Allan Gray limited review 2024

Allan Gray, a prominent investment management firm hailing from South Africa, boasts its headquarters in Cape Town. Established in 1973 […]

Allan Gray
Allen Grey
 Type Private 
 Founded 1973 
 Sector  Financials
 Industry  Asset Management
 Areas Served South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho
 Products  Pooled products, retail unit trust, retirement products and institutional segregated products
 Address  1 Silo Square
V&A Waterfront
Cape Town
South Africa

Allan Gray, a prominent investment management firm hailing from South Africa, boasts its headquarters in Cape Town. Established in 1973 by Allan William Buchanan Gray, the company’s nomenclature honors its founder by combining his first and last names.

Moreover, Allan WB Gray is renowned for founding Orbis Investment Management and Allan Gray Australia, both serving as sister companies to Allan Gray Investment Management. With offices in Namibia, Kenya, Swaziland, and Nigeria, their product range includes retail unit trusts, retirement solutions, and segregated institutional products.

The firm has demonstrated impressive returns on investment, drawing comparisons to the growth trajectory of Berkshire Hathaway. Today, it stands as South Africa’s largest privately-held investment management entity, competing robustly against financial giants like Investec and Sanlam.

Products and Services offered by Allan Gray Pty Ltd

Unit Trust Investments

Basic investment

The Basic Unit Trust Investment option provides a versatile approach to managing your financial aspirations, whether for long-term savings or short-term goals. This straightforward investment avenue caters to various needs with ease.

Starting with a minimum investment of R500.00 per month or a lump sum of R20,000.00 or more, this option offers flexibility. Monthly contributions of R500.00 can be paused, adjusted, or resumed at your discretion, without penalties or waiting periods.

Modifications to your investment incur no fees, ensuring unrestricted access to your funds whenever needed. Among the four plans available—Allan Gray Equity Fund, Allan Gray Balanced Fund, Allan Gray Stable Fund, and Allan Gray Money Market Fund—you have the liberty to select where your money is allocated.

While making this choice requires a clear understanding, advisors are available to guide you towards the most suitable unit trust option for your financial objectives.

Retirement saving

Investing in Allan Gray unit trusts directly or through their retirement annuity option is a strategic move for retirement planning.

Opting for Allan Gray retirement annuity brings two key benefits: tax savings and a level of protection, albeit with certain limitations. To kick-start your investment, a lump sum of R20,000.00 suffices, eliminating the need for monthly contributions.

For those preferring regular investments, a minimum of R500.00 per month is feasible, with the flexibility to adjust the amount or pause contributions without penalties. Unlike many other retirement annuities with rigid maturity periods, Allan Gray’s option allows you to access your funds whenever necessary, offering unparalleled convenience.

Moreover, your retirement funds are shielded from potential creditors, ensuring that the money remains exclusively yours to claim.

Tax-free investment

The tax-free investment opportunity offers significant tax savings on your investment returns. However, there are limits: a maximum of R36,000.00 per tax year and a lifetime cap of R500,000.00.

All interest earned, including capital gains and dividends, remains tax-free within this investment framework. Beginning with a minimum of R500.00, you can enter the Allan Gray Tax-Free Balanced Fund or increase your investment without facing any penalties.

It’s crucial not to surpass the R36,000.00 limit per tax year, as exceeding this threshold incurs a 40% tax penalty on the excess amount. Alternatively, you can start by investing a lump sum of R20,000.00 or more in one go.

Education savings

Investing in unit trusts for your child’s education empowers you with control over your investment strategy.

Setting clear goals and factoring in inflation, you’ll have the freedom to decide how, when, and for what purpose to utilize your investment.

You can start investing with as little as R500.00 per month, with the flexibility to adjust contributions over time or pause and withdraw as needed. Opting for a lump sum investment is also an option, without any set minimum or maximum amounts.

Once invested, you’ll gain access to a secure online account to monitor your investment’s performance, giving you transparency and peace of mind about where your money is allocated. This means you can withdraw your funds whenever required.

Investing Offshore

It’s not easy to invest offshore especially when you don’t have any prior experience on how to invest offshore.

Allan Gray helps individuals to invest offshore, allowing them to spread investments risk across different economies and regions.

You get access to different industries and companies that may be a substitute or that are not even available to those in South Africa.

Reasons to invest offshore differ but what Allan Gray offers for your offshore investment is that you have control over your investments.

You can choose investment options that suit your needs and they will action those for you.

Amongst other things you get consolidated reporting on all your foreign investments and get help with the administration involved in taking your money offshore.

Group Savings

Allan Gray Umbrella Retirement Fund: this fund from Allan Gray allows multiple employers to use a single structure to help their employees save for retirement.

The umbrella retirement fund helps companies secure the future of their employees after retirement.

Employees won’t be bothered to look for a retirement fund elsewhere instead a company will simply do it for them.

The fund provides the structure and tax benefits, therefore, third party beneficiaries are cut as investment returns come from the underlying investment portfolio.

Allan Gray Group Retirement Annuity: also for companies, this annuity investment enables employers to make a retirement solution available to their staff based on individual members of the Allan Gray Retirement Annuity. Funds can be accessed after retirement at the age of 55.

Allan Gray Board of Directors

Nishaat Limbada Director
Teboho Mahuma Non-Executive director
Thando Mhlambiso Non-Executive director
Khumo Morolo Non-Executive director
Rob Formby Director
William Gray Non-Executive director
Andrew Lapping Director
Ian Liddle Chairman


Starting as an investment counselling company, Allan Gray Investment Management has seen tremendous growth since its genesis.

Adding institutional clients and then to becoming the largest privately-held investment management firm with over R850 billion in assets.

The company is now the epitome of well-organised investment across Africa.

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