Note from our Chief Executive Officer

In a volatile, uncertain environment underpinned by slow growth and high unemployment, communicating with our clients on issues relating to their investments, has become more critical than ever.


Welcome to the first edition of our new Vunani Fund Managers Newsletter called VFM-Insights, in which we hope to foster better and more meaningful engagement with our clients and the broader investment community.

We intend covering a plethora of issues that we contend with on a daily basis – on the one hand, we will cover company and industry issues that are important to us and reflect our priorities and values. On the other, we will cover investment themes, issues and compelling questions raised by our customers and their clients. In this issue we focus on the topical issue of what to expect if the country’s sovereign rating is downgraded and provide insights into our investment approach.

I sincerely hope you find this newsletter to be appropriately informative and should you have any inputs, please share your feedback with us by sending an email to

An interesting stat at Vunani Fund Managers

A few weeks ago, someone pointed out an interesting statistic at the company. I regularly use a particular slide to demonstrate the breadth of our investment team’s experience, but someone crunched the numbers to reveal that our investment team has collectively 251 years of experience, at an average of 18 years’ experience per person. That is a staggering number by any measure, and an especially important number for Vunani Fund Managers who have an astounding 20-year track record.

We recognise the importance of the assets entrusted on us by our clients and we need to ensure we take special care to meet and exceed their investment objectives. In order to achieve this, we are always investing in our existing people, improving our culture and work environment through activities and initiatives. Retaining our most important asset, our people. This year marks the 20th work anniversary for Tony Bell and Craig MacArthur and 10th anniversary for Rowan Williams-Short, who celebrated his 30th anniversary of being in the industry.
As new opportunities pour into our company, attracting the best talent in the marketplace remains a priority. In 2018, in line with diversifying our institutional capability, we bolstered our investment team with four new investment professionals.

Ntobeko Stampu, who joined our Fixed Interest Team in 2018, discusses what to expect if Moody’s downgrades SA in 2020. He illustrates the point that we as VFM don’t forecast events or risk drivers, we merely infer them. We have strong conviction in the belief that inference can be more powerful than forecasting, a philosophy we have stuck by. Rowan Williams-Short shares a noteworthy all-time record on the US 10-year Treasury yield.

Safs Narker, our Chief Investment Officer, provides further insight into our investment philosophy and processes. He illustrates this by providing examples of three popular stocks that we seemingly took contrarian views on: Woolworths, Sasol and Naspers. He notes that our approach is steeped in bottom-up fundamental stock analysis to understand the key drivers to a company’s earnings in the medium to long term.

Ntsekhe Moiloa reflects on the global and local economic outlook. Markets remain volatile, it’s important that we equip our clients with relevant information to help them make better informed decisions. We hope to share more details on our initiatives in this regard in the upcoming newsletters.

We appreciate your continued commitment to the company and our growth. We are confident we can make this mutually rewarding. I look forward to working together with our valued clients and society at large in contributing to our economy, committing to making a difference by constantly striving to improve our transformation objectives and society’s broader objectives.