It’s a knockout: the real money fight

On September 27 the Daily Maverick hosted the first of two 10X-sponsored debates tackling the question of whether active or passive fund management delivers a better outcome for South African retirement savers. 

Steven Nathan, chief executive of 10X Investments, faced off against Neville Chester, senior fund manager at Coronation. These two heavyweights of the asset management industry slugged it out at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town.
Africa Melane had his work cut out for him as moderator/referee.

Nathan’s opening bid that, mathematically speaking, a Blackjack player with two Kings in his hand has more chance of drawing an Ace than an investor has of choosing a winning fund manager over the next 10 years, proved hard to beat.

Also, Chester, a veteran of active fund management, ignored pre-debate advice from Melane to steer clear of attacking the opposition debater’s company, or do so at his own peril. 

A pivotal moment came when one of his slides suggesting that 10X’s performance was only slightly above average in fact helped Nathan show that once the fee differential was included 10X was the top performer.

Source: Alexander Forbes Large Manager Watch. Best Investment View, December 2016.

The audience had the final word when they voted on which investing style they thought was best for South African retirement savers and a majority of them (60,5%) voted in favour of passive. 

Many from the audience of around 300 people stayed after the debate to continue the conversation over a glass of (really delicious) Solms Delta wine and some cheese from Fairview. 

Regardless of how many in the audience go on to vote with their funds and join the mass movement out of actively managed funds it was clear that the debate had opened many people’s eyes for the first time. 

But don’t just take our word for it …watch the video below or read coverage by respected media houses.

Have active managers thrown in the towel?

The Real Money Fight 2 has been postponed because the Daily Maverick has been unable to persuade anyone from an asset management company to champion active management in a debate against 10X CEO Steven Nathan.

The search is now on for someone from this multi-billion rand industry to stand up against Nathan at a debate in Johannesburg in early 2018.

To register your interest in attending the event please send an email with your name, telephone number and Real Money Fight 2 in the subject field to

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