At the Sanlam Benchmark Conference, and not for the first time, there was a panellist from the "burn the books" lobby. He said he would like to see investment surveys disappear. Pension funds would no longer be able to follow how their returns compared with the rest of the market and the set benchmark. At least those in segregated funds would remain ignorant; if their portfolios were held through unit trusts, then of course there would be an obligation to disclose. And this in an industry which exists to make enough money for its clients to have a sustainable retirement. As NFL coach Vince Lombardi would have put it, investment returns aren’t everything — they’re the only thing.

It is bizarre that the institutional surveys provide information for a calendar month, when retail funds are forbidden from providing returns for shorter than a year. It doesn’t help me much as a trustee to see that in April 2019 Afena Capital Core Equity gave a 3.7% return and First Avenue 6.6% — thou...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now