20 questions with Zain Latif, founder of TLG Capital
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
The enemy of good is better.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Not pursuing 10-pin bowling as a full-time career having won the under-15 championship in Islamabad, Pakistan.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
Young Paddy bought a donkey from a farmer for £100.
The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day…
The next day he drove up and said: “Sorry son, but I have some bad news. The donkey’s died”.
Paddy replied: “Well then just give me my money back”.
The farmer said: “Can’t do that. I’ve already spent it”.
Paddy said: “OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey”.
The farmer asked: “What are you going to do with him?”
Paddy said: “I’m going to raffle him off”.
The farmer said: “You can’t raffle a dead donkey!”
Paddy said: “Sure I can. Watch me. I just won’t tell anybody he’s dead”.
A month later, the farmer met up with Paddy and asked: “What happened with that dead donkey?”
Paddy said: “I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two pounds a piece and made a profit of £898”.
The farmer said: “Didn’t anyone complain?”
Paddy said: “Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two pounds back”.
Paddy now works for a bank.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
Over the past decade it has become widely accepted that aid has largely failed. After 50 years and nearly $2.3 trillion of aid, there are still children dying for lack of 12 cent medicines, or for lack of clean water. Therefore although I don’t really think that charity begins at home. I am not convinced by most charities.
As the founder of TLG Capital – a socially responsible private equity company which invests into SMEs in sub-saharan Africa – I see first-hand the benefits of investing (for profit) into developing countries that have traditionally been the recipients of aid and charity.
I also think that aid can often times be demeaning while investment is empowering.
That said, there is a place for charity. I believe in the power of education and support
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
Technology offers us a unique opportunity, though rarely welcome, to practice patience.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
Napoleon, Stalin and Genghis Khan.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
Aash te Reshte (Iranian stew) in front of Angkor Watt marveling at human accomplishment.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
Just before lunch but after a mid-morning snack.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
Diet Coke with lemon. I always put the lemon in. Whenever I see someone add a slice of lemon to their Coke, I think to myself: “Now there’s a sophisticated individual”.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
Who is the most positive person you know?
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
A Ford Fiesta… Wait, no, I’d be a BMW i3 electric car.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
Zain Latif is the founder of TLG Capital. He holds a masters in finance from Cass Business School and has variously worked for Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.
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