Most international travellers have nightmares about a customs official rummaging through their bags. Forgot to take out the can of lighter fluid? Worried about a pair of sexy undergarments being spread out and examined in front of a queue of onlookers? That’s nothing. Imagine carrying more than the national lottery’s winnings in cash, and then being stopped at the airport. In Christo Wiese: Risk & Riches, TJ Strydom tells a story that reveals quite a bit about the billionaire’s appetite for taking chances.

The Slumdog Millionaire theme song bursts over the radio at regular intervals. “Jai Ho! … Catch me, catch me, catch me, c’mon catch me,” sing Nicole Scherzinger and the Pussycat Dolls on a crisp London morning. The tune has been on Britain’s top 10 chart for three weeks. The mercury won’t climb higher than 11ºC today. It’s overcast and it looks like rain. Wiese is on his way to the airport. It takes less than an hour to get from the Ritz Hotel to the terminal. London City A...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now