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UBP merges European converts fund into SRI counterpart

UBP merges European converts fund into SRI counterpart

Union Bancaire Privée Asset Management (UBP) is merging its European convertible bond fund into its SRI equivalent as part of a socially responsible investing drive, Citywire Switzerland has found.

The UBAM European Convertible Bond fund is being rolled into the UBAM SRI European Convertible Bond fund in a merger that will be completed on 20 July 2017.

Head of the convertible bond team at UBP Jean-Edouard Reymond will continue to oversee the management of the fund, but the strategy will be run by regional specific portfolio managers Raphaël di Marzio and Benjamin Schapiro.

The merger was prompted by market developments, as a more mixed profile in a strategy has shown greater convexity potential, which is the main competitive edge for convertible bonds, Nicolas Delrue head of investment specialists at UBP AM explained.

The UBAM Convertible Europe was launched in 1999, while its SRI counterpart was created in September 2012.

Since 2012, the Geneva asset management firm has scaled up its SRI expertise by placing an importance on SRI focused strategies and revisiting the SRI potential in existing strategies.

In doing so, UBP partnered with La Banque Postale Asset Management, a socially responsible investing specialised boutique, to access higher levels of expertise on how to integrate ESG criteria into a convertible bonds investment approach.

LBPAM will continue to oversee the SRI filtering process for the investment universe of the merged fund.

Speaking about the merger, Delrue said: ‘In our view, it is in our investors' interests that we give them the opportunity to switch from a high-delta strategy to a strategy focusing on "core" European convertible bonds, which are more consistent with the relevant investment universe, while keeping an unchanged investment process and philosophy.

‘With respect to our convertible bond expertise, the launch of a European SRI strategy in 2012 was primarily motivated by a simple observation: convexity was under-represented in the SRI field.’

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