Unit trust firms gun for Rag­ing Bull Awards on 21st an­niver­sary

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Staff Re­porter

THE OS­CARS of the unit trust in­dus­try, the Rag­ing Bull Awards, cel­e­brated their 21st an­niver­sary last night, and to mark the oc­ca­sion there were two spe­cial awards made in ad­di­tion to the 10 cov­eted awards. The event was hosted by Per­sonal Fi­nance, a pub­li­ca­tion of In­de­pen­dent Me­dia, in con­junc­tion with part­ners Pro­fileData and PlexCrown Fund Rat­ings.

The spe­cial awards were for the firm with the top-per­form­ing South African eq­uity gen­eral fund over 21 years and top mul­ti­as­set eq­uity fund on a riskad­justed ba­sis over 21 years.

Dr Iqbal Survé, the ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of In­de­pen­dent Me­dia, ad­dressed this year’s event, which was held at the Sum­mer Palace Ballroom in Jo­han­nes­burg.

More than 300 rep­re­sen­ta­tives of lead­ing unit trust firms, bou­tique man­agers, fi­nan­cial ser­vices reg­u­la­tors and in­vest­ment in­dus­try bod­ies at­tend the event. Each year, 10 Rag­ing Bull Awards are awarded.

The most cov­eted award, for the South African Man­age­ment Com­pany of the Year, is made on the ba­sis of an av­er­age PlexCrown fund rat­ing that mea­sures risk-ad­justed re­turns and con­sis­tency of per­for­mance across all of a man­ager’s qual­i­fy­ing funds for pe­ri­ods up to five years.

Last year, Ned­group In­vest­ments was the first man­age­ment com­pany to scoop the Rag­ing Bull Awards for South African Man­age­ment Com­pany and for Off­shore Man­age­ment Com­pany.

The award for the Off­shore Man­age­ment Com­pany of the Year is made to the fund man­ager with the best av­er­age risk-ad­justed per­for­mance rat­ing for its for­eign-cur­rency funds.

Cer­tifi­cates are awarded to the run­ners-up in the do­mes­tic man­age­ment com­pany rank­ings.

The run­ners-up last year were Corona­tion Fund Man­agers and Al­lan Gray. Corona­tion has won the cov­eted Rag­ing Bull for South African Man­age­ment Com­pany six times – three times in a row – while Al­lan Gray has been the com­pany of the year four times.

De­tails of the award, as well as in­ter­views with all the award win­ners, will be pub­lished in this Satur­day’s edi­tion of Per­sonal Fi­nance in the Pre­to­ria News Week­end, the Satur­day Star, The In­de­pen­dent on Satur­day and the Week­end Ar­gus and in Per­sonal Fi­nance web­site, www.pers­fin.co.za.

IT IS NOT just Repub­li­cans who failed to help US work­ers ad­just to glob­al­i­sa­tion. Democrats are cul­pa­ble too. Un­der the Clin­tons, Democrats have swopped al­le­giance to unions for Wall Street & Sil­i­con Val­ley. No real po­lit­i­cal will is ever gen­er­ated to help US work­ers by in­sist­ing they are the best in the world.

The Clin­ton Democrats want to be about the fu­ture, but they see unions as some relic of the past.

The week when Don­ald Trump, a Repub­li­can, opted to with­draw the US from the Trans Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) is an op­por­tune mo­ment to re­flect on the Democrats’ role in manag­ing glob­al­i­sa­tion in the US.

Af­ter all, the hy­per-com­plex TPP deal had been most ar­dently pur­sued by a Demo­cratic pres­i­dent who steam­rolled over many le­git­i­mate con­cerns ex­pressed dur­ing the de­lib­er­a­tions.

Obama ul­ti­mately only sought rhetor­i­cal fixes for these con­cerns.

Paper­ing over no more

Obama stood in a strong, but ill-ad­vised tra­di­tion to pa­per over what­ever the cor­po­ra­tions want – and the peo­ple quite strongly dis­like.

That is just one of the ma­jor mis­takes var­i­ous US gov­ern­ments have made in not ready­ing their na­tion – and es­pe­cially the blue-col­lar work­force – for the age of glob­al­i­sa­tion.

As Ed­ward Alden has shown, this fail­ure to ad­just has been known for close to half a cen­tury.

For all the rhetoric that was de­ployed along the way, no real re­me­dial ac­tion was taken – un­til the ar­rival of Don­ald Trump of all peo­ple.

In their cam­paign to push TPP for­ward, the Democrats are plenty cul­pa­ble them­selves.

One could even say that, hav­ing cham­pi­oned the cause of glob­al­i­sa­tion for so long, the Demo­cratic Party is the ul­ti­mate loser of the glob­al­i­sa­tion de­bate in the US.

