Weekly Thoughts 13 September 2013

I spent most of Wednesday this week listening to asset managers and investment analysts from Stanlib, Coronation, Nedgroup Investments, Foord, Sarasin and Allan Gray. These times give me the chance to hear, to what level, each company might do research or why they have made a certain decision on whether or not to buy a certain listed company. I like hearing about asset managers that physically visit companies, or walk the physical space of a listed shopping mall that they own, to get a better feel for the occupancy and foot traffic.

I’m off to Cape Town on Tuesday next week to spend a day and a half at a ‘Face to Face’ session at Coronation’s head office with their key players in the business. It’s like a due diligence visit. Some of my questions will be around their succession planning for asset managers, their buy-list processes and also trusteeship and auditing of their nominee accounts. I have to make the national invite list for this visit and I’ve been nagging to go. I’ve done the head office visit thing with all my other major South African asset managers but not yet with Coronation, so I’m glad to be going. We have to pay our own way as companies are no longer allowed to pay for us for these sort of things. Which is good in a way, as it means that the guys who are just looking for a free visit don’t put their hands up anymore. So it becomes a quality gathering.