Stephen Cranston Associate editor

Looking back on 2018, there has been a lot of introspection about the role of the fund manager. A big business such as Coronation remains massively profitable, though not growing. Privately owned Allan Gray has dogs in more fights: it has the largest linked investment service provider in SA, for example, and it no doubt spews out cash. But these are the exceptions. SA has a glut of investment managers, made worse by the proliferation of black empowerment managers who (egos notwithstanding) would be well advised, like everyone in the industry, to start merging. Is it a career to recommend to a bright, young chartered accountant or actuary? Fund management strikes me as the fun side of financial services and it won’t stop being interesting. Some, but not many, will consider life underwriting more enjoyable. But margins are contracting as a larger pool of clients move over to index funds. I have been to numerous thought leadership seminars that try to contradict this, but the number on...

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