- Strong growth in assets under management proves new management structure to be effective
- Middle East strategy in 2017 has focused on building repution as credit specialist
Fisch Asset Management, the Zurich-based asset manager specializing in corporate and convertible bonds, has announced that it surpassed USD 10 billion in assets under management (AUM) in the first half of 2017. The achievement is a milestone in Fisch’s 23-year history, as the company has maintained its programme for organic and sustainable growth. “We are thrilled with this progress. An increase in AUM is important evidence of an asset manager’s success, and shows that we offer the right solutions to our clients’ needs,” said Philipp Good, CEO of Fisch Asset Management.
As at 30th June 2017, assets under management were USD 10.6 billion, having risen by USD 642 million since 31st December 2016, equating to 6% growth. Good continued: “This growth is spread across several strategies. Our high yield strategy has generated considerable interest. On the one hand, this is attributable to higher yields sought by investors in the bond segment. On the other, it is because our fund managers have been able to generate attractive returns, despite maintaining a defensive approach that largely avoids the riskiest parts of their segment.
“We’ve also been seeing increased demand for convertible bonds from institutional investors, particularly in Europe, in recent months. The market environment is currently very favourable for the asset class,” Good explained. He added, “This means that equity markets are continuing to do well, which boosts convertible prices – but increased political uncertainty and stressed equity market valuations may lead to higher volatility and the risk of a correction. In this scenario, the inherent advantages of convertible bonds – good upside participation with efficient downside protection – are striking a particular chord with investors at the moment. Meanwhile, companies are also keen to issue new convertibles, giving our fund managers a good opportunity to select the most promising ones for their portfolios.”
Specific activities for the Middle East included Fisch hosting a 3-day credit workshop in Zurich in May for its partners in the region. It was the second such event, repeated following the resounding success of the inaugural workshop in 2016. Good explained: “We understand how important knowledge sharing is in the region and we are keen to do our part. Speakers at the workshop shared their insights on credit research, including specific Middle East case studies, and on risk management and trading with regards to credit portfolios specifically. Based on participants’ feedback, this type of interactive event was highly useful to them.”
Philipp Good and Juerg Sturzenegger were appointed as joint CEOs at the beginning of the year. Chairman of the Board of Directors, Pius Fisch, remarked, “Both CEOs want to maintain the culture of open communication and complete transparency that has been fostered at our company for many years. At the same time, they are working on building the business, especially in terms of strengthening our research and portfolio management activities for our core product fields and intensifying our international focus. This appointment was clearly the right decision, and we have already seen benefits in the first six months.”