Asset management firms attracted to the Cape Town lifestyle

Cape Town’s favourable lifestyle is one of the major reasons why many of South Africa’s asset management firms are based in the city as opposed to the economic hub Johannesburg, says Guy Lundy CEO of Accelerate Cape Town.

Cape Town's central business district at night.

Cape Town's central business district at night.

Lundy says that although many of the asset management companies such as Allan Gray, Coronation and Cadiz have traditionally been based in Cape Town and remained in the city, a lot of it has to do with the city’s attractive lifestyle.

“Asset management staff are the kind of high-level, highly skilled individuals that can go anywhere in the world. That is why you find asset management based in places like Sydney, Edinburgh, and Bermuda – of course Bermuda’s tax regime helps too. Even a place like Mauritius is pushing hard to attract asset management and financial services to their economy,” says Lundy.

“You can do your asset management work anywhere in the world because it is a completely non-physical environment. You need a computer screen and you need access to a whole bunch of clever people. And those clever people can move. So you need to be able to offer them a lifestyle where they can finish at the end of the day and go surfing or whatever,” he adds.

Lundy’s comments come against the backdrop of many skilled South African workers shunning Cape Town’s natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle, in favour of higher salaries and better career prospects in Johannesburg.

Accelerate Cape Town is a business-led initiative aimed at bringing together stakeholders in the Cape Town region to develop and implement a long-term vision for sustainable, inclusive economic growth.