Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

ALLAN Gray, the founder of the fund manager bearing his name, and his family have given away their entire controlling stake of the business and its offshore partner Orbis to a charitable foundation.

The donation ends more than 40 years of family control of Allan Gray and will see current equity value estimated to be worth billions of rand switching to the new Allan and Gill Gray Foundation that will be involved in philanthropic endeavours.

"The controlling interests (and almost all of the family’s interests) have already been transferred to the foundation," Allan Gray chairman Ian Liddle said on Thursday.

"There are a few relatively small remaining matters to be attended to, but once these are completed, the family will have no remaining economic interest in the firms."

Allan Gray was founded in 1973 in Cape Town. Mr Gray, a Harvard Business School graduate, had begun his investment career in 1965 at Fidelity Investments in Boston.

In 1987, Mr Gray left SA and established Orbis Group, a separate international investment firm that began operations in 1989 in Bermuda.

"If we continue to do a good job for our clients and retain their trust and confidence, we hope that the annual dividends will run to the hundreds of millions of rands," the Ian Gray chairman said.

Mr Liddle said in terms of its charter, the foundation must devote all of the dividends it receives entirely and exclusively to philanthropic purposes.