We compare the gross return of the share carve-out of our Global Balanced mandate to the total return of the FTSE/JSE All Share Index.
The principles underlying our investment approach guide us to continue delivering on our core objective.
Our objective is to create long-term wealth for our clients. As such, we take a long-term perspective on our investment decisions and business strategy. We aim to invest responsibly and integrate sustainability considerations into our decision-making.
We are a privately-owned company with perpetual and committed shareholders. Our unique ownership structure allows us to apply our investment philosophy, and endure periods of underperformance, without external pressure to capitulate to short-term trends. This ensures we do not jeopardise our ability to add value for our clients over the long term and allows our team to remain focused on our core objective.
To generate superior returns, you cannot do what everyone else does. You must think independently. This does not mean that we always aim to be different, but rather that we are comfortable leaning against conventional wisdom when this is justified by our fundamental research.
We actively seek and foster diversity of thought in our investment team. We believe that the best decisions are made by individuals, not committees. We hire independent-minded people who are comfortable making unpopular decisions based on their own convictions and who accept responsibility for their actions.
We follow a bottom-up, valuation-oriented approach and rely on our own fundamental research and analysis to determine a company’s intrinsic value, which we then compare to its share price. Some of the best investment opportunities arise when sentiment drives markets to unjustified extremes. Careful consideration of securities that are out of favour can reveal exciting investment opportunities.
We are not benchmark cognisant and will not own a share if we believe it is overvalued, despite its benchmark weight. Conversely, we invest with conviction when we are excited about an opportunity. We do not define risk in terms of volatility or how different we are from others. Instead, we focus on avoiding any permanent loss of capital.
Because we believe that our profitability must come from creating value for our clients, we prefer performance-based fees, as they align our interests with those of our clients. We are incentivised to be the best, rather than the biggest, and to make strategic decisions that protect our ability to add value for our clients.
Our remuneration policy encourages employees to behave like owners rather than managers. This means that employees do well if our clients do well.
Furthermore, senior executives and portfolio managers participate in the profits of the firm post departure. They have a vested interest in our future success and are incentivised to make sound, long-term decisions and pass their responsibilities to capable successors.
Our approach to investing is simple
We look closely at businesses. We buy shares we think are undervalued and sell them when we think they have reached their worth, regardless of popular opinion.
Explore the opportunity set
Our analysts and portfolio managers monitor the markets to identify attractive investment opportunities.
Identify a subset of interest
Mindful of the prevailing economic and investment environment, we focus our attention on those opportunities that offer potential value. To ensure a comprehensive view of the market, we examine opportunities beyond those that appear obviously cheap.
Allocate the opportunities
Each investment opportunity is allocated to an analyst. Our analysts are generalists and may be assigned shares from any sector.
Focus on fundamental research
The analyst conducts rigorous fundamental research on the allocated share as a core focus over a period of six to 12 weeks.
Research the business
We perform our own in-depth analysis. We spend time understanding the business model, interrogating the financials, and assessing environmental, social and governance risks to form our own view.
Research the environment
We also evaluate a range of external factors, including competitive dynamics, the level of commodity prices, potential regulatory changes and the impact of macroeconomic developments on the business.
Compile a report
The analyst’s research culminates in an estimate of the intrinsic value of the business based on a long-term view. This forms the basis of the investment case, which is then captured in a detailed report.
Recommend a rating
The analyst’s report contains a ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ recommendation, reflecting their view on the attractiveness of the share.
The analyst then presents the report and recommendation to the rest of the investment team. The team scrutinises, challenges and debates the case to ensure that the investment thesis is sound.
Following the robust review, each member of the investment team submits a ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ vote, as well as a risk rating that limits the exposure to the investment in a portfolio.
Finalise the rating
Members’ votes are weighted based on seniority, and a final ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ status is formalised. Securities from other asset classes are assessed through a similar process.
Each portfolio manager is responsible for managing a portion of the overall portfolio. We do not have a house view and portfolio managers are given wide discretion in managing their slice of the portfolio. Once a share has been voted onto our ‘buy list’, the portfolio managers decide whether or not to include the share in their individual portfolios.
