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

Of late, I’ve been looking at DSM, a Dutch company that’s doing really innovative stuff in nutrition and materials, which will ultimately ensure a healthier population and a greener planet. Humans are energy intensive and create a lot of waste in their industriousness. From creating clean fuel from waste products to manufacturing food enzymes and other ingredients for animal feed, pharmaceuticals and personal care, DSM is at the forefront of technology that affects our daily lives.

Which talent would you most like to have?

To be able to play a musical instrument with confidence.

What was your first job?

I was scab labour during a nationwide automotive employees’ strike in the 1990s. I was employed as a petrol attendant at my aunt’s service station for a week. It is a tough and thankless job.

What was your best investment?

My library. I have a love of reading about topics within and outside of my profession. Reading plugs one into the world’s collective wisdom and allows one to apply that knowledge in making sense of the challenges that we face. If life is about a series of experiences, then reading is certainly an avenue to living it abundantly.

What’s your favourite song?

I always return to Donald Byrd when in the mood for good tunes. The arrangement on "Flight Time" is flawless, in my opinion.

Do you own bitcoin? And why?

Not yet. I’ve been lucky to spend time with a leading cryptocurrency specialist who explained how blockchain technology will affect the nature of transactions and contracts. I am still waiting to see how the currencies themselves will be used as mediums of exchange.

How much was your first pay cheque, and what did you do with it?

My first real pay cheque was about R2,000, which I earned in 1995 while at university. I was a marking assistant for a matric exam paper. One thing I can certainly remember buying was a hat.

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

LeisureNet must rank pretty high as an investment disaster, as the money was material to me. In hindsight, the investment was lost through laziness — I did not take the time to do the groundwork research on my own and apply the theory. That I lacked experience to make the correct decision is immaterial — at least I should have applied some thought to it.

Apple or Samsung (or Nokia)?

Samsung — more choice.

On what occasion do you lie?

It’s difficult to ever justify lying, whether deliberately or by omission.

What is your greatest extravagance?

It has to be travel. My family is spread far and wide. I also developed a sense of wanderlust when I started working, which my wife is all too happy to support.

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