Siboniso Nxumalo. Picture: SUPPLIED
Siboniso Nxumalo. Picture: SUPPLIED

We analyse Siboniso Nxumalo, co-head of Old Mutual Global Emerging Markets boutique.

If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be?

I would invest it in a fund rather than a share. The Old Mutual Emerging Markets Fund to be exact! It’s a fund that is managed by a very capable team that travels to emerging markets identifying some of the best companies in emerging markets on behalf of our clients.

Which talent would you most like to possess?

Dancing — just to make my wife happy. Other than that, I think I have enough talents to get by.

What was your first job?

My grandmother owned a shebeen so technically my first (unpaid) job was selling SAB products. My first paid job was ringing a bell outside a clothing shop shouting at people to go and view the sales.

What’s your biggest regret?

I’ve lived an amazing life and I’ve learnt to take the good with the bad so no regrets — plenty of lessons, scars and reflection on a great journey.

What was the worst investment mistake you have made?

At the collapse of African Bank we had spent a significant amount of time on researching Capitec (a business we admired). Capitec fell on the Abil news but we wanted to buy it at R20 lower, thinking it would get there. Sadly for us it didn’t and we missed out on buying a great business by wanting an extra R20 of value. (It was above R700 at the time of writing.)

What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?

Selling African Bank at R32 — not that we knew it would collapse, but our research revealed that there was enough to worry about.

Apple or Samsung?

Apple everything (iPhone, watch, iPad & Macbook).

If you found a lottery ticket tomorrow that had won US$100m, what would you do?

I would build a school. A private school for the highest-potential kids from rural and township SA, staffed with the best teachers with the purpose of creating the most amazing success stories from the unlikeliest places. I would also set up an investment fund that takes care of the running costs. Lastly, I would buy my wife some shoes and bags.

What’s your favourite song?

“What More Can I Say”, by Jay Z.

On what occasions do you lie?

No occasion justifies lying.

Your greatest extravagance?

My bicycles, servicing them tends to cost more than servicing my car so I presume they are an extravagance (a fun extravagance)

Name a place you’ve been to that lived up to the hype.

New York. An amazing city, full of energy, drive and the sheer hunger to dream big and chase those dreams hard.

If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be?

Education, education, education. What we really need as a country is “radical education transformation”. Like Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

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