BACKSTORY: Schroders SA’s country head Kondi Nkosi
We question Kondi Nkosi, country head of Schroders SA, on his top tip for doing a deal, biggest regret and an investment he wishes he’d made earlier
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
There must be a sharing of the risk and the potential reward. It focuses minds.
What was your first job?
I was an analyst at a venture capital firm in Cape Town.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
It was a long time ago … around R3,000 a month. I was newly wed at the time so you would have to ask my wife what we did with it.
What was the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
Do the work. Be patient. Listen to your gut.
What is the investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
FirstRand after the global financial crisis in early 2009. Even at today’s levels, I would have just about tripled my money.
What, if anything, would you have changed about SA’s approach to the lockdown?
To paraphrase the president’s address: there are a lot of lessons that are being learnt as we go along. Our challenge now is how to balance the humanitarian efforts of minimising the impact of the pandemic with the negative economic impact of these efforts.
What is your biggest regret?
Not starting to invest money earlier in life. Time is arguably the most precious resource when it comes to investing. My wife and I take every chance we get to teach this to our kids and we have made sure each of them has an investment account. They are now 9, 12 and 16.
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self?
Young people, in general, don’t have the life experience to fully appreciate the nuggets their elders drop. Savour every moment because it goes by so quickly.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I did a post-grad degree in the US in the early 2000s and my parents could only afford to buy my ticket there and to pay for my first semester. The rest was entirely up to me. Two years later I left Texas with my post-grad degree and an incredible life lesson.
What is the most overrated virtue?
Meekness. We operate in an ideas world. Contributions are invaluable.
If you were Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
I would take nothing away from what has been done to date in this fight and what the next steps toward addressing the negative economic impact are going to be. However, I would blow the horn a little louder on living healthier lifestyles.
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