Prudential People - Valdon Theron, Head of Institutional Business
What does your role at Prudential involve?
I am responsible for building relationships with and servicing our institutional clients like pension funds and medical aids. I enjoy the variety of the role as I have to know something about every part of our business. I have a particular passion to make our investment approach more understandable for the average trustee.
Your ambition during your school days…
To get an academic qualification that would allow me to have an “office job”. I am not good with my hands and not even trusted to change a lightbulb at home.
A recent favourite read? Why did you like it?
I’m currently reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. I’ve not yet finished the book so I am not qualified to give a definitive opinion. However, one of the key themes is “less but better” – identifying the right things and getting them done. This appeals to me as I’m always juggling a few things. As an aside, I display classic “non-essentialist” qualities in buying books. I have the unfortunate habit of buying any book that looks vaguely interesting and then not finishing it. The Kindle app has just exacerbated this problem.
An ideal evening is…
An informal get-together with close friends and family with as much laughter as possible.
Where did you spend your most recent holiday?
In George, spending time with my family and playing lots of golf. Is there any better place in the world? Disclosure: I was born and bred there.
The South African you most admire is…
Hashim Amla, our national cricket captain. He is a quiet, almost reluctant leader who has proven his doubters wrong through his performances over a long period of time. Despite being a global sporting icon, he has remained remarkably humble and principled.
South Africa’s youth needs…
Education and positive role models.
In 30 years’ time, the world will be…
Even more of a global village as technology advances at an increasing rate. I’m always surprised at how familiar some places feel when you visit them for the first time.
Your favourite app…
Golfweather. As the name suggests, it gives you hourly forecasts on weather conditions at most golf courses. And I’m typically only interested in the weather over weekends.
What is your number one bucket-list activity?
To watch the US Masters golf tournament at Augusta…with Ernie Els winning.
If you didn’t work in the financial services industry, what would you do?
Probably be a teacher. I come from a family of teachers.
New York or Paris?
Your mother taught you…
To respect all people, no matter who they are.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Not taking myself too seriously, and being a Tottenham Hotspur fan before they won the 2017 Champions League!