Institutional Asset Management.

Institutional Structure & Boutique Philosophy

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Institutional in its structure, but Boutique in its philosophy, GMG Institutional Asset Management SA is a FINMA regulated asset and investment fund manager. Our superior performance in Swiss equities, from large to small caps, is the result of our proven stock-picking methodology. The strong results of our balanced mandates come from the right balance between active and passive management.

Our performance, backed by 20 years of experience, reflects our “value investing” convictions and our long-term investment strategy. Our main differentiator is our exceptional network of direct connections to the CEOs and CFOs of our investment universe, which is the source of our historical outperformance. Our clients, mainly Swiss pension funds, and renowned consultants recognize both our expertise and track record.

FINMA

REGULATED

EXPERIENCED

20 YEARS

PERFORMANCE

TRACK RECORD

ESG

ENGAGED

GMG Swiss Small & Mid Cap as at 30 April 2020 – Last 3 Years

About us

Institutional by its structure, but Boutique by its philosophy, GMG Institutional Asset Management SA is a FINMA regulated asset and investment fund manager. Our superior performance in Swiss equities, from large to small caps, is the result of our proven stock-picking methodology. The strong results of our balanced mandates come from the right balance between active and passive management.

Our performance, backed by 20 years of experience, reflects our “value investing” convictions and our long-term investment strategy. We differentiate ourselves through our exceptional network of direct connections to the CEOs and CFOs of our investment universe, which is the source of our historical outperformance. Our clients, mainly Swiss pension funds and renowned consultants, recognize our expertise and track record.

GMG Institutional Asset Management SA is owned by Geneva Management Group (GMG).

Geneva Management Group

Since 2000, GMG has advised institutional and private investors in asset management and real estate development. The Group has completed several billions’ worth of real estate transactions in Switzerland, Europe and the UK. Over the last 20 years of activity, the Group has continuously developed its asset management business and manages CHF 3 billion in assets. GMG is also active in insurance. The Group’s balance sheet size is over CHF 1 billion.

Shareholders and directors of Geneva Management Group

GMG Institutional Asset Management is owned by Geneva Management Group, whose main shareholders and members of the Group’s Board of Directors are:

Dave Elzas
Group Chief Executive Officer

After a rich career across several leading financial centres, Dave co-founded Geneva Management Group (GMG) in 2000. He further expanded GMG’s Swiss activity by creating companies and jobs in Geneva and Zurich. Dave has over twenty-five years of experience in deal structuring and wealth planning. Between 1994 and 2000 he served as the Executive Managing Director of an institutionally sized Family Office. He is involved in the construction or renovation of many buildings now occupied by major Swiss companies, through GMG’s Real Estate division.

Patrick Sulzer
Group Managing Director

Patrick comes from a family that has profoundly influenced Swiss industrial and political life. He is endowed with a particularly active Swiss entrepreneurial spirit. After studying law in Fribourg and finance in Oxford, followed by a stint with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Patrick began a successful career of more than fifteen years in Dubai. At the same time, he was also one of the pioneers of ESG by co-founding Codethic to empower companies and standardise their environmental and social ratings.

Newman Leech
CEO, Real Estate

Newman, the co-founder of GMG, moved to Switzerland in 1998 where he developed the Group’s real estate business. Among his many achievements are the building occupied by Swisscom in Berne, the building occupied by Hornbach in Biel-Bienne or the building occupied by Coop in Brig, as well as numerous buildings and hotels in Europe and the United Kingdom. He divides his time between the Geneva, London and Lisbon offices.

Board of Directors of GMG Institutional Asset Management SA

Christophe Julen
Senior Executive Director,
Institutional Asset Management

Christophe has 20 years of experience in institutional asset management. He was a Member of the Executive Committee of the institutional asset manager IAM for 12 years. During his career, he also trained in asset management with major investment banks and worked as a consultant for 6 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has been involved in numerous M&A transactions in Switzerland and has accumulated in-depth knowledge of the Swiss business environment and Swiss companies. An expert in Swiss equities and an award-winning fund manager for “Swiss Small & Mid Cap”, he also benefits from a specialisation and an extensive network in Swiss and US Private Equity. Christophe holds an MBA from INSEAD and a Master’s degree from HEC Lausanne.

