Frank Berkeley

Frank Berkeley,  managing  executive of  Nedbank Corporate  Property Finance  and a director of  JSE-listed property  funds Sycom and  Acucap, talks to  Joan Muller about  his love of flying  and downtime with  the family.

I commute from Cape Town to Nedbank's head office in Johannesburg every week, so spending time with my wife Alison and two teenagers, Katherine (16) and Richard (14), takes priority over weekends.

Friday nights we usually just relax at our home in Rondebosch. More often than not, I play taxi to the children, ferrying them to their friends and back.

Saturday is usually an early start, as I try to be involved in my son's sporting activities. In the summer months we're off to rowing between 5:30am and 6:30am. During the winter he plays rugby so we get to lie in a bit longer.

Unfortunately I don't get to see many of my daughter's netball matches because they are held during the week. Saturday afternoons, if we aren't out shopping, we'll just potter around in the garden.

I would like to spend more time doing clay pigeon shooting. I represented the old Transvaal province for about 10 years in target rifle shooting in the 1980s and 1990s.

We'll often go out for dinner on a Saturday night. Generally we prefer laid-back eateries, but in Cape Town even fine dining tends to be very casual. Sometimes we'll organise an impromptu get-together with friends at our house.

If the weather is clear, I'll try to fit in some flying during the course of the weekend; it's a huge passion of mine. Though I have always been interested in aviation, I learnt to fly only four years ago. But now that the bug has bitten it's an addictive activity. What appeals to me most about it is the freedom it gives you to go just about anywhere you like and the fact it takes your mind off everything besides the flying itself.

I keep my Cirrus SR22, a single-engine four-seater plane, at the Stellenbosch flying club, so it's an easy 35-minute drive to get to it. There are few things as exhilarating as an aerial flip around Cape Town's scenic coastline. I share my love of flying with Katherine.

One of the perks of working for Nedbank is that you can take a sabbatical every few years. I took three months off last year to travel with my family. My daughter and I had an amazing bonding trip to the US where we attended a week-long air show at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The event is the world's largest annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts.

We also took the children to Italy and Switzerland, and after that Alison and I spent two weeks in London. We stayed at the Draycott Hotel, around the corner from Chelsea's Sloane Square. It's owned by a South African and is a great base for sightseeing and shopping.

We also have an appreciation for the great outdoors. We used to go on regular camping trips to Namibia and Botswana when we still lived in Johannesburg.

If we've been out flying on a Sunday morning, we may have lunch at the flying club or go to one of the wine farms or to Reuben's in Franschhoek - one of my favourite restaurants.

We're normally home on Sunday nights, usually just catching up on some reading. I enjoy magazines on flying, the outdoors and business. You'll also find a biography or two on my bedside table or one of renowned psychologist Daniel Goleman's books on emotional and social intelligence.

Recent inspiring reads include the biography of Apple founder

Steve Jobs and King of Capital, a fascinating story of the rise and fall and rise again of Steve Schwarzman's private equity firm, the Blackstone Group.