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