Driving growth for our clients, advisers and employees

STANLIB is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, which I believe is a poignant moment to reflect on our purpose, our past and our commitment to build a progressive investment management firm.

Optimism, growth and good policy
Picture of Derrick Msibi

Derrick Msibi

Chief Executive Officer


Our purpose and responsibility


Our purpose, responsibility and impact as an asset manager is not always clearly articulated or understood in a broader context. To put it simply, we carefully and strategically invest our clients’ savings and capital in companies, and we provide governments or companies with access to funding. This enables companies to grow, develop infrastructure and create jobs to support economic growth and development. At the same time, investors enjoy a return on investment that grows their capital.

Our responsibility has grown significantly since 2002 when STANLIB was formed. We ended 2002 with around R128 billion in assets under management. Today, we manage over R650 billion of assets for investors, across several investment strategies and funds.
As diligent stewards of our client’s capital, our responsibility is to invest these funds with due care and skill. We want to make a positive contribution to society’s development goals, while also providing a return to our investors who entrust us with growing and protecting their financial futures and dreams.

That is why, in addition to our core funds, we are committed to impact investing and sustainability. Through the STANLIB Infrastructure Private Equity Fund we’re investing in infrastructure sectors such as storage, telecommunications, social infrastructure, water and pipelines. We’re also invested in the Khanyisa Impact Investment fund, where we aim to achieve compelling returns whilst making a positive and measurable impact on the South African economy. We see no trade off in pursuing these two objectives simultaneously. Indeed our experience thus far shows that this is achievable.


What inspires us, and is core to what we do, is our fiduciary responsibility – fulfilling our clients’ total trust in us to manage and protect their money. It defines our relationship with our clients and informs every decision we make on their behalf. We want to exceed our investors’ expectations. Today we are seeing how some of the decisions we have taken over the past few years are contributing to our ability to achieve this. 


Building on firm foundations


In the past five years, we have prioritised embedding our investment philosophy and evolving our investment process to ensure that they are both rigorous and robust. In addition to philosophy and processes, our focus has been, and continues to be, supported by 

our investment talent and stable leadership. Combined, these elements will enable us to deliver the consistent investment performance our clients expect in the long term. Our achievements so far have been affirmed by the awards and nominations we’ve received in 2022. 


We have also chosen a leading investment management group, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, to be our primary and strategic offshore partner. Our collaboration gives our investors access to a range of offshore investment opportunities. The partnership has expanded the depth and breadth of the investment skills we have access and reinforces our ability to manage money more effectively, while building on our foundation to become a world-class asset manager.


These foundational measures in place, we are able to make more decisions that will enable us to respond to and stay ahead of the significant long-term changes the asset management industry is undergoing. 


Future-fit investments


One of the areas where we’ve made important decisions is technology, which we believe is central to positioning STANLIB for a strong future. Globally, the most successful asset managers have access to world class technology platforms, developed and maintained by the best IT platform providers, enabling investment managers to focus on maintaining the trust and future financial well-being of investors.


With this in mind, we are investing in, and researching how, we can develop technology systems that can support investment professionals in trading, research, quantitative techniques and deploying artificial intelligence (AI). These systems should enhance our investment managers’ ability to improve the probability of making the right investment decisions and they should provide extra means of adding alpha to portfolios.


We are also investing significantly to develop the most modern technology platform in the South African asset management industry, to give our clients and advisers an exceptional digital experience. To achieve this, we’re partnering with the best global solutions providers.


Stepping into the next decade


As we step into our third decade, we know the best way to create opportunity is to grow. STANLIB is investing in growth. 


Armed with an array of lessons learnt from defining market events, insights from multiple strategic projects and as asset manager part of the largest financial services group in Africa, we look forward to the future. We are ready to build on our foundation to continue to evolve with the industry and to fuel the right type of growth for our clients, advisers and employees.


This article appears in the Q2 2022 edition of our StandPoint publication. Click here to download a copy of the full publication. 

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