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Ms. Delphine Govender was a Portfolio Manager and Director at Allan Gray Limited. She joined the firm in July 2001 as an Analyst. Ms. Govender was appointed as a Trainee Portfolio Manager in April 2003 and was promoted to the position of a Portfolio Manager in January 2005. She is also a Portfolio Manager and Director at Allan Gray Unit Trust Management Limited. After completing her articles at Deloitte, Ms. Govender worked as an Investment Analyst, gaining three years investment experience. She is a Director of Allan Gray Limited since April 2006 and is also a Director of Allan Gray Property Trust Management Limited. Ms. Govender is a C.F.A. charter holder and a qualified C.A. She holds Bachelor’s in Commerce and a Diploma FMI (Cum Laude).

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

MTN. I am fully aware the share is deeply out of favour, mired in many negative stories (some self-inflicted) and with poor near-term earnings visibility. However, all this negativity and more is reflected in the price, and I believe at R115 the company is fundamentally undervalued, with some compelling exposure to long-term growth opportunities such as Africa and digital technologies.

What was your first job?

The first time I ever received a salary was for a holiday job when I was 19 and in my second year of university I worked as a sales assistant in a jewellery store. I actually quite enjoyed the experience, as selling jewellery is a one-on-one retail experience and the spend per customer is usually high!

What’s your biggest regret?

After 40-plus years on this planet, I certainly have made some poorer decisions and some wiser ones, but I specifically choose not to live with any big regrets.

What was your worst investment mistake?

I bought JCI as a personal account investment when I was an analyst about 13 or 14 years ago. The share was suspended a few years later all gone!

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

It’s corny, but probably in myself and a vision. I decided to leave the more secure, corporate world of investing four years ago and, with my husband, have invested in building an investment firm from scratch. We don’t know yet whether it will be the best- returning investment financially, but in every other way it has already felt like the best investment simply for the way in which it has taught me to test my limits and experience life at the edge of my comfort zone!

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

I’d put 5% into something that would benefit my children directly or indirectly; 5% to my nanny; 10% to the next circle of family; 10% to rural SA Anglican churches; 20% to bodies that help empower single mothers; and 48% to both my husband and my schools and university alma maters for the sole purpose of being invested so that returns could go towards bursaries for high-potential students in real financial need, at least 70% of whom should be women. And I’d save 2% for myself for my greatest extravagances!

What’s your favourite song?

For dancing: Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s "Love Never Felt so Good". For an alarm clock: Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ "Empire State of Mind". For soul lifting: Whitney Houston’s "When you Believe" and "I Look to You". Simply beautiful: "Le Cygne" (The Swan) by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Your greatest extravagance?

Flying business class when I am not going on a business trip ... and, if I have to confess, just way too many shades of Le Creuset.

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

New York City.

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

Income inequality. Too few South Africans control too much wealth and too many live below a decent standard of living. If I could instantly normalise this, I feel every city in SA would feel truly inclusive and genuinely and wonderfully South African.

Source: Business Live


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