At Allan Gray, our investment philosophy is simple – we take a contrarian approach, apply it consistently and invest for the long term. This is how we’ve been investing in Australia for over 15 years and how the broader group has been investing globally since 1973.
“My objective was to try to make a difference where I could make a difference.” – Allan Gray
The story of Allan Gray and its sister company Orbis over the past four decades is one of a successful contrarian approach, an emphasis on performance, and a laser focus on client service and satisfaction. These things all stem from the vision and beliefs of one man – our founder, Dr. Allan Gray. Allan genuinely saw investing as a way to help people. To build wealth and improve lives.

Who was Allan Gray?

Our founder, who passed away in 2019, was a pioneering investor whose unorthodox approach created an impressive legacy. Never afraid to back his own judgement, his story is not just one of success, but of altruism, humility – and an uncompromising set of values that continue to guide Allan Gray Australia today. He believed in the good that could come from investing; creating wealth for successive generations. Moreover, he parlayed his business acumen into philanthropy, establishing a fund that saw hundreds of bright young people receive an education they may otherwise have not. In this way, Allan Gray continues to make a difference to the world. You can learn more about Allan Gray on the links below:

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The business lands on Australian shores

In 2004, the late Simon Marais, a South African Mathematician and Physicist, with the support of Allan and the Orbis Group, brought the Allan Gray contrarian investment philosophy to Australian shores to enable us to benefit from this unique investment approach.

Simon joined Allan Gray in South Africa in 1991. He became a Director in 1993, was appointed Chief Investment Officer in 1998 and became Chairman of Allan Gray Proprietary Limited in 2001. In 2002 Simon relocated to join the London based Orbis company. At the end of 2004, he spearheaded the establishment of Orbis Investment Management Australia (which subsequently changed its name to Allan Gray Australia) as a domestic Australian equity manager in Sydney.

Simon’s legacy too lives on through his carefully selected team who continue the great work that he started, while upholding the same robust investment philosophy and core values that we have maintained over our history. Simon Mawhinney, who was mentored by Simon, today leads the Allan Gray Australia team.

Hear Simon Marais speak about the Allan Gray approach to investing:

A history of doing things differently

Aside from contrarianism, what also sets Allan Gray apart is our commitment to our core values. Our founder believed in doing what was right for the client at every touchpoint and to this day we continue to reference our core values in every decision across the business.