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Allan Gray gives fortune away - (USD 11.9% per annum since 1990)


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Allan's parting words,


In starting Allan Gray Investment Counsel in 1973, I was convinced that my passion for investing could be

deployed to demonstrably enhance clients’ savings and wealth and provide them with good value for their

money. This was our raison-d’être, our driving sense of purpose. We focused on earning and retaining the

trust and confidence of our clients, leaving them to determine through their actions whether the firm would

grow and prosper—or languish and fail. Our financial services were to be bought and not sold. Thus, if the

firm prospered we would know we were making a positive difference to others in our daily work.

The same is true today. This client-centric sense of purpose continues to be our driving motivation at

Orbis and Allan Gray—and we hope that it will endure in perpetuity. To ensure that control will remain

indefinitely in the hands of those who best exemplify the ethos that has served our clients so well in the

past, the newly established Allan & Gill Gray Foundation has been endowed with our family’s controlling

interests in the Orbis and Allan Gray groups. At the same time, we have been mindful to provide capacity to

further increase executives’ participation in the firms’ profits as appropriate.

In particular, we believe it is absolutely essential for the firms’ owners and key decision-makers

to share the conviction necessary to stand behind our investment philosophy. For more than forty

years, our experience has shown that taking a long-term perspective with a contrarian stance can

produce demonstrably superior results—but only if one can withstand uncomfortably long periods of

underperformance. Further, the perpetual nature of the Foundation empowers the executives to focus

entirely on doing what is in the best long-term interests of clients, free from the short-term pressures that

third-party ownership can bring. Indeed, all employees can be secure in knowing that nothing will change

in this regard after the firms’ founders pass on.

Another equally important purpose of the Foundation is to ensure that the fruits from its controlling

interests in Orbis and Allan Gray are ultimately devoted entirely and exclusively to philanthropy in keeping

with the family’s long-held intentions. We consider this both the right thing to do and a small but necessary

contribution toward a society full of hope for all humanity. The free enterprise system has done so much for

so many, and it behoves the few whom it rewards particularly well to help those less fortunate.

Rather than being a way of “giving back”, I firmly believe that philanthropy is a natural extension of what

Orbis and Allan Gray already do each and every day. Just as these firms strive to promote their clients’

financial security and peace of mind, so too will the Allan & Gill Gray Foundation strive to make a positive

contribution to the common good. It is this holistic view of business entrepreneurship and the symbiotic

relationship amongst all stakeholders—clients, employees, owners, and society—that the Foundation

seeks to preserve.

Needless to say it is you, our clients, who have made possible this thrilling voyage spanning four decades.

Thank you most sincerely for your valued support. As planned, I am now passing on my remaining

responsibilities at Orbis to focus on the Foundation. I do so with the utmost confidence that the management

of Orbis and Allan Gray remains in strong and capable hands.

I am also enormously grateful to my wife Gill, my soul mate and partner for over 50 years; our three children,

Trevor, Jennifer and William, whose enthusiastic participation and selflessness has made the Foundation

possible; and their descendants, who will be indispensable to the Foundation’s long-term success. So too

will contributions from the wider family of all past, present and future colleagues at Orbis and Allan Gray

whose shared sense of business purpose and excellence will continue to enhance your financial interests

whilst also securing the Foundation’s philanthropy. It is hoped that the people at each firm will take pride

in seeing the impact that profits attributable to the Foundation’s shareholdings are having in furthering the

common good.


Allan W B Gray



P.S. Orbis is now run by Allan's son Will Gray. Will is a chip off the old block.


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