South Africa’s top 20 asset managers

The 2022 Alexforbes Manager Watch Annual Survey revealed that Ninety One, Stanlib, and Sanlam Investment Management (SIM) are the largest asset managers in South Africa.

The Alexforbes survey of retirement fund investment managers showcases the performance of institutional fund managers in South Africa.

It ranks the largest and best asset managers and gives other information, including their respective BBBEE ratings.

The Alexforbes Manager Watch has tracked the retirement fund investment management industry since the dawn of democracy in South Africa.

The survey provides a key reference point to all South African retirement funding industry stakeholders.

Janina Slawski, head of investment consulting at Alexforbes, said they see strong demand for black-owned and management funds in South Africa.

“There is a strong driver from clients asking for advisers and multi-managers to look for capabilities managed by majority black owners,” Slawski said.

The industry also had strong overall growth, which was partly linked to black economic empowerment (BEE).

“There is also a lot of focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) from investment managers,” she said.

An interesting observation from the survey was that offshore investments were not significantly increased despite a change to “Regulation 28” governing portfolio exposure.

The regulatory change increased the allowed aggregate exposure to foreign assets to a maximum of 45%, up from the previous limit of 30%.

Slawski explained that asset managers see South African assets as more attractive at this stage of the cycle, which explains the sluggish increase in offshore exposure.

However, there is a move towards increasing offshore exposure, which will come through in the next year’s survey.

South African asset management industry growth

The asset management industry in South Africa has undergone substantial growth over the last decade, with assets under management (AuM) more than doubling from 2011 to 2022.

This growth has been driven primarily by the 10 largest asset managers who have seen significant fund inflows in the last decade.

BEE and industry concentration

A trend highlighted by Alexforbes was the increasing number of asset managers becoming majority black-owned. All of the top 20 asset managers are Level 1 BEE contributors, besides Fairtree, which is only level 3.

BEE Level 1 asset managers saw a 65% growth in assets in 2021 and a 92% growth in 2022.

The industry is also highly concentrated, with the 10 largest managers controlling roughly two-thirds of all assets, although this share has declined slightly in recent years.

South Africa’s largest asset managers

South Africa’s 10 largest asset managers control funds with a value of R4.46 trillion. Nearly R1 trillion of that is invested outside of the country.

Alexforbes only surveys private asset managers, so the country’s largest asset manager, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), is not included.

The PIC has over R2.3 trillion in assets, making it three times as large as the largest private asset manager, Ninety One.

Alexforbes also only considers the value of funds accessible to South African clients, which disadvantages asset managers such as Ninety One, which has products only available to its clientele outside the country.

It did not prevent Ninety One from maintaining its top spot as the largest asset manager in South Africa. Stanlib Asset Management ranked second, followed by SIM.

The winners over the last year include SIM, Sanlam Multi Managers, Momentum MoM, Fairtree, Aluwani, and Ashburton.

The losers were Coronation, Taquanta, Momentum Asset Management, and Absa Asset Management.

The table below provides an overview of the top asset managers in the country in 2022.