This week Daniele Haefele, CEO of Acolin, the Zurich-based independent fund distribution provider, talked to Hedgeweek about distribution opportunities in Switzerland. He said that many clients are searching for fixed income strategies that reduce volatility and that a couple of key trends have emerged with regards to the type of funds being launched. “One is the desire to replace traditional bond funds with Emerging Market high yield, local currency products and fixed income absolute return funds,” said Haefele. “On the equities side, specialised US and European equity funds are gaining momentum.”
He said that with regards to cross-border distribution having a committed sales professional on the ground in Zurich or Geneva “can work wonders in the Swiss market” and that to build awareness and create interest managers need to allow for about a year. “You can expect to see inflows once you have an (institutional) client base who you know personally. If you target retail clients, you will have to invest in branding and establishing a reputation,” said Haefele.
Having the distribution network up and running quickly is crucial for successful market entry else you won’t gather assets in Haefele’s view. He said that Acolin are able to offer a range of distribution services to managers looking to develop new markets for UCITS funds in a cost-effective manner, noting that Acolin’s distribution management services offer access to distributor platforms and its sales support opens the door to potential clients. “Acolin will manage the distribution administration for you, while you can focus on managing money and building long term relationships with investors,” commented Haefele.
Leading alternative UCITS manager, Gianluca Oderda, has left Pictet reported Citywire Global. The manager ran the Pictet Absolute Return Global Diversified global macro fund and has been replaced by Carlos Ontaneda who was actually appointed to the fund last year; clearly Oderda’s departure was known a while back. Arpad Ujvari, Pictet’s emerging market manager, has also left the Swiss group and been replaced by David Biliaux has replaced him as manager on funds that include the Pictet China Index, Pictet Brazil Index and India Index fund.
Continuing with Pictet, the Financial Times reported this week that Pictet Asset Management is preparing to launch the Pictet Emerging Markets High Dividend Fund on 7 June. Mark Boulton and Stephen Burrows are to manage the Ucits funds which will sit under Pictet’s Luxembourg-based SICAV fund structure. Said Burrows, who like Boulton has over 20 years investment experience: “Most investors associate emerging markets with growth rather than income. But the situation has changed and you can now also get an attractive level of income from emerging markets.”
In other news, US firm Eaton Vance Management (International) Ltd has launched two Ucits funds into Europe based on the investment process of its structured investments specialist subsidiary, Parametric Portfolio Associates reported Investment Europe. The two funds are: Eaton Vance International (Ireland) Parametric Emerging Markets Core Fund and the Eaton Vance International (Ireland) Parametric Global Equity Fund. The former will invest primarily in a wide range of companies which are either domiciled in or derive the majority of their revenues from emerging market countries. The latter will invest in a portfolio of across developed and emerging markets.
Commenting on the dual launch, Niall Quinn, managing director of Eaton Vance Management International said: “The launch of these funds is in response to the ever-present demand for different ways to invest in global and emerging markets equities. These two new funds further enhance our solution set for clients and provide them with a credible alternative to traditional active and passive product offerings in two key markets.”