Herta von Stiegel
Founder and Chair, Ariya Capital

Herta von Stiegel is an extraordinary businesswoman whose career is an inspiration for women everywhere who have the ambition to succeed in business and to rise to the top. Her impeccable credentials include admittance to the State Bars of New York and Michigan, senior positions at Citibank, J.P. Morgan and AIG, followed by the launch of Ariya Capital in 2008.

Ariya capital's investment profile reflects one of her own passions, sustainable investment and poverty alleviation in Southern Africa. She also serves on several boards in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors including Camco International, a market leader in climate change solutions with operations in China and Russia.

As a philanthropist, she is a founder and chair of the Prince's Trust Women's Leadership Group, working closely with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. She is also a member of the Women's Leadership Board at Harvard University's Kennedy's School of Government.

Her most dramatic philanthropic initiative was to lead a multi-national and physically challenged team to climb Africa's highest mountain - Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for a major disability charity, Enham. Of the 28 in the party, who set out for the climb, 16 made it to the top, a far higher percentage than the 35% based on previous and subsequent attempts. For those that succeeded it was a personal triumph. Under Herta's leadership, they had conquered the mountain itself and the mountain within, those obstacles that can so easily prevent us from achieving our own ambitions and dreams.

The lessons from the climb on leadership, teamwork, preparation, and perseverance are evident lessons in a new book, "The Mountain Within, Leadership lessons and inspiration for your climb to the top,” published by McGraw Hill.