Af­ter all, their all-too-stead­fast sup­port of glob­al­i­sa­tion, with or with­out proper man­age­ment, cost them the White House in Jan­uary 2017.

It is true that, un­like the Repub­li­cans, the Democrats were al­ways quick to mouth the right words on help­ing work­ers via a pack­age of trade ad­just­ment mea­sures, more spend­ing on in­fra­struc­ture and sim­i­lar prom­ises.

But whether that in­deed was ul­ti­mately the re­sult of an in­suf­fi­cient com­mit­ment on the part of the Democrats or their in­abil­ity to over­come Repub­li­can op­po­si­tion in the Congress, the re­sult largely re­mained the same: noth­ing re­ally hap­pened.

The Clin­tons and the unions

Which leads to a truly puz­zling ques­tion: The Democrats must have been aware of the Repub­li­cans’ un­wa­ver­ing ide­o­log­i­cal op­po­si­tion to en­gage in proac­tive poli­cies to help work­ers that lost their jobs due to out­sourc­ing.

That made the un­wa­ver­ing sup­port of both the Clin­ton and the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tions dou­bly risky.

They were fight­ing for what has es­sen­tially al­ways been re­garded as a cor­po­ratist – and hence Repub­li­can – agenda.

But they did so with­out any safety net, as was so cru­elly ex­posed by the Repub­li­cans.

In part, this was also due to the Democrats’ dis­in­te­grat­ing re­la­tion­ship to labour unions.

While the lat­ter were, and con­tinue to be, a vi­tal source of voter sup­port, they were largely taken for granted by the Demo­cratic Party.

Es­pe­cially the Clin­ton Democrats have long felt un­easy about this re­la­tion­ship. It helps to re­call that the two Clin­tons’ big­gest po­lit­i­cal power base within the Demo­cratic Party, both in 1992 and 2016, was and re­mains the Amer­i­can South.

That also hap­pens to be the re­gion where labour unions are weak­est, of­ten by force of state law.

Unions a thing of the past

The Clin­ton Democrats al­ways want to po­si­tion them­selves as be­ing “about the fu­ture”. Ac­cord­ingly, they re­gard unions as some relic of the past.

Worse, to the Clin­tons and their acolytes, work­ing with unions meant deal­ing with “losers”.

Both Clin­tons have a strong pref­er­ence for the win­ners. To them, turn­ing their backs on the losers of his­tory is the price to be paid for progress it­self.

Bill Clin­ton fa­mously talked about “feel­ing your pain”, but that was just a rhetor­i­cal form of as­so­ci­a­tion. Do­ing any­thing more would have meant to stand in progress’s way.

A pe­cu­liar sense

Un­der the yoke of the Clin­ton ma­chine, the Demo­cratic Party swopped its sense of al­le­giance from the unions to Wall Street and to Sil­i­con Val­ley.

In the end, this shift could also be put down to crass mon­e­tary con­sid­er­a­tions.

As the unions’ in­flu­ence (and the ranks of their mem­ber­ship) de­clined, they also be­came a less re­li­able source of fi­nance for the Demo­cratic Party.

Trad­ing the unions for the Gold­man Sach­ses and Citibanks of this world seemed (and seems) like a much more prof­itable and dy­namic choice for Clin­to­nian cam­paign fi­nance ma­chin­ery.

Sil­i­con Val­ley wor­ship

The two Clin­tons and Obama were mas­ters in herald­ing the suc­cess of those firms.

To all of them, it seemed like a no­brainer. They felt they were trad­ing up, un­shack­ling the Democrats from their past de­pen­dence on work­ers and labour unions.

Their ar­ro­gance has cost them dearly. Don­ald Trump con­nected with large enough swaths of peo­ple across the na­tion’s for­mer union-coun­try to get elected pres­i­dent.

Where Obama and Hil­lary proved out of touch, The Don­ald was in touch.

One can hardly imag­ine a stronger in­dict­ment to be hoisted upon the Democrats than this. Stephan Richter is the pub­lisher and editorin-chief of The Glob­al­ist.This ar­ti­cle ini­tially ap­peared on The Glob­al­ist. Fol­low The Glob­al­ist on Twit­ter: @the­glob­al­ist

Dr Iqbal Survé

A minia­ture re­pro­duc­tion of Ar­turo Di Mod­ica’s “Charg­ing Bull” sculp­ture out­side the New York Stock Ex­change, in lower Man­hat­tan. Don­ald Trump con­nected with swaths of peo­ple across the US’s for­mer union-coun­try to get elected pres­i­dent.

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