Dave Elzas
Group Chief Executive Officer

After a rich career across several leading financial centres, Dave co-founded Geneva Management Group (GMG) in 2000. He further expanded GMG’s Swiss activity by creating companies and jobs in Geneva and Zurich. Dave has over twenty-five years of experience in deal structuring and wealth planning. Between 1994 and 2000 he served as the Executive Managing Director of an institutionally sized Family Office. He is involved in the construction or renovation of many buildings now occupied by major Swiss companies, through GMG’s Real Estate division.

Prof. René Sieber
Administrateur indépendant,
Institutional Asset Management

As an independent director of GMG Institutional Asset Management SA, René brings more than 30 years of experience in the field of asset management to the team. He was a founding member and Managing Director of Dynagest SA, an institutional asset manager that for several years was ranked among the Top 400 European Asset Managers (IPE). He has taught bond management at the University of Geneva for over 25 years, where he was appointed full professor in 2019 and where he co-directs the new DAS in Asset Management. Among his other mandates, since 2002, René has been a member of the Board of Directors of Ethos Services SA, the operational entity of the Ethos Foundation which promotes socially responsible investment in Switzerland. Since 2020, he has chaired the jury of the Swiss Sustainable Funds Awards.

Management of GMG Institutional Asset Management SA

Marc-Christian Bollet
Senior Executive Director,
Institutional Asset Management

Marc-Christian has more than 30 years of experience in institutional asset management. He spent 10 years as Investment Manager at institutional asset manager IAM . Previously, he specialized in strategic asset allocation for balanced mandates and managed pension fund mandates at Lombard Odier from 1992 to 2009. He also managed European and Swiss equity mandates there. Marc is a Chartered Financial Analyst and Portfolio Manager (CFPI/AZEK) as well as a Chartered Market Technician (CMT).

Christophe Julen
Senior Executive Director,
Institutional Asset Management

Christophe has 20 years of experience in institutional asset management. He was a Member of the Executive Committee of the institutional asset manager IAM for 12 years. During his career, he also trained in asset management with major investment banks and worked as a consultant for 6 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has been involved in numerous M&A transactions in Switzerland and has accumulated in-depth knowledge of the Swiss business environment and Swiss companies. An expert in Swiss equities and an award-winning fund manager for “Swiss Small & Mid Cap”, he also benefits from a specialisation and an extensive network in Swiss and US Private Equity. Christophe holds an MBA from INSEAD and a Master’s degree from HEC Lausanne.

Dr. Caroline Zeller
Senior Risk Manager,
Institutional Asset Management

Caroline has 30 years of experience in institutional asset management. She spent 14 years at IAM, an institutional asset management company, as a Member of the Management Committee. Caroline worked as a Senior Manager at the UBS bond desk for 10 years. She also spent 6 years as a doctoral student and assistant in finance to Professor Dumont at the University of Geneva. Caroline specialises in risk management and compliance for Swiss equity portfolios, balanced mandates and passive management. Caroline holds a PhD in economics from HEC Geneva and a law degree from the University of Geneva.

Auditor & Fund Management Company

• Statutory auditor and FINMA: PricewaterhouseCoopers
• Fund management company: CACEIS Switzerland

Investment Team

 

Jean-Louis Richard

Senior Equity Analyst, Institutional Asset Management

“Our alpha comes from rigorous company selection.

Jean-Louis, Senior Manager on Swiss Equities, worked at IAM Independent Asset Management for 11 years where he specialised in Swiss equities. During his career, he was an investigative journalist on Swiss economy and finance for leading Swiss media (Le Temps and l’Agefi). He is a recognised expert on the Swiss economy and has also worked for the ICRC in Africa. A leading figure in the management of Swiss equities, he holds a CFA, Chartered Financial Analyst, a Master’s degree in political science from Sciences Po Paris, and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Paris Dauphine.

