Chairman, Orbis Investment Management, Ltd.
A keen investor who has been fascinated by stocks since he was a boy, Allan Gray has built a successful career around finding and investing in companies which are priced well below his assessment of their intrinsic value.
After earning his MBA and sharpening his skills as a portfolio manager with Fidelity, in 1973 Gray returned to his home country of South Africa and established Allan Gray Investment Counsel, a firm dedicated to meeting clients’ needs, including delivering superior returns through rigorous company research.
While many financial institutions then employed huge sales forces, Gray believed a more concentrated focus on asset management and service would yield superior results. The approach worked so well that the company became the largest privately owned, independent asset management firm in southern Africa.
Anticipating the end of exchange controls in South Africa, Gray left the country with his son, William (MBA ’93), to establish Orbis Investment Management in Bermuda in 1990. Today William serves as president at Orbis, which controls about $20 billion in funds. The pair is restructuring Orbis and Allan Gray Limited to provide for continuity and to ensure that the profits from the family’s controlling interest in the businesses will be devoted to philanthropy.