Sasfin Asset Managers’ BCI Flexible Income Fund won the prestigious Raging Bull Award for the Best South African Multi-Asset Income Fund on a risk-adjusted basis, at the awards event held on Tuesday online.
According to Arno Lawrenz, Chief Investment Officer of Sasfin Asset Managers and the Fund’s lead manager, the awards can be attributed to “the success and collaborative nature of the expertise – across the investment team, distribution, operations and marketing, and a lack of personal agendas and egos in the investment process.” This recognition comes at the exact time in which Sasfin Asset Managers has achieved the R20bn mark in Assets Under Management (AUM).
Says Lawrenz: “The rewarding aspect of this news is that it reveals how consistent and robust we are in our process, and that we deliver performance without taking excessive risks and we can deliver performance across asset classes through various investment cycles. Sasfin has a committed team that enables us to consistently make the right decisions at the right time while abiding by the mantra of appropriate risk at the appropriate time. In other words, we are not bound by norms or averages that may have worked in the past. We always try to position ourselves so that we are doing so for the right reasons in taking investment risks. And the right reason is, by the way, not an attempt to win an award. Winning awards is a by-product of our team efforts to deliver excellence to clients.”
Lawrenz outlines that their success has been due to a simple approach to investing: Take appropriate risk at the appropriate time. “We have a macro thematic approach to investing across asset classes, which entails a deep understanding of the global investment cycle and where South Africa fits into that cycle as an emerging market. Our funds are never positioned solely to maximise return at any cost or risk but always to consider overall risks. We believe our approach to risk differentiates us – often, competitors will not disclose the levels of risk they are taking to deliver performance. This is actually about intellectual honesty,” he adds.
Since inception and net of fees, the Flexible Income Fund has returned an annualised 9.88% against the SteFI Composite Index benchmark, of 6.45%. To December 2021, over three years, the Fund delivered a cumulative 31.52% (9.56% annualised) and an exceptional annualised 10.34% over the past five years.
Challenges and opportunities ahead
“There is never a year when there are no challenges in investments – it’s always the same in that there are unknowns out there that may play a key role in investment outcomes, both positive and negative, so the real challenge is adapting to the constant change taking place and continually re-assessing if you have made good decisions. They won’t always be perfect, but the challenge is to do it consistently through time. As for the opportunities, I think China has a good chance of surprising on the upside in terms of its economic growth. There is a lot of negative news around geopolitics and their regulatory clampdowns, but those are already known. They are very determined to get growth on a sustainable path, so there is room for surprise. On the other side, there may well be too much good news expected out of the US, and with the Fed signalling a start to a rate hiking cycle, there could well be a downside growth surprise,” Lawrenz concludes.