracting and helping clients to achieve their most ambitious goals. He believes his best defined skill is that of listening.

Thoby has a strong track record in a very unforgiving industry – an experience that he believes adds to his strengths as an executive coach. He spent nearly 20 years in Investment Banking in the UK and South Africa as an emerging markets salestrader, rising to Divisional Director, Manco member and Head of Sales and Trading at Macquarie Securities South Africa, a business he and his team started from scratch. At that time Macquarie were the leaders in Asian equities research, management access, and trading technology, and supported by this expertise and a brilliant team, he was instrumental in taking this business to a number one rating global for equities research within three years.

He has worked in a front-line client-facing role on trading desks for Robert Fleming and HSBC in London, Deutsche Bank and Macquarie in Johannesburg, managing relationships with some of the largest institutional fund managers and most demanding hedge funds worldwide. He was involved in many of the major South African capital-raising deals and international listings and was fortunate to have been part of three number-one rated global teams for South African equities, and even more fortunate to spend 19 years working in the diverse cultural array of post-apartheid South Africa, an invaluable experience immersed in equality, inequality, potential, tolerance and empathy.

He has experienced first-hand the extreme demands of a competitive career and the impact that stress can have personally and professionally: and believes coaching, peer to peer unfettered thinking, is effective “change technology” in order to lead a transformed life. After an adventure of 19 years in South Africa, he returned home to the UK in 2018 and works digitally or face-to-face as regulations permit anywhere that his services are required.