Sustainability is embedded in how we invest on behalf of our clients, operate our business and interact with society. We have always considered environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors as part of our investment process as we believe that this improves investment returns, better manages risk and assists our clients to act as responsible owners. As a conscientious corporate citizen, we strive to make a meaningful long-term impact on the communities in which we operate and society at large.

Our approach to responsible investing

We incorporate ESG factors as an integral part of our investment process. We have been following this approach since the firm was established in 1973.

Our ESG research is conducted in-house and integrated into our investment analysis across all asset classes. Investment analysts are responsible for researching material ESG issues relating to the instruments they cover and highlighting these in their research reports. Key ESG issues are debated when we discuss investment opportunities and vote on “buy” or “sell” ratings. ESG risks are factored into company valuations, either by adjusting earnings or cash flow if the risk is quantifiable, or by valuing the company or division on a lower multiple if the downside risks are significant but uncertain.

The Investment team includes a governance analyst and two environmental and social analysts, who perform additional monitoring, in-depth research into identified risk areas, and thematic ESG research. We also have a Research Library, which monitors company-specific ESG news and shares relevant news items with the team.

We always aim to do what we believe is right. This does not mean taking a binary view on whether investments are “good” or “bad” and making related portfolio exclusions or inclusions. Instead, we undertake fact-based, in-depth, and holistic research to inform our investment decisions.

We continue to monitor ESG factors once we are invested. This is crucial because ESG issues are dynamic and sometimes concerns may only arise once we are invested. Where we are invested in instruments that have negative environmental or social impacts, we encourage a focus on minimising harm and holding management and boards to account.

We believe that good stewardship of our clients’ capital requires truly active ownership. We engage frequently and meaningfully with company boards and management teams and think critically about how we vote on behalf of our clients at company meetings. In addition to engaging with our investee companies, we actively partake in initiatives that promote sound corporate governance and sustainable business practices.

Fundamental research

Fundamental research

Additional ESG research

Additional ESG research

Portfolio management

Portfolio management



Proxy voting

Proxy voting


Responsible investment policies

Our policies on responsible investment, ownership responsibilities, conflicts of interest and climate articulate our approach.

Stewardship Reports

Our annual Stewardship Report provides an update on important ESG matters that have arisen during the year.

Climate primers

We explain climate initiatives in the financial sector and carbon accounting methodologies, providing examples and case studies.

Carbon accounting reports

We assess our equity portfolio's carbon footprint, making improvements to our disclosures in line with best practice​.

Long-term ownership

Our unique ownership structure ensures that we can always do what is best for our clients and remain focused on our core objective, without pressure from external shareholders to prioritise business needs or capitulate to short-term investment trends.

Allan & Gill Gray Foundation was established in 2015 to hold controlling stakes in Allan Gray and Orbis in perpetuity.

The Foundation was established by the Gray family to serve two purposes:

  1. To ensure that the Allan Gray and Orbis groups can continue to operate independently: With perpetual ownership in strong hands, the management teams of Allan Gray and Orbis can focus entirely on achieving long-term results that add value for clients.
  2. To channel the Foundation’s share of the firms’ distributable profits exclusively into philanthropic efforts aimed at promoting public benefit or social improvement.

Allan & Gill Gray Foundation should not be confused with the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, which was established in 2005, and funds the education of hundreds of high-potential scholars and students through our donations to the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. Our empowerment partner, E Squared, which owns 17.8% of Allan Gray Proprietary Limited, stands ready to finance the entrepreneurial ventures of graduating Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellows.

In a bid to accelerate transformation within Allan Gray, a staff share scheme was created to increase the black ownership of our business. 14% of Allan Gray Proprietary Limited has been reserved for current and future employees, the majority of which is earmarked for black employees.


Allan Gray aims to play an active role in redressing issues of the past and creating a future for South Africa. Transformation is a business and ethical priority and forms a key focus of our sustainability efforts. We strive for a company where every person has an equal opportunity to succeed and where diversity is represented across all levels. Our efforts to diversify the staff complement of Allan Gray are illustrated below.