 

Dr. Serge Cadelli

Independent member of the investment committee

Serge was Chief Investment Officer of Zurich Financial Services (Zurich Insurance) from 1998 to 2003. From 2005 to 2012, he was on the Management Board of Man Investments in Pfäffikon. During his long career, Serge also worked at Credit Suisse in Zurich as Deputy Head of Portfolio Management from 1986-1999. He holds a Doctorate in Economics from HEC Lausanne and is an independent member of the Investment Committee of GMG.

Investment Process

Our team of analysts and managers holds daily investment meetings on the news cycle and global market developments. Portfolio investments are discussed and reviewed on a weekly basis by the Investment Committee. We produce our own primary research on Swiss and international companies. New ideas are proposed and challenged by each team member of the Committee. This results in strong convictions that we can quickly implement across the portfolios.

Our teams of analysts are in direct contact with the top management of individual companies. Our analysts are authorities in their respective fields and are experts in the in-depth analysis of their sectors. We take part in more than 200 meetings or presentations each year. In addition, we are in constant contact with the most recognized analysts from Zurich to Wall Street and diligently review their reports.

Investment Philosophy

We adopt a long-term investment philosophy, based on the real economy and the strong convictions of our Investment Committee.

“Our added value: the right balance between active and passive management”

We distinguish ourselves in our balanced mandates by applying the right mix of active and passive management. Our outperformance is mainly achieved through asset allocation, which is based on our in-depth investment research. Our senior specialists are authorities in their respective sectors. Our investment philosophy combines two complementary approaches: asset allocation (Top-Down) and security selection (Bottom-Up). The Top-Down (macro) approach determines the asset allocation and the geographical (global) allocation. We believe that security selection outside of Switzerland increases risks more than it increases returns. Thus, with regards to foreign equities, we invest mainly through passive open-architecture funds.

“Stock picking: strong convictions on Swiss equities and value investing”

Our active management in Swiss equities is based on strong convictions and is in line with our value investment style. We select stocks that trade below their intrinsic value. In addition, we differentiate ourselves through our exceptional network of direct connections with CEOs and CFOs within our investment universe, which are the source of our historical outperformance.

Investment Committee

Our team of analysts and managers hold daily investment meetings to review the news cycle and global market developments. Portfolio investments are discussed and reviewed on a weekly basis within the Investment Committee. We produce our own primary research on both Swiss and international companies. New ideas are proposed and challenged by each member of the Committee. This results in strong convictions that we can quickly implement across portfolios. Our teams of analysts have direct contact with the top management of individual companies. Our analysts are authorities in their respective fields and are experts in the in-depth analysis of their sectors. We take part in more than 200 meetings or presentations every year. In addition, we are in constant contact with the most recognized analysts from Zurich to Wall Street and diligently review their reports.

Portfolio Construction

Portfolio construction is based on a strategic allocation of asset classes (equities, bonds, real estate, currencies, alternative investments) which is based on our outlook on expected performance. Once this allocation has been defined, we analyse each segment of an asset class individually (e.g. Swiss equities vs. US equities). The respective outlooks are then calculated, and we decide on their weighting. Security selection is a key element in the construction of any portfolio, this is why we pay particular attention to the analysis of the companies in which we invest. We do this through numerous meetings with the CFOs, CEOs of the selected companies and a detailed analysis of the financial statements.

Risk Control

Our approach to risk combines an investment policy that takes into account strict restrictions in terms of weighting per investment, but also an optimisation system (optimizer) for asset classes based on their risk analysis in relation to expected return (risk/return analysis).

Performance analysis and periodic review

  • Our quantitative allocation system produces monthly performance reports.
  • We analyse the deviation and impact of our investment strategy, both by asset class and by individual security, in relation to BVG indices.

Independence

As an independent Asset Manager, we have the freedom of open architecture when choosing the best products. With this approach we greatly reduce counterparty risk. We do not buy passive GMG products, but diversify issuers. This means that we are not under any pressure in the event of a crisis to keep in-house passive products in the portfolio. We work with the custodian bank chosen by the client and thus guarantee additional mutual control between the bank and GMG.

