We question Michael Sassoon, CEO of Sasfin Wealth and executive director of Sasfin Holdings.

What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?

I am passionate about the upliftment of youth, something I was heavily involved in during my 20s.

On what occasion do you lie?

For the sake of peace, which may include commenting on my wife’s choice of outfit.

What is your biggest indulgence?


What was your first job?

High school teacher.

How do you deal with stress? What are your top tips for handling stress?

Taking positive action.

What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?

All long-lasting and sustainable deals require a win-win scenario. It is therefore critical to have a strong understanding of what your counterpart wants out of the deal to ensure you are willing and able to provide it.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

In tandem with my kids, I nominate the great Master Oogway (from Kung Fu Panda) — a truly wise old sensei. "One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it."

What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?

Dulles International Airport in Washington is pretty awful.

What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?

Sasfin Bank has had some great business finance clients over the years that would have made outstanding investments. Globally, Apple after the late 1990s resurgence.

When and where are or were you happiest?

Watching one of my children overcome an inhibition.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Balance — success in any form seldom comes without a certain single-mindedness to one’s approach.

What are you reading at the moment? What’s the one book everyone should read before they die?

The Founder’s Mentality — a great book that discusses the principles around managing and avoiding the problems associated with business growth. Everybody should read The Richest Man in Babylon at some point.

Is there such a thing as "enough money" and, if so, how much is it?

The old Jewish teaching, from Hillel the sage, states: "Who is considered rich? One who is happy with their lot." That’s easier said than done.

What is your biggest regret?

Not moving faster when I knew the course of action to take.

Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.

The Old City of Jerusalem — it represents the coming together of the three great monotheistic religions and is profoundly rich in history, culture and heritage.

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