Meeting Peter Takaendesa, Analyst, Mergence Investment Managers

  • Q: How did you get involved in financial services - was it always something you wanted to do?

  • A: My interest in business started in high school when I used my school holidays to trade in anything from old toys to supplying teachers and family friends with fresh fish. This naturally ignited my interest in commercial subjects at school and all the way to graduating with a master of commerce degree in economics. My thesis was on investigating the linkage between financial services and economic growth and I published a few papers in academic journals on various topics related to this subject. I felt this was not enough so I enrolled for another masters degree in finance at Rhodes University to further my understanding of funding and the real financial services industry. Towards the end of my final year of studies I was offered a lecturing job at university but with a clear understanding that I was still on my path to joining the financial services industry. With no financial services experience, I had to make a very difficult decision of taking a pay cut to join Standard Bank as a trainee under their corporate & investment banking division. My interest in research as well as passion for financial markets naturally drove me to settle for an analyst role in their stockbroking business. I have been an analyst for almost a decade now and still loving it.

  • Q: What makes a good analyst - how much knowledge is specific and how much general?
  • A: Analysts come from many different academic backgrounds (finance, economics, engineering etc) but I think the first and most important factor is passion for financial markets. I'm a strong believer in that we can only excel sustainably in things that we are passionate about. I think specific knowledge required includes a good understanding of finance and economics to get you started, but you cannot underestimate the role played by a good experienced team around you. At Mergence Investment Managers we place a huge emphasis on sharing and openly debating investment ideas.

  • Q: Good consistent decisions - in the fast moving world of finance how are these achieved?
  • A: I believe the key to investment success never changes - buy cheap, quality investments and sell overvalued investments! Consistent decisions and performance require a well-defined operating framework and sticking to it. Mergence Investment Managers has clearly defined policies and procedures to guide our investment process. We put a lot of emphasis on understanding and closely following the businesses we invest in. Investment ideas are thoroughly investigated and debated to make sure they are consistent with our guiding principles.

  • Q: What differences do you find between the academic and business world?
  • A: The academic world is very good with building the theoretical foundation and developing communication skills. These are essential foundation tools to get you started in the business world. I think the business world demands more skills in the execution and commercialisation of ideas. It is a big difference dealing with learners compared to dealing with breadwinners – you’ve got to stay on top of your game to make sure families are fed!

Read more

Never equate or trade the words entrepreneur and unemployed

If South Africa is to grow, we need to make an active decision to grow, take decisive action, live with the consequences tough decisions give rise to, change the mindset from job creation to business creation, and create an enabling supportive environment. And we need to stop hiding behind the NDP. Last night I attended […]

Read more
taxindabasq

Post election tax policy under scrutiny at Tax Indaba

We are living though one of the most dynamic times in the global tax landscape, and it comes as no surprise that taxation is high on the agenda of the next G20 summit, while the OECD spearheads the Base Erosion Profit Sharing (BEPS) project in an effort to clamp down on multinational tax dodgers. Emerging […]

Read full story

The economic cost of Brazil’s spending spree

Mark Mobius, Franklin Templeton Brazil has been on a spending spree during the past few years, which, unfortunately, has failed to generate meaningful growth and has led to negative economic consequences. In addition to the lavish spending in preparation for the FIFA World Cup™ this summer and the Olympic Games in 2016, Brazil’s national oil […]

Read full story
Tax on dividends

Use your STC credits in time

Credits accumulated from the Secondary Tax on Companies (STC) regime can save shareholders significantly by ensuring that less tax is imposed upon shareholder dividends. But time is running out as the deadline to use these STC credits is looming. “Some careful planning will need to be considered and this will need to be implemented appropriately […]

Read full story
generica

Generic medication key to reduce healthcare costs

Private healthcare costs are spiralling out of control in South Africa, making it unaffordable for many poor and middle class citizens. The sector is therefore looking at many different ways to control and reduce costs, one such being, advocating the use of generic medication as opposed to branded medication. This is according to Graham Anderson, […]

Read full story
saroadautimna

Prepare for the upcoming holidays

Alexander Forbes Insurance (AFI) today urged holiday makers to review their insurance policies because of increased risk during the forthcoming holidays. Gari Dombo, MD of AFI says the holiday break, which combines with the school break, means that many families will be travelling to holiday resorts or to visit relatives. As a result, heavy traffic […]

Read full story
normalecoconditionsapr14f

The investment landscape – getting back to normal

Marriott, the Income Specialists, contemplates the investment landscape in a post-QE world Since 2008 the investment landscape has largely been shaped by quantitative easing (QE) – the process of creating money to buy bonds. This form of monetary policy, which is designed to stimulate economic growth, has served the secondary purpose of aiding the performance […]

Read full story
saecoapr14f

Widespread stagnation in SA economy

While cash-strapped consumers are struggling to finance monthly expenses, and the longest-running strikes in 20 years are undermining the foundations of the South African economy, the BankservAfrica Economic Transaction Index (BETI) reveals that economic transactions have indeed increased by less than one percent over the past year. According to Brad Gillis, CEO regulated products at […]

Read full story
trustnotatrustf

When is a trust not a trust?

It is a relatively straightforward and inexpensive exercise to create a trust and many founders of trusts will continue to hold assets in these structures in the mistaken belief that their trust is valid. However – a trust must comply with certain strict formalities for it to be sound and it is usually only when […]

Read full story
safedrivea

Making South Africa’s roads safer this Easter

According to the World Health Organisation the road fatality rates on the African continent is the highest in the world. In fact, Nigeria and South Africa are recorded to have the highest fatality rates with 33.7 and 31.9 deaths per 100 000 population per year, respectively in comparison to Australia’s 5.2 and New Zealand’s 9.1 […]

Read full story
halffullf

Emerging markets – it’s our turn

By Jeremy Gardiner, director, Investec Asset Management My brother has just returned to South Africa after living in Geneva for 14 years. He is going to reside in Johannesburg and work for Discovery Health and he is deliriously happy. What is exhausting, though, is the question (accompanied by a look of near disbelief) asked by […]

Read full story