These were South Africa's biggest asset managers in 2020

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The Old Mutual Investment Group and Ninety One kept their crowns as the biggest and second-biggest asset managers in the country by mid-2020.
Photo: William Horne
The Old Mutual Investment Group and Ninety One kept their crowns as the biggest and second-biggest asset managers in the country by mid-2020. Photo: William Horne
  • The Old Mutual Investment Group and Ninety One kept their crowns as the biggest and second-biggest asset managers in the country in terms of assets under management .
  • According to the Alexander Forbes's annual manager watch survey, assets under the country's investment managers have more than doubled since December 2009.
  • The top 10 biggest managers still control a lion's share of this, but it is gradually changing.


According to the Alexander Forbes' annual manager watch survey, Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG) was South Africa's biggest investment firm in terms of assets under management (AUM) in June 2020.

The survey looks at changes in SA's retirement industry and investment landscape on an annual basis. Arguably, 2020 was the most volatile year since Alexander Forbes started conducting the survey in 1994.

And with that came major shifts in the rankings of asset managers as people moved their money around, either in panic after the March 2020 market bloodbath or when retrenchments started streaming in, forcing some workers to cash out from their pension funds and put their money in retail products.

The survey showed that OMIG remained the biggest asset manager among those 77 firms that participated in the survey even though its AUM had decreased 1.8% from June 2019 to R605.7 billion by the end of June 2020. Ninety One also kept its second-ranking from 2019. Its AUM increased by 2% to R604 billion.

Stanlib and Sanlam Investment Management (SIM) moved up to third and fourth place with AUM of R569 billion and R494 billion respectively. Coronation moved down from third place in 2019 to claim fifth place by June 2020 as its AUM declined to R484 billion. Allan Gray also moved down from fourth place in 2019 to sixth place with AUM of R470.7 billion.

Completing the top ten were Alexander Forbes Investments, Nedgroup Investments, Sanlam Multi-Managers and Taquanta.

The AUM that were used to rank the investment managers were based on assets that they manage for SA clients only.

However, these rankings might have changed materially since the survey was completed. For instance, those who have published their financial results in the top five showed that their assets had increased considerably by the end of 2020.

Old Mutual reported in its 2020 full-year results that its investment business increased its AUM to R691 billion by 31 December 2020. Coronation's AUM had increased to R594.7 billion by 31 December 2020, Stanlib SA's increased to R614 billion. These may include assets of their non-South African clients, but their SA clients' assets would have increased as well.

The pie is growing and so is competition

The survey also showed that the total value of assets managed by the country's investment managers had more than doubled from R2.7 trillion in December 2009 to R6.3 trillion by June 2020. Most are still at the hands of the biggest ten managers, even though their share has slightly declined from around 75% in 2015 to around 67% by June 2020.

When it comes to black-owned asset managers, the top five collectively increased their AUM by 19% between June 2019 and June 2020.

Managers who grew their assets the most over that period were Catalyst and First Avenue, who recorded more than a 40% increase in AUM. Taquanta, Vunani, Lima Mbweu, Sasfin, Rezco, Mianzo, and Prowess Terebith increased their AUM by over 30%. But most of these are smaller asset managers who grew their AUM from a low base.

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