  • Black
  • White and non-South African


  • Female
  • Male

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) status

Level 1

Allan Gray Proprietary Limited has been awarded a Level 1 contributor status in terms of the Amended Financial Sector Charter Codes. Our B-BBEE status was verified by AQRate, an external independent rating agency.


B-BBEE certificate

View our latest B-BBEE certificate.

Our operations

We are mindful of our impact on the environment and are always looking for ways to minimise our business’s ecological footprint. The Allan Gray building in Cape Town was designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. The building achieved the first 6-star Green Star SA rating in South Africa by, among other features, recycling grey water and using the sea to cool the interior. The building uses natural light and has an intelligent lighting system to ensure lights are only on when they need to be. We harness solar power to meet some of our energy needs and make use of a water desalination plant. Employees are also incentivised to walk, cycle or use public transport to get to work.

Over the past few years, we have taken steps to identify areas of our operations where we can reduce consumption and improve waste management. We believe that staff education on environmental issues and collaboration across businesses are key to effecting change on a meaningful scale.

Allan Gray head office

1 Silo Square, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

A natural extension of what we do

Our founder, the late Allan WB Gray, believed that philanthropy is a natural extension of what we do each day. In addition to creating value for our clients, we are able to make a positive contribution to the common good, enhance the lives of the people who live in the communities in which we operate and support initiatives that benefit the public over the long term. We currently engage in active strategic philanthropy through integrated projects that aim to create jobs, provide access to quality education and foster entrepreneurship.

Allan & Gill Gray Foundation

Our perpetual majority shareholder, Allan & Gill Gray Foundation, practises its philanthropic activities through the Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy. It aims to attack poverty by investing in, nurturing and empowering responsible entrepreneurs and leaders who benefit society by helping to accelerate meaningful employment creation, while embodying the values and behaviours of ethical leadership.

The philanthropic organisation engages in a number of projects that impact the broader communities within which we operate, as well as initiatives beyond Southern Africa. These include a philanthropy initiative with employees of Allan Gray that aims to champion social impact projects in support of the common good, as well as various innovative projects that share our entrepreneurship development learnings with the rest of the continent.

Visit the Allan & Gill Gray Foundation website for more information.

Allan Gray Orbis Foundation

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation was formed in 2005 to invest in the education and development of individuals with entrepreneurial potential within Southern Africa. The Foundation focuses on developing scholars, university students and graduates to cultivate high-impact, responsible entrepreneurship.

The Foundation provides successful candidates with full scholarships, including tuition and residence fees, to pursue a degree in business or any other relevant field. There is a focus on developing entrepreneurial skills. Once they have graduated, Allan Gray Fellows are encouraged to become entrepreneurs. In addition, some are afforded the opportunity to pursue postgraduate degrees at top-rated local or international institutions, frequently after acquiring relevant working experience.

Visit the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation website for more information.

574 Scholars 574


40 Placement schools 40

Placement schools

63 000+ Scholarship applications 63 000+

Scholarship applications

1 813 Candidate Fellows 1 813

Candidate Fellows

797 Graduated Fellows 797

Graduated Fellows

11 Placement universities 11

Placement universities

58 000+ Fellowship applications 58 000+

Fellowship applications

250+ Fellow businesses 250+

Fellow businesses

R2 billion+ Value of Fellow businesses R2 billion+

Value of Fellow businesses

E Squared

E Squared stands for excellence in entrepreneurship. It is an impact investor that was founded in 2007 as part of a long-term empowerment strategy and owns 17.8% of Allan Gray Propriety Limited.

E Squared’s objective is to provide Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellows and predominantly black-owned social enterprises with subsidised funding to help them build and scale high-impact organisations that will create jobs, address poverty and contribute to transformation in South Africa.

Allan Gray's
vision for E Squared

Supporting responsible

Watch the video


Visit the E Squared website for more information.

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