We analyse Head of Corporate Finance at Bravura – Soria Hay
If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be?
I wouldn’t invest R100m in one company. It’s not my investment style. I would invest in one index: the S&P 500.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be able to write amazing books. I am always transported when I read a great book.
What was your first job?
I worked as a cashier at Pick n Pay. I remember that the code for lettuce was 217 219. I was actually self-financing my law degree, so a lot of part-time jobs were thrown into the mix. I worked at the inquiries desk at what was then the United Building Society, I was a shop assistant at De Bruyn se Skoenwinkels and I worked for a vet and also as a junior lecturer at Tuks.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?
My first bonus, when I worked at Mettle in the corporate finance team in 1997, was R180,000 and I used this to found — and fund — Bravura, an independent investment banking and corporate finance advisory firm. We are now in our 20th year.
Your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring. It is very symbolic to me.
What’s your favourite song?
Caruso written by Lucio Dalla.
On what occasion do you lie?
I really try not to lie at all, each day is a new commitment.
Your greatest extravagance?
I drink good chardonnay, and I travel.
What travel experience is on your bucket list?
The cherry blossoms in Japan, and the Galapagos Islands.
How much was your first pay cheque and what did you do with it?
My first meaningful pay cheque was as an admitted attorney; it wasn’t very meaningful though, at R6,600 for the month. I saved up until I was able to buy my first car, a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle.
Do you own bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies? And why?
No, it is not on the S&P 500! Seriously, I fear it is completely misunderstood — read: “a bubble”. You may as well just go and gamble.
What’s the worst investment you’ve ever made?
I invested in a European property fund (on the advice of a financial adviser). I made no return, and lost some of the capital.