Swiss investment group Pictet unveils novel equity strategy focused on family-owned firms

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Pictet Asset Management, the investment management arm of the Geneva-headquartered wealth management giant Pictet Group, has unveiled a novel global equity strategy focusing on family-owned businesses.

The Pictet-Family fund, which is managed by a Geneva-based team led by co-managers by Alain Caffort and Cyril Benier, invests in family-owned firms, which research suggests typically outperform non-family owned peers and global equity markets more broadly.

The UCITS-compliant, Luxembourg-domiciled fund will take positions in successful family-run names - defined as a listed company where a founder or family hold a minimum of 30 per cent of voting rights.

The new strategy has a diverse investment universe of around 500 large and small companies globally across a range of industries and sectors - including Schroders, Berkshire Hathaway, Heineken, Volkswagen, Shopify, Puma, H&M and Hermes. 

The fund aims to capitalise on distinctive business advantages identified by Pictet within the family-run sphere.

These include a more active ownership approach, an entrepreneurial spirit often built around innovation and disruption, and greater long-term focus combined with succession planning, among other things.

The Pictet-Family fund is a repositioning of Pictet–Small Cap Europe, whose portfolio previously had around 25 per cent invested in family-run businesses.  Pictet-Family has a stronger focus on family-run corporates, now without regional or market cap constraints.

“There is a strong cultural fit between Pictet and the strategy,” said Alain Caffort, the fund’s senior investment manager.

Although founder- or family-controlled firms make up around a fifth of the MSCI ACWI index, Caffort suggested there are “very few” investment approaches giving investors the opportunity to capitalise on the prominence and strengths of family businesses, especially within a global equity strategy.

“The Pictet-Family fund aims to fill that void,” he said.  “Not only is the Pictet Group a family owned business, but the culture of our firm represents many of the characteristics that we look for in companies when investing.”

The USD537 billion Geneva-headquartered Pictet Group manages an assortment of investment strategies across hedge funds, funds of hedge funds, and funds of private equity funds.

Pictet Asset Management, the investment management arm of the Pictet Group, manages around USD183 billion in assets spanning equities and bond markets globally.

The firm runs an assortment of investment strategies including Agora, the European market neutral hedge fund managed by former Goldman Sachs equity long/short portfolio manager Elif Aktuğ.