Alumnus profile: Roelof Lategan

Posted on March 30, 2020

Where will the earth and technology be in 100 years? How will we change conditions on this planet? How will we make sure it survives the relentless destruction of natural resources? How will we sustain life, food, water in the face of an ever-growing population? These are some of the questions alumnus Roelof Lategan would like to discuss with Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk. Read more about his thoughts of, and quest in life.
Q: What is your current position and what does it entail?
A: As MD of Aquarius Capital, my responsibilities entail communicating with financial institutions, conceptualising and implementing transaction structures, liaising with clients on a one-on-one basis about the financial institution that will best fit the transaction, and seeing the transaction through to finalisation and pay-out.
Q: Briefly summarise your career since graduating from UP, with special mention of specific highlights/milestones.
A: I did my articles at a local auditing firm in Pretoria. I subsequently held a few financial management positions at a private company and did private investments. I started Aquarius Capital in 2003.
Q: To what extent did your studies at UP benefit you in your career and contribute to your success?
A: It gave me the platform and knowledge that reinforced my passion which entailed finance and money. From as far back as I can remember, I was fascinated by the flow of money and what it entails.
Q: Given your academic experience at UP, what advice can you pass on to current students?
A: Everyone can make a difference by positively contributing to this country and society as a whole. No man is an island, and without great communication skills and taking cognisance of the conditions around us and realising something must be done about it, one will not be a happy person. In order to change conditions in the broader society, today South Africa needs lots of heroes, well, in fact super heroes.
Q: What, in your opinion, is the foundation of a successful organisation?
A: Communication – It is the universal solution to any problem or challenge. The way that you communicate your offerings and services to clients, is extremely important. Likewise, it is paramount to keep your word and fulfil your promises.
Be kind – always. Be industrious – always. Do well and good in society as a whole. Dare to venture beyond your wildest dreams. Go for it, you have nothing to lose! It is a sin not living or even exceeding your potential. Life is great and beautiful. Live every day to the fullest. Have a pan-determined view of life and livingness. Know that other people have challenges and struggles and they experience life the same as you do. Be able to duplicate and understand another’s needs and challenges.
Ethics – Ethical behaviour is non-negotiable.
Games – Life is just one big game – enjoy it!
Action – Know that this universe has no answer to relentless “attack”. Know you will get into trouble when you get into action, nevertheless go ahead and get on with it. We all need to do our bit.
Q: Which business/trade-related publications (magazines/newspapers/blogs, etc.) do you enjoy reading?
A: Grant Cardone – 10X
Q: What really inspires and motivates you personally?
A: People…and interaction with them. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than communicating. I also would like to believe that I understand life and its fundamentals. This provides me with a certain knowledge and certainty that I can see conditions for what they are and do the necessary to try and address and change them.
Q: If you could have a face-to-face meeting with an inspiring person – in any domain – who sets an example in transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same, who would it be and what would you like to discuss?
A: I would like to sit down with Elon Musk. I would like to discuss life with him, share his vision: Where will the earth and technology be in 100 years? How will we change conditions on this planet? How will we make sure it survives this relentless destruction of natural resources? How will we sustain life, food, water in an ever-growing population?
Not money, but survival is the most important issue in life. To survive optimally without destruction is the biggest quest in life. Being healthy. Being happy. Making a difference and being a lasting hero. We have conquered so many things in the physical universe, but we have yet to conquer man’s basic needs and fears and questions. More than 50% of the people on this planet suffer. What can be done to change these conditions?
Q: Going forward, what are your career and personal goals?
A: To be successful beyond my wildest imagination. To create more jobs than I thought possible. To make a change to every person’s life that I touch. To leave everyone richer than the day I met them. To be kind. To be industrious. To be happy; to conquer the mind and all the questions of life and livingness.
- Author Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences

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