This is still the largest sector of SA unit trusts, at R493bn, though money market funds are catching up fast. The high equity funds lost R18bn last year and at current trends the fast-growing money market funds will overtake them in about a year’s time. These funds hold R422bn at present.

As Karl Leinberger, chief investment officer of Coronation, points out that the trend away from one-stop multi asset funds has been driven by the growth of designated fund managers. They are hired by financial advisers to help construct more sophisticated portfolios, with separate fund managers who run equities and bond and cash managers, and even help them buy alternative assets. Big players in this space include PortfolioMetrix, Fundhouse and Morningstar Investment Management.

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