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#SouthAfricanAssetManagers: Former Boutiques Now Nation’s Best And Biggest


Companies that started out as boutiques have slowly but surely established themselves as the major asset management players. Morningstar rates the asset managers, here. – Jackie Cameron

South Africa’s top asset managers are also the nation’s biggest, no surprise when you consider that investment flows follow the best returns. While contenders for top spot fluctuate quarterly, the companies that consistently register on the highest rungs of the league table include Allan Gray, Foord Unit Trusts and Investec Fund Managers.

Newer companies that have made their mark in the investment industry include Truffle Asset Management,which has amassed sizeable assets under management since 2008, and Sygnia which has enjoyed explosive growth in recent years as passive investments gain popularity.

Not faring as well as you might expect are the asset managers attached to life companies, with Old Mutual and Sanlam lower on the list even though they have the financial muscle to hire top professionals, have big marketing budgets and established distribution channels.


  • This table gives an indication of the asset manager’s weakness and strength, in light of how investors allocated assets between available investment options within the fund range.


  • This table gives an indication of the average quality of an asset manager’s overall fund range.


About the Morningstar Rating Analysis of South African Asset Managers

The Morningstar South African Rating Analysis of unit trusts is designed to compare managed fund ranges across South African asset managers by aggregating their Morningstar Ratings. The research format is calculated on a quarterly basis. It provides a quantitative assessment of the risk-adjusted return of all South African domiciled unit trusts carrying a Morningstar Rating.

The Morningstar Rating for funds, often called the “Star Rating”, debuted in 1985 and was quickly embraced by investors. The Morningstar Rating is a quantitative assessment of a fund’s past performance and is measured from a minimum of one to a maximum of five stars. The methodology rates funds based on an enhanced Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that takes both return and risk into account.

The Morningstar South African Rating Analysis aggregates the rankings of providers by brand name and thus provides a useful insight into the strengths and weaknesses of a firm’s fund range. It is, however, not designed as a forward-looking tool and does not indicate the future positioning of asset managers.

This follows the line that the Morningstar Rating is intended for use as the first step in the fund evaluation process. The Morningstar South African Rating Analysis is a quantitative calculation.

It delivers an Overall-Weighted and an Asset-Weighted ranking of asset managers and their rated range of South African domiciled funds. The rankings also show the percentage of 4 and 5 Star rated funds across all rated funds for an asset manager.

The rankings by Overall-Weighted and Asset-Weighted Ratings both have their merits. The ranking by OverallWeighted Morningstar Rating mirrors the average quality of the overall fund range given that all funds are weighted equally.

The Asset-Weighted ranking gives an assessment of an asset manager’s weakness and strength, in light of how investors allocated assets between available investment options within the fund range. The Morningstar Rating Analysis of Unit Trusts includes all South African retail domiciled funds with a Morningstar Rating.

This implies that funds belonging to several broad categories are excluded since they are not eligible for a Morningstar Rating. This includes, amongst others, alternative funds, money market funds and commodity funds.


Written by How South Africa

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