Obviam and Asteria Investment Managers join forces – a milestone for Swiss impact investing



For the very first time, a dedicated impact investment manager with a long-standing track record will be able to offer and manage products at scale across the entire spectrum of impact strategies, combining public and private capital, listed and private assets, as well as social and environmental impact targets.

In recent years, a very clear shift in attitudes and values in society and politics could be observed. People increasingly believe that it is right and necessary to care about our impact on the planet. Correspondingly, in the world of finance, impact investing, which intends to create positive, measurable social and environmental impact, has seen healthy growth rates. So far, however, impact investing products have been offered either by small, specialised players limited to a specific niche, or by large players seeking to diversify their product offering without fully dedicating themselves to impact investing. This is about to change with the strategic tie-up of the two Swiss impact asset managers Asteria Investment Managers and Obviam. 

 

“The combination of these two businesses will enable us to further build on our objective of delivering strong investment returns for our clients, as well as investing profitably to improve the livelihoods of people in developing and emerging markets. Our combined expertise and aligned interests open doors to achieve an even greater level of impact for society by building on our track record to attract additional funds from the private sector.”
- Claude Barras, Obviam CEO

Impact investing – making investments with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact – has grown rapidly over the last few years. Indeed, the growth and increasing sophistication of the impact investing market has given solid reason for hope. Each year, impact investors leverage the power of finance to tackle more of the world’s biggest challenges, and each year, the demand for impact investing products has gone up. Impact investing is still a nascent industry, but long gone are the days when impact investing was assumed to be something for a few socially conscious investors. Impact investing is steadily attracting mainstream institutions including banks, pension funds, insurance companies and foundations, who have realised that they can invest in a way that answers their social and environmental priorities, while also meeting financial objectives.

Asteria Obviam will be the first fully dedicated impact investing firm, who can credibly offer products across all asset classes from listed equities and bonds, private debt and private equity. It will continue to deliberately and intentionally create impact with each investment across multiple dimensions –environmental, governance and social. The new entity will benefit from several major competitive advantages:

  • A track record of 20 years in private asset management in developing countries and emerging markets
  • A proprietary impact and ESG research supported by an innovative Big Data Platform
  • Robust and well tested investment processes, placing impact and performance at the same level
  • Strong exchange of skills thanks to teams constituted of experts from various fields including finance and development 
  • Broad and diversified client base, including private as well as public networks
  • Aligned culture and values

Launched by the REYL Group, Asteria is a Swiss Asset Management company entirely dedicated to Impact investing. Regulated by the FINMA and benefiting from a team of 15 seasoned specialists, Asteria builds up its proprietary Impact and ESG research platform using an innovative technological platform based on Big Data and using Machine Learning. Asteria targets positive social and environmental impact by achieving market returns thanks to robust investment process and stringent risk control run by a team of professional with complementary profiles, coming from both side: the finance industry and sustainability ecosystem. 

Asteria Investment Managers

Obviam is a FINMA-licensed asset manager with over 20 years of experience in impact investing. The firm employs around 30 professionals in Bern and has a portfolio of more than 500 companies in over 70 countries. Currently, Obviam has assets under management of over USD 1 billion. Obviam invests profitably in improving the livelihoods of people in developing and emerging markets, and thereby supports inclusive growth. Its clients benefit from bespoke portfolios tailored to their needs, financial objectives, and impact preferences. Each investment is individually selected for its expected contribution to poverty reduction and sustainable development, and the impact of portfolios is measured and analysed systematically. 

Please contact Claude Barras if you would like to know more about the strategic tie-up between Asteria and Obviam.