The individual manager portfolios are combined to create a single client mandate, giving clients exposure to a range of investment views. We believe this approach results in greater focus and accountability on the part of portfolio managers, while ensuring that client portfolios are sufficiently diversified.
Our investment team
We have great faith in the power of the individual to make an impact and encourage our people to be independent minded and accountable for their decisions. We have a strong, internally developed investment team with a wealth of investment expertise and experience. Guided by our rigorous investment process and philosophy, the team is focused solely on delivering the best long-term outcomes for our clients.
Artus Chief investment officer
Duncan was appointed chief investment officer in 2020. He joined Allan Gray in 2001 and was appointed as a portfolio manager in 2005. He manages a portion of the equity, balanced and stable portfolios. He is also a director of Allan Gray Group Proprietary Limited and Allan Gray Proprietary Limited. Duncan holds an Honours degree in Business Science and a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting from the University of Cape Town and is a CFA® and CMT® charterholder.
Plaut Portfolio manager
Jacques joined Allan Gray as an equity analyst in 2008 after working as a management consultant. He began managing a portion of the equity and balanced portfolios earmarked for associate portfolio managers in 2013 and was appointed as a portfolio manager in 2015. Jacques holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Cape Town and is a CFA® charterholder.
Kutisker-Jacobson Portfolio manager
Rory joined Allan Gray as an equity analyst in 2008. He was appointed as a portfolio manager in 2017 and manages a portion of the equity, balanced, frontier markets equity and African equity portfolios. He holds a Bachelor of Business Science degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Cape Town and is a CFA® charterholder.
Acker Portfolio manager
Tim joined Allan Gray as an equity analyst in 2013 after working in academia and completing his articles. He was appointed as a portfolio manager in 2020 and manages a portion of the equity, balanced and stable portfolios. Tim holds a Master of Accounting degree, specialising in Taxation, from Stellenbosch University. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a CFA® charterholder.
McGregor Portfolio manager
Sandy joined Allan Gray as an investment analyst and economist in 1991. Previously, he was employed by Gold Fields of South Africa Limited in a variety of management positions for 22 years, where much of his experience was focused on investment-related activities. His current responsibilities include the management of the fixed interest component of the balanced portfolios. He was a director of Allan Gray Limited from 1997 to 2006.
Petousis Portfolio manager
Thalia joined Allan Gray as a fixed interest trader in 2015. She was appointed as a portfolio manager in 2019 and currently manages the money market portfolio, the bond portfolio, as well as portions of the balanced fixed interest and the Africa fixed interest portfolios. Thalia holds a Master of Commerce degree in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Cape Town and is a CFA® charterholder.
Munsie Portfolio manager
Sean joined Allan Gray as an equity analyst in 2013 after working for various investment banks in the United Kingdom. He was appointed as a portfolio manager in 2020 and manages a portion of the stable portfolios. He is also the manager of the optimal portfolios. Sean holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree in Accounting from Stellenbosch University. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a CFA® charterholder.
Govan Portfolio manager
Kamal joined Allan Gray as an equity analyst in 2016 after working as a management consultant. He was appointed as a portfolio manager in 2020 and manages a portion of the African equity portfolio. He holds a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree and a Higher Diploma in Accountancy, both from the University of the Witwatersrand. Kamal is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a CFA® charterholder.
Hajjar Portfolio manager
Rami joined Allan Gray as an equity analyst in 2015 after having worked in various investment roles in Beirut and Paris. He was appointed as a portfolio manager in 2020 and manages a portion of the African equity portfolio. Rami holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the American University of Beirut and a Master of Science degree in Financial Economics from HEC Paris.
Maharaj Portfolio manager
Varshan joined Allan Gray in 2014 as an equity analyst. He was appointed as a portfolio manager in 2020 and manages a portion of the frontier markets equity portfolio. Varshan holds a Bachelor of Business Science degree from the University of Cape Town. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a CFA® charterholder.