Al­lan Gray hands his as­sets to phi­lan­thropy

CityPress - - Busi­ness -

Al­lan Gray has given his fam­ily’s con­trol­ling stake in the fund man­ager bear­ing his name and its off­shore part­ner, the Ber­muda-based Or­bis Group, to a char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion in an un­prece­dented move for a South African in­vest­ment com­pany.

Con­trol of the busi­ness had been trans­ferred to the Al­lan and Gill Gray Foun­da­tion and div­i­dends would be used for phil­an­thropic pur­poses, said Gray in a news­let­ter to clients dated De­cem­ber 31 2015, with­out giv­ing de­tails of the size of the trans­ac­tion.

Pa­trice Mot­sepe, chair­per­son of African Rain­bow Min­er­als and the rich­est black South African, pledged some of his wealth to char­ity in 2013, join­ing ini­tia­tives by War­ren Buf­fett and Bill Gates to boost phi­lan­thropy.

“If we are able to con­tinue to do a good job for clients and re­tain their trust and con­fi­dence, I would ex­pect those div­i­dends to be mea­sured in hun­dreds of mil­lions of rands rather than tens of mil­lions of rands,” said Ian Lid­dle, chair­per­son and chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer at Al­lan Gray, by phone from Cape Town.

Gray “wants our busi­nesses to con­tinue to thrive and he thinks this is a gov­er­nance struc­ture that will al­low our busi­nesses to con­tinue to thrive”, said Lid­dle.

Al­lan Gray over­sees about $29 bil­lion (R469 bil­lion) and has an em­pow­er­ment com­pany, a staff share trust and some ex­ec­u­tives as mi­nor­ity share­hold­ers, ac­cord­ing to Lid­dle, who did not dis­close the value of the com­pany. Or­bis man­aged about $20 bil­lion for clients, he said. The com­pany was South Africa’s fourth-largest money man­ager in 2014, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey of re­tire­ment funds by Alexan­der Forbes.

Ne­c­es­sary con­tri­bu­tion

Gray, who turns 78 in April, said in the news­let­ter he had stepped down as chair­per­son of Or­bis to fo­cus on the foun­da­tion.

A Har­vard Busi­ness School grad­u­ate, he founded Al­lan Gray In­vest­ment Coun­sel in Cape Town in 1973 and served as chief ex­ec­u­tive for 15 years be­fore start­ing Or­bis in 1989. He now lives in Ber­muda. The foun­da­tion’s mis­sion state­ment “is to en­sure that the fruits from its con­trol­ling in­ter­ests in Or­bis and Al­lan Gray are ul­ti­mately de­voted en­tirely and ex­clu­sively to phi­lan­thropy, in keep­ing with the fam­ily’s long-held in­ten­tions”, said Gray.

“We con­sider this both the right thing to do and a small but nec­es­sary con­tri­bu­tion to­wards a so­ci­ety full of hope for all hu­man­ity.”

– Bloomberg


Al­lan Gray

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