Last night Rian le Roux of Old Mutual Investment Group was awarded the News24/Sake Economist of the Year Award for his economic forecasts in 2017. He is the only economist to have won this accolade three times, having previously received it in 2014 and 2016.
This brings to five times that Old Mutual economists have won the award, with Old Mutual Wealth’s economist Dave Mohr having won it on two previous occasions.
Rian stepped down as our chief economist in July last year, in anticipation of retiring. As such, the timing of this award offers a fitting valediction, as Rian will be formally retiring at the end of November this year. His contribution to Old Mutual’s clients during his illustrious 37-year long career is immeasurable and we will be recognising Rian’s contribution to our clients and our business more formally as his retirement approaches.
The multiple award wins demonstrate the industry’s recognition of Rian’s excellence, his immense skills as an economist, as well as his ability to assess the South African and global economic and political landscape to bring market-leading context to his work.
Now in its 29th year, the News24/Sake Economist of the Year Award competition is one of the oldest and most prestigious economic events in the financial calendar and past winners include some of the most distinguished names in South African economic circles.
Entrants for the award are asked to submit monthly forecasts on 14 economic variables, including economic growth, the value of the rand, inflation, interest rates and the current account deficit. The annual winner is the economist whose forecasts are consistently closest to the actual figures.
“I have always considered it an honour to participate in the award because the forecasts we provide are made available to small businesses and individuals who would not usually be able to afford economic research,” says Rian.