5 Minutes With… Pieter Hugo
Tell us what your role involves and why you enjoy it…
I’m responsible for the Retail Business at Prudential. It really includes every aspect of the business, which provides a nice variety and interesting challenges on a daily basis. No two days are ever the same. My passion is to do everything in my power to enable clients to reach financial independence. Prudential provides me with the opportunity to make that happen.
Your ambition during your school days…
Probably a cliché, but I wanted to become a pilot.
A recent favourite read? Why did you like it?
The Behavior Gap by Carl Richards. It is a simple and practical book about how people are letting emotion get in the way of making smart financial decisions, and how to avoid this. The author has the ability to draw very simple pictures to demonstrate these mistakes. As someone who prefers pictures to words, it made a lot of sense to me.
Your mother taught you…
If you want something, work hard and make it happen. Don’t sit back and expect other people to deliver it for you. Also, to think a lot wider than South Africa. Nowadays this is obvious, but in South Africa during the 70s and 80s, things were quite different.
Where did you spend a favourite holiday?
I was able to take my family holiday to Walt Disney World in the US. I had the privilege of taking my kids overseas for the first time; it was fantastic.
The businessperson you most admire is…
Not any particular individual. In general, I admire people who can take something from a blank piece of paper all the way to a successful business. We need many more of these people in South Africa and an environment that will enable this to happen more easily.
A film or TV series you’ve enjoyed and why?
Friends. Just some nice comic relief after a long day at the office.
Stranded on a desert island with three strangers, who are they?
Superman, Batman and Ironman.
What is your number-one bucket list activity?
My bucket list is essentially a travel list that is constantly expanding. My number-one activity should therefore be to have a conversation with my boss about more leave.
If you didn’t work in the financial services industry, what would you do?
Possibly revert back to the childhood dream of becoming a pilot. Or, start a construction company and deliver the agreed housing renovations on time and within budget. There must be a massive market for this as I have about 10 friends going through this experience and not one of their builders is delivering to these very basic requirements. P.S. If you know of a builder like this, please let me know.
New York, Shanghai or Delhi?
Shanghai. I’ve never been there and I’m always looking to explore new places.
What do you do to relax?
Spend time at home with family and friends around a braai. Golf is also quite good as I generally get to spend a lot of time in the African bush at the same time.
If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?
The power to perceive future events before they happen. That could be quite useful in the financial services industry.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Being a good father and a good husband.