Financial Mail - - CROSSWORD 1984 - CEO, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

What is the one in­vest­ment you wish you had made, or made ear­lier?

Buy­ing Naspers shares.

What was your first job?

The first job that re­ally had a pro­found ef­fect on my life was my time as a cashier at Woolworths. This is where I learnt what it is like to work for a great retail com­pany, what cus­tomer ser­vice means and how to take care of your staff.

What are you read­ing at the mo­ment? What’s the one book ev­ery­one should read be­fore they die? by for­mer deputy chief jus­tice Dik­gang Moseneke. The book ev­ery­one should read be­fore they die is

by Thomas Piketty.

My Own Lib­er­a­tor, Cap­i­tal in the Twenty-first Cen­tury,

Nom­i­nate your eighth won­der of the world.

Good cof­fee.

What’s the most in­ter­est­ing thing about you that peo­ple don’t know?

I love cook­ing — my sig­na­ture dish is chicken curry.

Which phrase or word do you most overuse?

“It’s com­pli­cated.”

What is your biggest in­dul­gence?

It has to be my ob­ses­sion with the Alfa Romeo mar­que.

Who is your favourite hero of fic­tion?

Neo, from

The Ma­trix.

What’s your top tip for do­ing a deal? Al­ways ask what the client wants.

Is there such a thing as “enough money” and, if so, how much is it?

Yes, there ab­so­lutely is. It is very sub­jec­tive and de­pends cru­cially on whether one is mea­sur­ing wealth or in­come against those who have the least or rel­a­tive to those who have the most.

What’s the worst air­port you’ve been in?

Ibn Bat­touta In­ter­na­tional Air­port — for­merly known as Tang­ier­boukhalef — in Tang­ier, Morocco. It was an ad­ven­ture get­ting to Tang­ier, but the ad­ven­ture stopped when the raggedy old plane (non­pres­surised cabin) took off. There were only three of us on board and they still lost our lug­gage.

What is your biggest re­gret? That I didn’t fol­low my in­ter­est and be­come an en­gi­neer.

What or who is the great­est love of your life?

My wife. We were high-school sweet­hearts and we’ve been to­gether for al­most 38 years (29 of them mar­ried).

Tell us about a hid­den gem in SA that not many peo­ple know about. Wa­ter’s Edge Beach in Si­mon’s Town.

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