WORLDVIEW: Patience by Anglo American’s new Indian shareholder ready to bear fruit

By Alec Hogg

Last week’s “dawn raid” which netted control of 12% of Anglo American plc for Indian entrepreneur Anil Agarwal reminded me of wisdom expressed in conversations with two South African business icons who share the same first name.

Donald Gordon epitomised patience, a virtue he applied to build two empires, the first (insurance) from his native Johannesburg, the second (property) from London. Donald Ncube’s genius was to swim against the tide, a penchant born during his formative business years at that very same Anglo where his prime role was “posing uncomfortable questions."

Anil Agarwal, billionaire and owner of Vedanta Resources Plc. Photographer: Halden Krog/Bloomberg

Anglo’s new shareholder Agarwal has probably not met either of the Donalds, but he certainly shares the characteristics of patience and contrarianism that are hugely valuable for all investors.

Last week’s £2bn purchase of Anglo shares, engineered through a complex structure concocted by JP Mo...

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