Stephen Cranston Associate editor

It is quite common for a company which has had a relatively poor year to make speeches or write advertorials about long-term investing. Coronation, ever the marketing machine, is pushing this line aggressively. Prudential, which didn’t meet its exacting standards, has produced a more subtle article in its internal newsletter on the need to "consider the longer journey through time". Most of us don’t have the luxury of keeping our jobs if we stuff up as royally as some fund managers did last year. But it is worth looking at Valdon Theron’s article. He has the thankless task of keeping the consultants happy, and he has got Prudential onto most lists, though it doesn’t yet have the popularity of the big three: Allan Gray, Coronation and Investec. It’s true that past performance doesn’t always repeat, but there is no doubt that bad performance persists far more than good; we all know those managers that seem to be destined to stay in the fourth quartile. But Prudential isn’t one of them...

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