ROB ROSE: Casualties of the Covid-19 crisis
Covid-19 didn’t sink fund manager Electus, but it snuffed out its lifelines. Other firms already battling SA’s moribund economy face a similar fate
It’s an indictment of SA’s broken economy that highly rated fund manager Neil Brown is quitting the markets cold turkey after 28 years. It comes after a bruising year in which his company Electus, which he and Richard Hasson started in mid-2015 after they left Old Mutual, is shutting down — a victim of SA’s truly horrid economy, even before Covid-19.
"It was really the only decision we could take," Brown told the FM this week. "We performed really well in our first three years, being top quartile for the one-and three-year periods to end-2018, but last year, despite our decent track record, we needed to win some new money and we just weren’t able to." In 2019, Electus’s performance dropped and, combined with some large client withdrawals, the R3bn it was managing the year before declined to R1.5bn.