Zain Latif: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with Zain Latif, founder of TLG Capital

 

The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?

Hakuna Matata.

 

“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?

Twerking.

 

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?

World peace.

 

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?

“Like”.

 

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.

 

Zain Latif

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?

Killing Kittens.

 

Who is the most positive person you know?

My father.

 

What’s your most guilty pleasure?

My wife.

 

If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?

A dragon.

 

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.

I’m monogamous.

 

What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?

My bust.

 

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.

 

Website: http://www.tlgcapital.com

 

 

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    18 COMMENTS

    1. I understand that is wrong to out a slice of lemon in a Diet Coke. The fines establishments seem to serve Coca-Cola with a slice of lemon but Diet Coke with a slice of lime. Who am I to quibble?

    2. I agree with Monima….Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch are two institutions whose ethical standards reflect much that is wrong with our world. I think this guy sounds an affected tosser to me. If Roger Oakes is impressed by his answers says much about his enjoyment of life.
      He thinks it sophisticated to add his own slice of lemon to his his Diet Coke….weird!
      And tells that boring old chestnut of an Irish joke.

      • Fab….maybe to a certain kind of debile or idiot…
        Not suggesting you are, but you make a good case for those who might have that impression

    3. Interesting to see that Zain invests in the Dunkin Donuts franchise in Pakistan….I am sure that does a lot for health and well being of the hard pressed population. I see that most of his investments seem to be directed at the wealthier elements of the sub Saharan population.

    4. Only rather stupid large people drink diet drinks and they are so bad for you as the main ingredient rots the brain. Just check any of the ingredients like the ‘false’ sugars and you’ll realise how they perform. Beware! However, I do agree that most soft drinks, especially Coke/Pepsi, are certainly enhanced with a slice of either lemon or lime. If you need to drink this stuff then drink the real thing but not the diet product.

      • I agree with you about Diet Coke Rex. It is terrible. I prefer the real stuff. On another note, Zain’s answers are amongst the best Matthew’s received yet. I like his spirit.

        • You truly think that his response about slices of lemon in some ghastly drink shows ‘spirit?……I despair of this poor country of ours if you think that.
          I supposed you even liked the Irish joke that has been trotted out year in, year out to the point of tedium.

    5. It is unlikely that anyone with a only business studies degree from CASS business school would have had an prominent position in a front office job at Goldmans & Merrill.

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