Launched in December 2004, the Vontobel Fund (CH) – Ethos Equities Swiss Mid & Small Cap invests in small and medium-sized Swiss companies that set high standards in the management of their environmental, social and governance issues. 15 years after its launch, the fund's total assets exceeded CHF 675 million at the end of November 2019.
The Vontobel Fund (CH) – Ethos Equities Swiss Mid & Small Cap is about to outperform the SPI Extra - Total Return for the twelfth time in 15 years. It has realized a better performance than its benchmark by more than 1% per year since its launch on 10 December 2004. Since the beginning of the year, it has even increased by 32% compared to 28% for SPI Extra (at the end of November). For Nils Wimmersberger, manager of the fund since 2011, "this performance demonstrates the success of an investment process that combines sustainability, liquidity and quality criteria with a fundamental company analysis including competitive advantages and future cash flow estimates".
Initially reserved exclusively for institutional investors, the fund was opened to all investors in January 2014. Private investors pay the same management fees as institutional investors (decreasing fees according to the investment volume). On 15 June 2019, the fund received the "Swiss Equity Prize", which rewards the best sustainable funds in Swiss equities. Granted at the first GFSI Swiss Sustainable Funds Awards, this prize recognises both the fund's financial performance and its commitment to socially responsible investment (SRI).
The size of the fund exceeded CHF 675 million at the end of November, compared to CHF 480 million a year earlier. "This interest proves that investors, and in particular pension funds, which by their nature invest over the long term, are increasingly focusing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues," says Ethos CEO Vincent Kaufmann.
As part of the partnership between Ethos and Vontobel, Vontobel Asset Management is responsible for the fund administration and asset management, while Ethos defines the investment universe on the basis of ESG criteria and an assessment of companies' strategy towards climate change. The fund currently includes 37 companies with over 385’000 employees. The portfolio's greenhouse gas footprint is 42% lower than that of the benchmark index.
The voting rights are systematically exercised in accordance with Ethos' guidelines (themselves based on the rules of good corporate governance practice and the notion of sustainable development). Finally, Ethos conducts an ongoing dialogue with companies included in the investment universe to raise their awareness on ESG issues.
Vontobel Fund (CH) – Ethos Equities Swiss Mid & Small – A (ISIN CH0023568022)
Performances as at 30 November 2019
|YTD||2018||3 yrs p.a.||5 yrs p.a.||Since inception p.a.|
|Vontobel Fund (CH) – Ethos Equities Swiss Mid & Small||32.08%||-15.61%||14.09%||12.49%||11.11%|
Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
Opportunities and risks