Prudential People - Hamilton van Breda, Head of Retail Sales
Tell us what your role involves at Prudential and why you enjoy it…
I am really not a title person, but I am responsible for managing relationships with Independent Financial Advisers, as well as retail client service. I have worked at Prudential for nearly 15 years. I like the change in the industry - adapting to the changing mindsets of advisers that support us and their clients that demand a differentiated service offering.
What did your parents do for a living and how did this impact you?
My parents farmed just outside Bredasdorp. I was certainly brought up the old-school way. Today’s children think that money grows on trees. We had to work for it - no fancy holidays or show-off gifts. I am still a believer in old- fashioned traditional values and won’t change on that!
What was your first job?
My first job was as a candidate attorney at a law firm in Cape Town. My starting salary was R1200 a month in 1993. One of my life’s regrets – I always wanted to practice as an advocate of the Supreme Court.
A film or TV series you’ve enjoyed and why?
As I always enjoyed the outdoors, my favorite film series is a Clint Eastwood Western. Sadly, they don’t seem to make great Westerns anymore. I enjoyed horse riding tremendously and grew up with horses – the great outdoors really does it for me.
An ideal evening is…
Sitting around a dinner table with my family. These days it seems to be a privilege as children seem to be at school until very late – families need that quality time, even if it’s short.
Where did you spend your most recent holiday?
Skiing in Ischgl, Austria with my 2 children and better half. This is probably the most enjoyable family holiday you can have, as you do everything together all day long.
The businessperson you most admire is…
Thuli Madonsela – because she stands up for what is right, and has the courage of her convictions in the face of enormous personal and political pressure.
What do you do to relax?
I thoroughly enjoy deep sea fishing, going out 40 miles off Cape Point with my friends. It’s the quietness I enjoy – being way from the madding crowd with just the sounds of the waves, birds and fish, and the banter of your friends.
Stranded on a desert island with three people, who would they be?
Client Eastwood - he has a wealth of life experience and would be able to talk to him for hours.
My Mother and Father – they got taken away from me too young and need the extra time (my father would have liked Clint, too).
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
My life is filled with adventure – just living in SA is an adventure. I cannot single out one.
Do you have a phobia?
I do have a fear of heights, but I want to challenge it. Somehow, I believe it’s easier to jump out of an airplane parachuting that it is to bungee jump – I have done neither yet, but I am going to attempt parachuting.
What excites you about living in South Africa in 2016?
We are blessed to live in such a diverse country with so many cultures and beauty. Of course SA has many challenges which we need to face and deal with appropriately. Leaving shouldn’t be an option. I would miss the sunshine, the smiles and the generous spirit of our people. I would miss the “howzit”, “just now’, the biltong and the simple freedom of space. I would miss the braai, fishing with my friends, the vibrancy and diversity of our streets. But what would I miss most? The opportunity to be an active part of a country that needs me!