Peter Attard Montalto. Picture: FINANCIAL TIMES
Peter Attard Montalto. Picture: FINANCIAL TIMES

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

The simple answer is that I haven’t looked hard enough for a company that would combine social enterprise and impact in SA. So I would run a competition to find one.

Which talent would you most like to have?

To be able to conjure up more hours in the day, as consultants never seem to have enough time. More realistically, an ability to speak indigenous SA languages would be useful. People tell me Jacob Zuma speaks in poetry in Zulu.

What was your first job?

In my first year at university, I studied currency markets and wrote commentaries for a small start-up brokerage in someone’s basement in London.

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

Fixing early childhood education would have the biggest impact on long-term growth. I am a trustee of the Cape Town-based charity Breadline Africa. We construct infrastructure and build partnerships in local communities relating to early childhood development centres and libraries. The government is barely scratching the surface.

If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?

I would make myself learn to play the piano.

Best investment you’ve ever made?

I do trade wine a bit (though more often it gets drunk) and shares like Klein Constantia can be quite reliable investments.

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

With half I would set up a think-tank to try to inject more out-of-the-box, research-led ideas into public debate — in the UK, SA or both. I would inject the other half into Breadline Africa, to scale it up.

What’s your favourite song?

I have been known to have the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman on repeat on occasions.

What is your most treasured possession?

Spending so much time in SA, I would say it’s my Wi-Fi dongle and my battery-charging pack.

Apple or Samsung (or Nokia)?

Apple, though sometimes it feels like Stockholm syndrome.

Worst investment you’ve ever made?

I think my worst call was my R19/$ call after Nenegate. But I still think the market totally underestimated the depth of the problems and growth implications of state capture and the impact on sovereign credit quality at the time.