Post Investment Summit Insight 2019
Yet another thought-provoking annual GIB Investment Summit was held in August of this year with the theme “Navigating Risk”. Bruce Whitfield was once again the MC of the Summit and facilitated the event by setting the scene on the current state of the financial markets and how important it is to understand risk and to navigate the current volatility in the markets.
Ann-Katrin Petersen (Allianz Global Investors), a leading global economist, presented a powerful presentation on “Active is: Navigating late-cycle risks” disclosing Allianz’s top-10 global business risks for 2019 as well as key financial market drivers for the remainder of the year.
Herman Van Papendorp, head of investment research & asset allocation from Momentum, followed with an insightful presentation on the state of the South African economy - “appropriate investment responses to the prevailing macro environment”. He highlighted the importance of the relationship between the economy and politics and how this has directly impacted economic growth each year from the Madiba Magic years (2.6% growth) to the Mbeki Momentum (4.2%), the Zuma Zag years (1.8%) and the potential Ramaposha Revival (currently 0.4%). He also provided an interesting perspective on the difficult reforms that will be needed to improve confidence in the local market.
A local equity panel with a number of the industry’s leading asset managers followed with tough yet critical questions about their top 10 equity holdings. The panel was made up of Neville Chester (Coronation), Cor Boysen (Fairtree), Duncan Artus (Allan Gray) and Simon Fillmore (Independent Securities).
Noteworthy comments were raised on how Presidents Trump’s Trade War with China has renewed fears of a global economic slowdown and how the recent risk-off and risk-on environment has impacted all the local Equity managers’ top ten holdings, with at least one or two of each of their positions not escaping the market turmoil.
Despite the intellectual banter, all local equity managers successfully defended their positions proving that different views ultimately create markets.
Thereafter, Cy Jacobs from 36ONE Asset Management de-mystified Hedge Funds by explaining their place within portfolios and how he believed that they make markets more efficient. He also suggested that these provide a plausible alternative to traditional portfolios when markets are trading in the negative.
The GIB Investment Summit showcased the insights of some of South Africa’s top asset managers endorsing GIB’s confidence in the ability of the local investment industry to navigate risk within the investment markets over the next few turbulent years, and into calmer waters that ensure investors’ retirement needs.
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