Profile Data and Plex Crown have come under pressure from management companies, asset managers and the press for the way we selected classes to represent a fund's performance for the recent Raging Bull awards.

The most pressing issue was that, for some funds we selected a clean (platform) class and used its performance history to compare with that of other funds where all fees were accounted for in the performances. On investigating the matter, we feel that this practice gives the funds that were represented by a clean class an advantage over the funds that were represented by classes with all fees accounted for.

In response to these valid concerns, Profile and Plex Crown have revised the rules for selecting the class used in Plex Crown Ratings. The key points of changes are:

  • Single Class Selection: Only one class of a fund will be considered when calculating the fund's subcategory return averages.
  • Criteria for Selection: For funds with multiple classes, we will use the most expensive retail class that meets the full historical period requirement. We make use of the Total Expense Ratio (TER) to select the most expensive retail class. This class must also be directly accessible to the public through the management company at the end of the quarter being calculated. This could include a class that is closed to new investment but remains open for its existing investors.
  • Accumulation vs. Normal Classes: In cases where both an accumulation class and a normal class are listed, the normal class will take precedence.

In October 2023 we reviewed the existing processes and practices, as applicable to the PlexCrown ratings. We were mostly happy with our findings but felt that rating the registered management companies separately from the third-party management companies was out of line with the principle of "rating the investment decision maker", that underpins the PlexCrown Rating system.

When we initially became involved in the PlexCrown ratings, the practice was to rate the registered management companies and later, when more third-party management companies qualified for ratings, by having a fund with enough history in each of the required unit trust sector, we started rating these on their own, ie, separately from the registered management companies.

In looking at what was in place for the end of 2023, we found that of the thirty odd management companies that would qualify, ten were third-party.

Based on these two findings, we decided to no longer rate them separately but create a single rating system for all the management companies.

For the benefit of our regular visitors and subscribers, you can still access the registered and third-party ratings via separate menu items (CIS and 3rd Party, respectively) but this may change in future.

Ratings tool updated with Q1 2024 results.

Since 2005, PlexCrown has earned a reputation as the leading retail unit trust fund-rating agency in South Africa. Our ratings are independent, unbiased and completely objective and are based on a combination of various recognised statistical measures. We pride ourselves on being in the forefront of statistical research in especially in the unit trust industry where we have developed rating and information products to serve our stakeholders - investors, investment advisors, investment managers, regulatory authorities and life offices. PlexCrown does the calculations for the coveted Raging Bull Awards based on risk-adjusted returns by applying the PlexCrown methodology. We are also honoured to determine the much sought-after Raging Bull Management Company of the Year Award.

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The PlexCrown Ratings Tool has been updated with Q1 2024 results. Click here to view results.

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