The financial centre of Lugano is highly interesting for companies based in Zurich
• Caduff: Ladies and Gentlemen, what is the current top story from your company?
Derlokova: We’ve made lately a number of exciting announcements that demonstrate the power of Northern Trust’s Whole Office strategy that looks across the spectrum of client challenges and join forces with market-leading companies that can provide cutting-edge solutions. I am talking about our alliance with Enfusion, offering asset managers, hedge funds and asset owners a fully integrated, end-to-end solution that can streamline workflows while leveraging each company’s strengths. Or our partnership with Finscape, offering clients comprehensive view of distribution activity.
Marmondi: I’d like to take a step back and emphasize that at M&G Investments, we don’t have a flavour of the day or month approach. Our top story is that we are asset owner and asset manager which aligns or own interests with the ones of our clients. Thus we have been investing our and their money for 90 years on principles of investing for the long-term in a responsible and active way and increasingly align our investments with environmental and social values which both our clients and M&G share.
Ipsaryaris: One topic which is gaining momentum for us is AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance). Egyptians and China were the first using microorganism for the management of microbial infections. The golden era, however, started with the discovery of penicillin. Antibiotics have gone since on saving millions of lives in treating infections of any kind. With Covid we have even more understood how important antibiotics are, well how bad the resistance of it can be.
Tiziani: Healthcare continues to be one of the mega trends for the coming decades. The interrelationship of demographic change, shifting lifestyles and innovations in the healthcare sector inevitably lead to superior global growth with non-cyclical demand. With almost 30 years of experience, as one of the largest healthcare investors with over 20 healthcare experts, we are more than convinced of the potential of special healthcare themes, be it in drug development or medical technologies and healthcare services.
Varnholt: You can set up your own fund or certificate with MRB. After a thorough analysis of your requirements, we will help you identify the right domicile, structure and service providers. MRB will put in place all necessary portfolio management tools and provide all required support to operate your fund successfully. Our main focus is on liquid public assets. But currently we see a lot of interest in private equity and private debt as well. Our fund partners can get access to our network of interested fund investors.
• Caduff: Do you have products that have a unique selling proposition of some kind?
Marmondi: Our global approach to global listed infrastructure seeks out opportunities in both the developed and the developing world, with a resolute focus on long-term stability and inflation-protected growth. We aim to focus only in securities that meet the ESG and Sustainability Criteria. On the fixed income side, our approach to High Yield FRNs offer a liquid strategy with high coupons and pretty much no duration that can benefit from rising interest rates in a risk-aware and diversified way.
Tiziani: Bellevue is a specialized pure-play asset manager with an entrepreneurial-driven culture and as such proudly independent. Those qualities guide us to sustained growth themes and enable us to unlock exceptional upside potential. Hence, all of our strategies are benchmark-agnostic and establish a sound bridge between promising investment themes and diversification for our investors. To achieve that, we even sometimes have to swim against the current and always be on the lookout for innovation.
Ipsaryaris: Our recently launched «Natural Capital Transition Global Equity Strategy», which is aligned to SDGs 12, 13, 14 and 15. The strategy invests in companies providing in solutions or are transitioning their business models across the four key themes of sustainable land, sustainable oceans, the circular economy, and climate change and important to note: Aviva Investors will donate 5bps of its management fee to fund ecosystem restoration projects.
Varnholt: Launching your own fund with MRB provides a number of opportunities and advantages: leverage your existing client base, expand into new markets and advertise your investment competence with a certified track-record. Operating your own fund business generally reduces the regulatory complexity typically found in expanding wealth management businesses. There are also potential cost savings from more efficient tax treatment and institutional type transaction fees.
Derlokova: Indeed, we do, rather than taking a one-size-fits all approach, we listen and work with our clients to support them with scalable and flexible solutions that address any gaps or challenges they face across their investment chain. As mentioned previously, this Whole Office approach enables us to help clients look at their whole organisation from supporting them in controlling costs through to their focus on alpha generation by helping them improve their investment process. We provide front office capabilities through complementary trading services, together with fully integrated middle and back office service solutions to lower risk and increase operational efficiency. We are also helping asset managers and asset allocators optimise their investment process to deliver enhanced outcomes.
• Caduff: Lugano is the third largest financial centre in Switzerland. How important is it for you?
