Shamil Ismail. Picture: SUPPLIED

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Mentioned in this Article

FM Edition:

If someone came to you tomorrow with R100m to invest in just one company, which would it be?

Uniqlo, a subsidiary of Fast Retailing.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to make small talk.

What was your first job?

In standard 9 (grade 11) I worked at a small Pep Store in Athlone, Cape Town. Perhaps that is where the interest in retail started.

What’s your biggest regret?

I entered the investment research space after working in industry (mainly retail) for 10 years. Looking back, I should have made the change earlier.

What was your worst investment mistake?

There are many contenders for this. The most recent was a venture capital investment in a startup food-ordering app.

What’s the best investment you’ve ever made?

Property — buying my first house when I was 25.

If you found a lottery ticket tomorrow that had won US$100m, what would you do?

Return it to the lost & found department.

Apple or Samsung (or Nokia)?


What’s your favourite song?

"Viva la Vida", by Coldplay.

On what occasions do you lie?

When completing questionnaires like this.

Your greatest extravagance?

I am generally not extravagant, but I will occasionally spend money on good-quality suits.

Name a place you’ve been to that lived up to the hype.

Hong Kong.

If you could fix one thing in SA today, what would it be?

I’d work on mass employment — for example, creating a number of low-skilled jobs on infrastructure projects that can address service delivery issues and channel money to households, which will drive consumption.