The «Ethos Equities Swiss Mid & Small» investment fund is now open to all categories of investors. Retail investors can subscribe to this fund at the same conditions as qualified investors. This equity fund allows investors to finance small and mid-sized listed companies thereby contributing to promoting the industrial sector, innovation and job creation in Switzerland.
The investment fund «Ethos Equities Swiss Mid & Small» was launched in December 2004 and has since been managed by Vontobel Asset Management. Ethos is responsible for defining the investment universe based on its own ESG ratings. Ethos is also in charge of voting at the general meetings of the investee companies and engaging in a dialogue on specific environmental, social and governance issues.
Integration of extra-financial investment criteria
The fund invests in small and mid-sized companies. Approximately 48% of the fund is currently invested in the industrial and technology sectors against 35% for the benchmark (SPI Extra). Those two sectors are key for the long term and sustainable development of the Swiss economy.
Investee companies are in majority the top performers according to the extra-financial (ESG) rating established by Ethos. The fund can also invest up to 25% in companies that have started to address sustainability issues but still have a potential for improvement. The positions in such companies can however not be overweight. By investing in these companies, Ethos can engage in a dialogue to encourage the implementation of best practice. No investment is however allowed in companies that either do not address or deny their environmental, social and governance challenges.
Ethos considers that the companies with the best extra-financial rating will create more value in the long term. In fact, the companies that have fully integrated their environmental, social and governance issues will have more business opportunities in the future and reduced financial, reputational and compliance risks. As a result, Ethos is of the opinion that those companies will be more likely to outperform their peers in the long term.
Systematic exercise of shareholder voting rights
Since the fund's inception, Ethos systematically votes at the general meetings of the investee companies in accordance with Ethos' voting guidelines. Ethos' voting guidelines as well as a detailed report of Ethos' voting positions are available on its website (http://www.ethosfund.ch/). In 2013, Ethos voted at all general meetings (41) of the companies included in the fund. 12% of the board's proposals were refused by Ethos. The most contested topics were the approval of the remuneration report and the request for capital increases.
Outperformance of the benchmark
Since its launch in December 2004, the fund has achieved a cumulative performance net of fees of 142.7% compared to 128.4% for the benchmark SPI Extra TR (as of 31.12.2013), corresponding to an annualized performance of 10.3% per year compared to 9.5% for the benchmark. This good absolute and relative performance demonstrates that taking into account extra-financial criteria in the investment process creates additional value in the long term.
The total fund ratio (management and custody fees) is between 0.4% and 0.8% per year depending on the investment. For investments exceeding CHF 1 million, investors are entitled to receive an annual rebate in accordance with the rebate table published on Ethos' webpage and in line with the conditions of the custodian bank.
How to subscribe
Investment in this fund is possible through most Swiss banks. A spread of 0.05% is charged by the fund upon buying or selling shares in order to cover the associated transaction costs and protect the existing investors. In addition, Ethos draws attention to the fact that each custodian bank may charge additional subscription fees.
Name: Vontobel Fund (CH) II - Ethos Equities Swiss Mid & Small A
Valor Number: 002356802
This news document is issued by Ethos Services S.A. It is neither directed to, nor intended for distribution or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in any locality, state, country or jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to law or regulation. Only the latest version of the fund's prospectus, regulations, annual and semi-annual reports may be relied upon as the basis for investment decisions. These documents are available on www.ethosfund.ch or at any of the above-mentioned Ethos offices. The information and data presented in this document are not to be considered as an offer or solicitation to buy, sell or subscribe to any securities or financial instruments. Information, opinions and estimates contained in this document reflect a judgment at the original date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Ethos Services S.A. has not taken any steps to ensure that the securities referred to in this document are suitable for any particular investor and this document is not to be relied upon in substitution for the exercise of independent judgment. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each investor and may be subject to change in the future.
Before making any investment decision, investors are recommended to ascertain if this investment is suitable for them in light of their financial knowledge and experience, investment goals and financial situation, or to obtain specific advice from an industry professional. The value and income of any of the securities or financial instruments mentioned in this document may fall as well as rise and, as a consequence, investors may receive back less than originally invested. Risk factors are listed in the fund's prospectus and are not intended to be reproduced in full in this document. Past performance is neither guarantee nor a reliable indicator of future results. Performance data does not include the commissions and fees charged at the time of subscribing for or redeeming shares. This marketing material is not intended to be a substitute for the fund's full documentation or for any information which investors should obtain from their financial intermediaries acting in relation to their investment in the fund or funds mentioned in this document. For hedged shareclasses, only the compartment's consolidation currency is hedged into the shareclass currency. Foreign exchange exposure, resulting from assets in the portfolio which are not denominated in the consolidation currency, can remain.