Vontobel launches global sustainable equity fund

Vontobel Asset Management has launched a global equity fund investing in “sustainable leaders”.

The Vontobel Fund – Sustainable Global Leaders already has around $100m in assets, which it will invest in attractively valued companies across the globe with high scores on return on capital, competitive position, profitability and cash generation.

A key focus for the fund will be environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. The companies it invests in must address these issues in their corporate strategies.

The new fund will be managed by Roger Merz, head of the global equities team. He says: “We believe that leading companies with a competitive advantage can outperform the market given their ability to deliver consistent, above-average return on invested capital.”

He believes that the market tends to underestimate future cash-flow growth – and consequently – future wealth creation of these companies.

ESG has been a growing topic over the past few years. Various large asset managers, such as Axa Investment Managers, place a great deal of emphasis on ESG criteria.

Vontobel AM already has experience in managing funds in a sustainable manner. Recent launches in this field include a fund with an emerging-market focus.

The firm also received the TBLI ESG Leader Awards 2012 as best asset manager in ESG investing.

The Vontobel Group is a globally-oriented Swiss private bank specializing in wealth management for private clients and asset management for institutional investors, as well as in investment banking. Assets at end of June were around CHF140bn.

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