We analyse Leigh Köhler, head of research at Glacier by Sanlam.

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

Aspen Pharmaceuticals. As one of the top 10 largest generic drug producers in the world, Aspen is well-positioned to provide for a growing population — especially in developing markets. Aspen buys companies aligned to its strategic focus and aims to own the entire value chain. It has a focus on four niche therapeutic products that are all high margin.

Which talent would you most like to possess?

I’d like to be able to balance priorities better. I definitely think balancing — between family, work, studies and spirituality — is a talent.

What was your first job?

As a teenager I worked in the men’s underwear department at Woolworths. It wasn’t the most exciting role, but I learnt the value of client service and also attention to detail.

What’s your biggest regret?

Not taking time off between studying and starting work to travel and see the world. I would have loved to experience foreign lands through backpacking.

Apple or Samsung?

Samsung, because I am a fan of South Korea as a country. I do think Apple is too much of a closed system. Samsung runs on Android and allows for more choice and flexibility.

What is the worst investment mistake you have made?

Together with a friend, I bought a property in the mid-2000s. We bought off-plan without looking at the area — and it wasn’t a particularly good environment. We eventually sold it for less than we bought it. In fact, the estate agent told us we were the first clients she’d had who had lost money!

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

I would say the decision to do an MBA. It may not be an investment in the traditional sense, but it’s definitely an investment in time. I’m already seeing it pay off in how I view the world and how I think about asset management and business in general.

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

I would invest most of it, and I think global equities — especially in developed markets — are a particularly good choice right now. I would invest it in the Glacier Global Stock Feeder Fund, managed by US-based Dodge & Cox. They’re one of the world’s best global equity managers and have superior stock selection skills. With the rand being a depreciating currency, this investment makes sense over the long term.

What’s your favourite song?

It’s a toss-up between Mr Brightside by The Killers and Wonderwall by Oasis.

Your greatest extravagance?

My car. I don’t normally splash out on things — in fact, I’m quite prudent when it comes to spending. My Mercedes-Benz is an out-of-the-ordinary purchase for me, but I’m loving the ride.

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

Istanbul. It’s an amazing mix between East and West — an actual "mash-up" between two worlds. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.

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

End corruption.

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