We analyse Peta Chennells, senior unlisted investment analyst at Mergence Investment Managers.

Which talent would you most like to possess?

I wish I could play the piano. My great-grandmother played the piano for the king of England twice and I wish I had inherited those genes!

What is the worst investment mistake you’ve made?

The one thing I’ve learnt over the years is never to invest in a company when you don’t back the integrity and capabilities of the owners and managers.

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

I would invest in a high-growth unlisted company that has a social mandate and generates dollar-linked annuity income.

What was your first job?

I started working when I was 16 as a waitress at Spur. My first real job, after completing articles at Deloitte, was as an investment manager for Metropolitan Capital, a boutique private equity and corporate advisory company specialising in the unlisted financial services sector and focusing on corporate social investment.

What’s your biggest regret?

I don’t have one. I am happy with where I’ve ended up — and it’s both the good and bad decisions in life that have led me to where I am.

As Steve Jobs said, it’s all about connecting the dots.

Apple or Samsung?

Samsung — I’m all for open systems.

On what occasion do you lie?

I tend not to. I value my professional and personal relationships, and try to build relationships based on mutual trust. So I try to be as frank as possible in all my engagements — to the extent that I am often said to be an "over-sharer".

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

I invested in Calgro M3 shares when they were trading at 40c/share in about 2012 after researching the company as part of my finance master’s thesis. My optimistic share valuation at the time was about R1, so I was pleasantly surprised when it rose to more than R17/share. It’s a great example of backing your convictions and going against the herd.

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

Assuming it was an unclaimed ticket, I would keep about 10% for personal investments and establish a trust for the balance that invests in sustainable businesses promoting economic growth, education and job creation.

What’s your favourite song?

It’s hard to choose just one. I guess "On Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons. It’s the song that opened the dance floor at my wedding.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Travel. I travel with my family and friends as often as I can.

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

The Iguazu Falls, which are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. They are the largest, most amazing waterfalls in the world.

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