Principal Dunya Ansems oversees portfolio management from BOOST&Co’s Bristol base, having recently relocated from Cape Town.
What do you do at BOOST&Co?
I’m a principal and I work in portfolio management. After we make investments, my team of portfolio managers, an analyst and a data scientist work with our companies to ensure that they’re fulfilling their ambitions to grow. We also contribute to investment decisions, which gives BOOST&Co a balanced approach. It ensures that different departments in our organisation have opportunities to raise concerns about potential deals, which enables us to keep learning from each other.
How did you end up working here?
After qualifying as a chartered accountant, I worked for Deloitte in the UK, Canada and South Africa before moving to Nimble Group in Cape Town. I’ve always enjoyed numbers, but I knew I didn’t want to be a financial manager – I’m action-oriented and love to engage with people. BOOST&Co offered me a challenging role that fulfils both of those needs.
Why did you move from South Africa to the UK?
I was the first person to be hired in our Cape Town office, and we now have almost 20 staff there. I had confidence in the team to run the division without my physical presence, so my natural next step was to relocate to the UK, to get closer to the companies we’re investing in. I’m excited about the opportunity for my personal growth that this move represents; BOOST&Co is great at making sure that we all continue to grow and to learn.
What’s different about the company?
The company’s inclusiveness and its communication style. BOOST&Co wants us to be engaged and encourages us to think differently, so that we can keep challenging each other, in a healthy, respectful way. Our questions are considered important and our opinions count.
Which item can you not work without?
Spellcheck, for sure. I cannot spell.
How do you spend your leisure time?
I love to travel. I visited New Zealand earlier this year, exploring some of the mountain ridgelines, and I recently spent 14 days rafting down the Grand Canyon, where the temperature was 40 degrees. We bathed in the river and slept on the banks, with no phone reception and no guides. It was absolute magic.
Where are you planning to go next?
I’m thinking of cycling through Montenegro or running in one of the amazing mountain races in Corsica, Majorca or Madeira. A friend from South Africa lived in the UK for two years and visited 22 countries while he was here, so my personal challenge is to visit 23 countries in two years.
What’s on your bucket list?
I’d love to learn hip-hop dancing, but I think I’m too old for it now – and I’m un-coordinated. So it’s not an item on my bucket list; it’s more of a regret.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I recently watched the film First Man, starring Ryan Gosling, and now I want to book a ride on a rocket, so I can see Earth from the other side. I want to float in space and be weightless – that would be fun.