A graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg with additional programs at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and the London Business School, Natalie Fitz-Gerald became one of the first two female stockbrokers in her native South Africa, a position in which she thrived for several decades. Now a resident of Santa Fe, Natalie owns and operates Casa Nova, a unique home decor and gift gallery offering a cultural fusion of art, craft, and design pieces primarily from Southern Africa. Through Casa Nova, Natalie is committed to making a difference in the world by creating sustainable employment for fair trade cooperatives, women’s groups, and individual artisans. Natalie has also benefited the Santa Fe community by contributing her time and talents to numerous non-profits, community organizations, and foundations.
Natalie Fitz-Gerald was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she lived until she came to the United States in 1981. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She later received advanced degrees from the London Business School and from Stanford University’s Investment Management Program. Her professional experience includes positions with South African Airways, Computer Sciences South Africa, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Mathison & Hollidge (a Partner/Member of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange), Century Capital Associates, Aeon (Pty) Ltd.
Natalie served as a consultant to Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, for which she identified and negotiated a joint venture which resulted in a new partnership investment/merchant bank in South Africa. This led to her position as Investment Banker and Director of the Bank with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette/African Merchant Bank, in which she later negotiated the joint venture that resulted in Pleiade/African Merchant Bank. Natalie worked extensively on Black Economic Empowerment initiatives and brought about the formation of Nozala, a Women’s Black Economic Empowerment corporation that has enjoyed great success.
She also founded and co-designed Luc Benoit Designer Accessories, of which Mitsukoshi Japan became an equity partner, and later Casa Nova Gallery in Santa Fe. Casa Nova is a unique home decor and gift gallery offering a cultural fusion of art, craft, and design pieces from Southern Africa and other locales near and far. Through Casa Nova, Natalie is committed to making a difference in the world by creating sustainable employment for fair trade cooperatives, women’s groups, and individual artisans.
Natalie has also benefited the Santa Fe community by contributing her time and talents to numerous non-profits, community organizations, and foundations. She serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Museum, the LongHouse Foundation, the Museum of Arts and Design (formerly the American Craft Museum), the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, the Center for Contemporary Arts, Leadership Santa Fe, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and the Women’s International Study Center. Natalie also contributes to the Santa Fe Community Foundation Development Committee, the La Familia Medical Center Development Committee, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Advisory Board. In 2010, she received the New Mexico Women’s Foundation Alice Paul Award for “her devotion to inspiring and nurturing craftspeople to produce works of art that create a road to a better life for their families and a richer life for all of us.”