Funds & Mandates

GMG Fund Swiss Small & Mid Cap

“We differentiate ourselves through our exceptional network of direct connections to CEOs and CFOs in our Swiss equity investment universe, which is the source of our historical outperformance” – Christophe Julen

The GMG Swiss Small & Mid Cap Fund invests in a selection of high-quality securities from the universe of Swiss small and mid caps (SPI Extra Index) with a bias towards mid caps.

The selected small cap companies have a market capitalisation of at least CHF 1 billion, which ensures liquidity. There is no compromise on the financial solvency of the selected companies. The outperformance supported by 20 years of experience, reflects the very strong convictions of our managers and analysts, our “value investing” bias and our long-term investment strategy.

We differentiate ourselves through our exceptional network of direct connections with the CEOs and CFOs of our investment universe, which is the source of our historical outperformance.

The fund is ESG standards compliant (see ESG section). To view the latest factsheet of our small and mid-cap fund, please click .

Swiss equity mandates

Our Swiss equity mandates invest in a selection of high-quality stocks from the Swiss Performance Index (SPI) with a bias towards large and mid caps. The investment philosophy is based on the real economy, the long-term and a “value investing” strategy.

The portfolio is composed of a selection of around twenty high-quality stocks, reflecting the strong convictions of our managers. The “value investing” management style implies that we buy companies below their intrinsic value, corresponding to the discounting of future cash flows.

In addition, our analysts identify the competitive advantages of companies. The quality and management strategy of these companies are of paramount importance in order to successfully leverage these advantages.

The portfolio therefore favours companies that successfully navigate the various phases of economic cycles, while minimising speculation and aiming to achieve higher returns over the medium and long term.

Our track record demonstrates our outperformance against the Swiss Performance Index (SPI) while maintaining a lower risk than the SPI.

In terms of risk management, the investment restrictions allow the portfolio to over/underweight up to 1.5 times the weight of a security in the SPI (for securities whose weight in the index is greater than 10%).

Balanced Mandates

Our balanced mandates follow our long-term investment philosophy which is based on the real economy and strong convictions with a “value investing” style.

Our outperformance is mainly achieved through asset allocation which is based on our in-depth investment research. Our investment philosophy combines two complementary approaches – asset allocation (Top-Down) and stock selection (Bottom-Up) – but also offers an appropriate balance between active and passive management.

The Top-Down (macro) approach determines both the asset and geographic (global) allocation. Our management strategy favours long-term equity investments in high-quality companies with first-class fundamentals and high asset liquidity. Due to our expertise in Swiss equities, we favour a “stock picking” approach. On the foreign equity side, we believe that stock picking outside Switzerland increases risk more than it increases returns. Therefore, foreign equities are invested in through passive funds and we apply a balance between active and passive management.

Regarding bonds, we invest in very high-quality debtors, since our investment policy and risk control is limited to debtors with a rating above A, in order to avoid any risk on bond investments.

Real estate is represented through a healthy diversification between funds and Swiss real estate equities, but also by investments in top-quality international real estate equities.

Real estate mandates

GMG’s real estate mandates are distinguished by their track record of transactions in Swiss and foreign real estate (several billion Swiss francs in transactions over the past 20 years). Thanks to this direct investment and development experience in Swiss, European and UK real estate, GMG has a superior level of real estate expertise.

The combination of the knowledge of the Group, through its GMG Real Estate entity, and the experience of the managers of the institutional team in indirect real estate mandates, offers investors an incomparable management proposal. Ongoing contact with our representatives in the field provides a crucial competitive advantage in the management of indirect real estate mandates. Our real estate mandates follow our long-term investment philosophy. It is based on the real economy and on the financial quality of the companies in order to propose regular growth in dividend yields.

Our real estate management is characterised by a healthy diversification between real estate investment funds and Swiss real estate equities, but also by investments in first-class international real estate equities.

