The WFE's Women Leaders 2024 - Dana Amanzholova, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board at Kazakhstan Stock Exchange

By: The WFE Focus Team Mar 2024

Name: Dana Amanzholova

Organisation: Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE)
Job Title: Deputy Chairman of the Management Board

1. Brief job description 

I serve as the Deputy Chairman of Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE). As a seasoned financier with over 20 years of experience in financial markets and banking, I embrace a broad field at KASE including listing, settlement, management and oversight of market data, analytics, management of indices and indicators as well as responsibility for oversight of surveillance and financial monitoring.

2. Short biography

Graduated from the Kazakh State Academy of Management with an honors degree in Banking and an MBA from the Kazakh Finance Academy. With over 20 years of experience in the financial sector, I have held managerial positions in the Strategy and Analysis Department and the Securities Market Oversight Department. Throughout my professional journey in regulatory bodies, I actively contributed to the development of legislative changes aimed at fostering the securities market of Kazakhstan.

Through my tenure at the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Central bank of Kazakhstan) and the authorized body on regulation and development of the financial market, I was responsible for overseeing and inspecting the activities of the security market professionals. A significant highlight in my career at the National Bank of Kazakhstan was development of normative acts on regulation and supervision of the financial market and financial organizations which had a significant positive impact on the regulation of the financial markets of Kazakhstan. I was also responsible for collection and processing of financial organizations' reports and verification of prudential standards of financial organizations.

Since 2019, I joined Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE) as Director of the Listing Department, and in 2021 I became the Head of the Information and Statistics Department. In August 2023, I became the Member of the Management Board at KASE and been promoted to the Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of KASE in January 2024.

I am also a mom of two amazing girls that inspire me to persevere and show up my best despite certain challenges that a life of a working mother brings. I recently discovered my love for travel and outdoor adventure with my family and close friends – I find joy and fulfillment in exploring the world and discovering new countries.


Awarded with the badge " Honored Employee of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan "

Jubilee medal "Tenge 20 years"

Jubilee medal "25 years of independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan".

Certificate of Merit "The Best Head of the Exchange according to the results of 2019"

3.  What were your professional highlights and challenges of 2023?

2023 was a very exciting year at KASE when my team and I made a significant push toward creating a more flexible and user-oriented environment for market participants as well as led enhancement of information exchange that is crucial to promote transparency of financial markets.

One of the key projects I led in 2023 was development of client-oriented services that enabled market participants to navigate the environment of the financial markets. Some highlights of the project included the stand up of a user-friendly exchange website and the phased launch of a service portal based on a "single window" principle for market participants. The implementation of these projects into industrial operation is scheduled for 2024.

In addition, to promote market data initiatives, we initiated release of a new version of the KASE API which aims to provide users the opportunity to enhance and expedite information exchange processes with the exchange.

In 2023, my team and I also explored application of cloud technology using Amazon Web Services to enable data exchange with financial market participants and other consumers of market data. This year, we continue our efforts to modernize internal infrastructure and enhance informational interaction.


4. Tell us about a few of your key achievements?

A significant highlight of my career is contribution to the development of prudential regulations for professional participants in the securities market and improvement of legislation aimed at the development of the securities market. This experience shaped me into a strong professional and equipped with invaluable skills and insights in navigating complex and dynamic activities.

As a new Deputy of KASE, I am looking forward to further shape Kazakhstani financial markets by promoting transparency and clarity for the regulators and participants.


5. Who and what inspires you to achieve your professional success?

I find inspiration in embracing new challenges and successfully achieving them, particularly when I am a valued member of an effective team where I can set ambitious goals and help others achieve them. The development of the financial market, capital market, as well as the stability of the financial system of my home country is one of the key motivational components of my career path.

Over the 30 years of independence, Kazakhstan has firmly gained its position in the international arena. The stability of the financial system attracts international investors, and I take great pride in playing a role and contributing to the development of my homeland. I am humbled by the opportunities I have had in my career and the professional experiences I have had. I find passion and inspiration in taking new challenges to help shape the financial arena of my homeland. Reflecting on my path helps me mentor and guide my team members and inspire them to achieve career growth.

On a more personal level, I am inspired by my father, who has always showed dedication, grit and integrity at work and at home. My father founded the first grocery retail chain in Central Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union that could be compared to the most successful chains such as Carrefour, Walmart, and Whole Foods. After his business was taken away, my father did not give up and started all over in pursuit of the better future for his daughters.

6. How have you overcome setbacks, and what have learned from adversity?

In the beginning of my career, I often blamed myself for mistakes until my mentor explained to me that overcoming setbacks must result in learning and extracting lessons from these setbacks, remaining resilient, and finding adapting strategies. Now I try to focus on the aspects that are within my control, establish and set realistic goals. Most importantly, I learned to seek support from others. Today I try to embrace setbacks as opportunities for growth and use them to refine and enhance my approach. Several years ago, when a male colleague with fewer qualifications was promoted to the role I was hoping for simply due to him being a man, I felt shattered. I had a counteroffer from another firm and felt like accepting it to prove my worth. I did not let emotions prevail and realized I was here long term to make a difference at a state institution. I stayed and persevered focusing on constructive communication, self-growth and the task at hand. I am glad I leveraged that setback to grow professionally.

Today when I guide my mentees, I advise them to remember that setbacks are not failures, but rather building blocks to success. I remind them to stay committed to their goals and transform challenges into future achievements.

7. What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be in leadership positions? 

As a mentor to some of the women at KASE and the National Bank that aspire to leadership roles, I encourage them to cultivate self-confidence, actively pursue and seek mentorship, and embrace challenges as opportunities for personal and professional growth.

In a men-led culture, our women often hesitate to put forth their unique perspectives — I remind them that their perspectives and skills are invaluable, and they should assert themselves and break through barriers. Embracing the journey with confidence, knowing that their contributions can make an impact on the industry and the broader country is not easy but paramount to the successful growth of our women.


The views, thoughts and opinions contained in this Focus article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the WFE’s policy position on the issue, or the WFE’s views or opinions.