Should Coronation, a focused asset manager with fewer than 300 staff members, still deserve to command such a large market cap? After all, at nearly R25bn it is twice as valuable as the JSE itself, and similar in value to the much more asset-heavy Barloworld. Fund managers have proved to be fickle investments, and their assets under management can diminish quickly. Coronation chief investment officer Karl Leinberger says the house has underperformed on average one year in three. The company aims to follow a conservative approach to investing and tries not to chase expensive fad stocks. This wasn’t one of those meltdown years: over the 12 months to April Coronation was fourth out of 11 in the Alexander Forbes Global Manager Watch, with a 7.3% return, and third over three years, with 9.2%. In 2017, to date, it is the top manager. Yet this has not prevented outflows — most recently, just after the March half-year, from Investment Solutions (IS). Coronation had been one of the anchor te...

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