Kemp, if someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be? Presuming, of course, you had to pick just a single company.

I would chose a travel company that provides all kinds of different experiences. Travel is a major industry around the world as more people have the means to explore the world and not only experience different places but in an exciting and unique way.

What’s the wisest thing you could tell your 20-year old self that you didn’t know when you started out?

To take more risks but also to listen to good advice. When I was in my twenties I bought an accounting practice. At the time someone said to me that it wasn’t a good idea and that I was possibly barking up the wrong tree. They were right to a certain extent.

What was your first job? And can you remember how much you were paid?

My first job was when I was at school. I was 16 and wanted a motorcycle, but my parents said that if I wanted one I would have to work for it. We lived in the Eastern Free State and they organised me a job shovelling coal for an operational steam locomotive. Over the whole of December. On the night shift! I made the money and was able to buy myself a Kawasaki 100cc. My first real job was doing my articles, where I earned R850.00 a month. I supplemented my income by playing local rugby where we would earn R150.00 per game for a win and R50.00 if we lost.

If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be and how would you start doing that?

I would improve the business environments for entrepreneurs and foreign investors. I would begin by relaxing the rules associated with setting up a business, operating it, and hiring personnel.

Who do you admire in the investment community, and why?

It isn’t one particular person but a group of people – entrepreneurs. The reason for this is that they have the vision to identify opportunities and then to take those opportunities and develop successful businesses.

What’s the worst investment mistake you’ve made?

As a young person I thought that buying a car was the best investment I could make. Buying a car is never a good investment.

What’s the best investment you’ve ever made? And how much of it was due to luck?

I’m still waiting to get the result. But when I do, it will be due to luck.

How do you control your emotions, when all you want to do is sell or buy a share, but you know you shouldn’t?

I’ll go out and buy a waffle and ice-cream, and lose focus. This will be followed by a great exercise session. After that, all the emotion will be out of the way.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Travel.

Big Tech or Old-fashioned Industrial stalwart?

Definitely Big Tech.

Do you listen to podcasts? Which are your faves?

Yes I do. My favourites are sport-related, as well as those on exercise and health.

How much of a portfolio should be for the wildcard picks?

I would say no more than 10% maximum.

Art, wine, rare books or cars?

Wine. My favourite is red wine and the year 2015.

If you weren’t in finance, what would your dream job be?

I would be a professional tennis player. Not only are you playing sport for a living, but you’re able to travel the world and meet different people. Also, tennis players earn a lot more than finance executives.

Categories: News, Structured Solutions
Published: Financial Mail