Ipsaryaris: As you mentioned, it is the 3rd largest financial centre in Switzerland and as such next to Zurich and Geneva key for Aviva Investors. The client base we have in Lugano is aligned with our investment philosophy when it comes to sustainability and towards driving change for a better tomorrow.
Derlokova: Lugano is becoming a renewed hub for hedge funds, private equity boutiques, commodities trading companies, as well as blockchain developers and fintechs. Switzerland is a strategic market for Northern Trust and Lugano represents the cherry of the Swiss cake which completes our ambition to support our clients and partners all over the region.
Varnholt: Lugano is one of the most professional and innovative investment management hot spots in Switzerland. We are aware of this and would like to interact much more with investment managers in Lugano. I think it is great that Fundplat is helping build bridges from Zurich into Lugano.
Tiziani: In a country characterized by international influences and the proximity to neighboring countries, the border cities assume a very special role. Firstly, the density of concentrated expertise in the financial center in Lugano led already in the early years of Bellevue to exceptional and long-standing customer relationships and friendships, which made a considerable contribution to the growth of the Group. Secondly, for some years now we have been opening the gateway to Italy, with Lugano also acting as a kind of interface.
Marmondi:Ticino has always been an important market for M&G as it hosts many players that we consider key for our growth. Having been successfully active in the Italy for many years allows us to leverage a variety of supporting features in the Italian language. I’m happy that M&G showed commitment by entrusting me as a dedicated person to the region. We believe that a person grew up in Lugano who knows the peculiarities of Ticino can help increasing the brand awareness of M&G and is a plus for our clients.
Currently Vice President and responsible for Northern Trust's business development in Switzerland. In her role, she focuses on working with clients to identify optimal operational solutions that support asset managers and asset allocators’ whole office to deliver their business and strategic goals. Before joining Northern Trust, Neda Derlokova held various business development roles at CACEIS and Société Générale in Switzerland, Germany and France. She has more than ten years of industry experience and holds a Master's degree in Finance and Financial Operations Management from the Lumière University Lyon 2.
Rula Ipsaryaris is based in Zurich and focuses on growth opportunities for institutional clients and wholesale customers in her region. She has over 30 years in the financial service sector. Prior to joining Aviva Investors, she worked as Senior Sales Executive and Deputy Head Switzerland & Liechtenstein for Vanguard. She gained her professional experience in various leading positions in the fiduciary industry with an American broker, both international and Swiss Private Banks, as well as with one of the worldwide largest asset custodians. Rula Ipsaryaris holds a CAS (Certificate of Advanced Studies) in Sales and Distribution Management from Lucerne University as well as Fiduciary with Swiss Federal Accreditation.
Marco Marmondi is a Sales Representative at M&G International Investments Switzerland AG. He’s responsible for Ticino and helps for distribution in the Romandie. Prior to this he worked for Tabula Investment Management, an ETFs provided based in London across Sales, Marketing and Investor Relations. Marco Marmondi holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management from the University of Lausanne (HEC) and a Master of Science (MSc) in Financial Markets and Investments from Skema Business School.
Sandro Tiziani joined Bellevue Asset Management in 2015. Before taking up his position as Head of Sales Switzerland & Italy, he worked in various roles at Bank Julius Baer in Zurich and Hong Kong as well as Financial Strategies Advisor & Derivatives Sales Switzerland at Bank J. Safra Sarasin. Sandro Tiziani holds a Master's degree in Finance from the University of Zurich.
Volker Varnholt is Head of Business Development at Zurich based asset manager MRB. After studying at the University of Lausanne (HEC) and the University of St. Gallen (HSG), he began his career in investment banking, as a fixed income trader at Salomon Brothers in London and Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt. Since summer 2000, Volker Varnholt has been living and working in Zurich. For the last nine years he has been involved in structuring fund solutions at PMG Investment Solutions. Before that, he worked at Clariden Leu (now Credit Suisse) in asset management and at Julius Baer.
Thomas J. Caduff is the CEO of Fundplat LLC. He has worked in the financial industry for over 40 years. His professional experience includes roles at the stock exchange commissariat of the Canton of Zurich, Bank Vontobel, Credit Suisse and UBS. Thomas J. Caduff also served for three decades in one division and multiple brigades of the Swiss Army, as a communication/media officer.