Vontobel Asset Management has set up a new sustainable and thematic boutique, the firm has announced.
The new unit will consist of the former thematic and sustainable boutiques, with a total of CHF 10 billion in assets under management.
The firm is attempting to grow the asset base in these two specialist areas over the coming years.
The investment head of the newly formed boutique is Citywire A-rated Hans Speich, who said that the investment processes will remain unchanged.
He joined Vontobel Asset Management in 2006 and has been responsible for portfolio management for institutional clients and investment funds.
Speich previously worked at Julius Baer Asset Management, where he was responsible for institutional portfolio management in Switzerland. Later, as CIO, he looked after the inestment strategy of porfolios managed in Zurich.
Commenting on the merger of the two investment boutiques, Speich said: ‘With excellent performance and our state-of-the-art infrastructure, this new setup allows for even better results through improved idea sharing amongst our sustainable investment specialists.’
The business head of the sustainable and thematic boutiques is Andreas Knörzer, who was formerly head of the sustainable investing boutique at Vontobel.
When approached for comment, Vontobel could not confirm whether Marc Hänni, who is the chairman of the ESG investment committee at Vontobel, will assume a specific role in the new boutique.
Before the merger, the sustainable investing boutique analysed company-specific sustainability and the impact of every sector applying this approach for its multi-asset, equity, fixed income and real estate funds.
In order to achieve that, the team used in-house sustainability research and external raw data provided by Asset4 and qualitative data from Sustainalytics.
Meanwhile, the thematic boutique had three teams: mtx (a collaboration between ESG experts and analysts), global trends and Swiss equities.
In the most recent sustainability study from Swisscanto Invest and University of St Gallen, Vontobel takes first place out of 48 asset managers, with a score of 83 out of 100.