Stephen Cranston Writer & columnist

If Coca-Cola started tasting fishy it would not take too long for consumers to ditch it. But when Allan Gray does not deliver the investment returns you might expect from its premium pricing, it is much better insulated from change.For a start, many of the asset consultants who recommended Allan Gray in the first place are slow to change their point of view — though recently Willis Towers Watson has moved it from the A-list to the B-list.Unit trusts, however, are a different story, and R13.5bn was withdrawn from the Allan Gray Balanced Fund in 2020.One of Allan Gray’s problems is that it still acts like a niche cottage business even though it now manages about R600bn. In the equity fund, its largest holdings are old favourites such as Naspers, British American Tobacco, Standard Bank and Sibanye-Stillwater. With its assets under management Allan Gray can’t deviate from the index in the same way that the Allan Gray of the mid-1990s used to do.The new chief investment officer, Duncan A...

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