Thus, in building the portfolio, our managers invest in both Swiss and foreign equities and real estate funds. This allocation allows the portfolio to benefit from stable dividend yields while also increasing the value of real estate assets and creating wealth over the long term.

The real estate portfolio is composed of a selection of high-quality Swiss and foreign securities, reflecting the strong convictions of our managers. The quality of the dividend, the locations in the real estate portfolio and its segmentation are essential elements in stock selection. Competent management that aims for long-term growth is of paramount importance in any real estate investment.

Finally, the macroeconomic aspect plays an essential role in the analysis of the valuation of real estate securities, since the latter is highly dependent on interest rates, but also on the quality of the tenants.

Environment, Social & Governance

Responsible investment holds a privileged place in today’s society and in our investments.

  • GMG Institutional Asset Management SA is a member of Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF).
  • Marc-Christian Bollet, Senior Executive Director, is a member of the SSF working group and works to develop standards for sustainable investment in Switzerland.
  • Patrick Sulzer was one of the pioneers in the development of the responsible approach in Switzerland when he founded Codethic (a consulting firm in business ethics) in 2008, which has advised major Swiss groups on ESG issues.

ESG

Our investment framework for Swiss equities includes a sustainable investment strategy that meets ESG standards.

This framework integrates a range of criteria and tools to address and manage the ESG aspect of our investments.

In addition to our financial analysis and portfolio construction technique, we incorporate sustainability factors into our investment decisions. We believe that relevant ESG information can provide appropriate insights into both risk and investment opportunities.

E – ENVIRONMENT
  • Contribution to climate change (carbon footprint and C02 emissions)
  • Environmental opportunities (renewable energy and technological improvements)
  • Treatment of natural resources and waste
S – SOCIAL
  • Human Resources: safety, health, and continuous training of employees
  • Products: product and data safety
G – GOVERNANCE
  • Corporate governance (composition of the Board of Directors and management, ownership structure)
  • Corporate behaviour: participation in transparency, ethics and anti-corruption initiatives

Our Swiss equity management systematically integrates ESG factors into the investment process. We use our internal financial and sustainability analyses in combination with external ESG rating agencies. This approach allows us to generate investment decisions that encompass ESG factors and meet financial and sustainability objectives.

We favour companies that participate in various transparency and sustainable investment initiatives and that meet ESG criteria.

Exclusion Criteria

Our approach to sustainable investment outlines clearly defined exclusion criteria. Sectors and companies that have a proven negative impact on society or the environment are excluded from our investment universe. For example, manufacturers of controversial weapons such as landmines, cluster munitions and nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are excluded.

In addition, our sustainable strategies exclude companies that earn more than 5% of their turnover in the fields of conventional weapons and firearms, nuclear energy, tobacco, gambling or pornography.

In addition, companies with an exposure of more than 30% in coal-fired power generation are also excluded. However, this limit may be modified in line with their evolution towards low-carbon power generation.

Furthermore, companies associated with serious and proven controversies, such as child labour, bribery or fatal accidents, are also excluded if we do not see any corrective action and progress.

Active ownership (proxy voting and commitment)

Participation in the exercise of voting rights makes it possible to influence a company’s activity. We are convinced that our commitment can have a positive impact on the sustainability aspect of the investments held in our portfolios.

Limit

A manager may deviate from the process of integrating ESG criteria, provided that there are clear indications of commitment to sustainability measures. A maximum of 30% of the sustainable investment portfolio may be invested in securities or entities for which ESG information is not available. This applies in particular to asset classes for which ESG criteria have not yet been sufficiently defined.

Research

Company analysis

We produce our own primary research on Swiss and international companies. Our recognised investment managers and analysts have direct access to the CEOs and CFOs of the listed companies in our investment universe. Our asset managers are experts in their sectors and carry out in-depth analyses.

We attend more than 200 investment presentations and meetings of listed companies per year. We are in constant contact with the most renowned strategists and analysts, from Zurich to Wall Street.

Quarterly Reports

Companies’ Analysis

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