BACKSTORY: Alexander Forbes' Andrew Darfoor
We question Andrew Darfoor, group CEO Alexander Forbes.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I have an identical twin — he’s a dentist.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Forgiveness. A little bit is fine, but too much and you are going to get walked over.
What is your biggest indulgence?
Watching Spanish soap operas on Netflix. It’s one of the only times I get to practise my Spanish.
What was your first job?
Serving drinks at the Artists’ Bar at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Gin and tonic, and Pimm’s and lemonade were the two most popular drinks then. I can still make a mean Pimm’s and lemonade.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
A successful deal is one in which both sides feel they have won. A deal is a de facto partnership ... that’s a very important lesson I’ve learnt through the years.
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.
Signature Restaurant in Morningside, Johannesburg. It gets better every time I go.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
None really ... Though I will say: always treat people as you would like to be treated, no matter who they are. People are the biggest investment of all.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
I’m a big fan of action movies. Jason Bourne from the Bourne series has to be at the top of the list, followed by any Jason Statham movie.
What are you reading at the moment? What’s the one book everyone should read before they die?
I often have many books on the go. Looking at my Kindle, I’m currently engrossed in The Founder’s Mentality by Chris Zook and James Allen. Everyone should read The Catcher in the Rye.
What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?
Los Angeles International Airport — simply excruciating.
When and where were/are you happiest?
On a long-haul flight to any destination. Simply no interruption and the ability to watch as many action movies as possible.
How do you handle stress? What are your top tips for dealing with stress ?
Balance focused work with complete rest. I usually work in bursts of 45 minutes, then take a 15-minute break. I live by the motto that the time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
Less than satisfactory.
Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.
Taking a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. On a personal level: my two children.