Obviam and Asteria Investment Managers join forces

03 Dec 2020

Swiss impact private asset manager Obviam AG (Obviam) is to enter into a strategic tie-up with Asteria Investment Managers (Asteria), the recently launched impact investing firm controlled by REYL & Cie Ltd (REYL), in a partnership that will bring together complementary skills to create a unique and prominent player within the impact investing ecosystem.

This transaction fits perfectly with Asteria’s core strategic plan devised upon its creation in 2019. Obviam‘s recognised private equity expertise offers strong complementarity with Asteria’s liquid markets and private debt focus. Moreover, Obviam’s long-standing quality track record with public Development Finance Institutions such as SIFEM from the Swiss Confederation can resonate and attract new funding through Asteria’s private institutional network.

The new entity, to be named Asteria Obviam, will reinforce its positioning as a player fully dedicated to intentional impact investing, focused on favouring environmental and social progress across the full spectrum of impact strategies. The company will also generate cross-benefits from its consolidated distribution network and state-of-the-art technology platform using Big Data and Machine Learning. This transaction will give rise to a unique impact asset management group with over CHF 1 billion AUM, a 20-year track-record and more than 50 investment professionals.

In addition to sharing the same strategic objective to reconcile positive impact and market performance delivered through a robust and well-tested investment process, Asteria and Obviam benefit from perfectly aligned corporate cultures and values, stemming from their Swiss anchoring and international investment scope. In order to ensure talent retention and incentivisation, the senior management teams of Asteria and Obviam, led by Katia Coudray as CEO, will become significant shareholders in the new entity. The Obviam office and team, led by Obviam founder Claude Barras and located in Bern, will be maintained without disruption.

Importantly, the new operation will benefit from the continued support and commitment of REYL, which recently announced a strategic partnership with Fideuram - Intesa Sanpaolo Private Banking, one of Europe’s leading banking groups, allowing for expanded distribution capabilities and accelerated growth.

Francois Reyl, CEO at REYL & Cie, said: “The term “impact investing” has been trending in our industry over the past decade without much meaningful commitment from its main actors. With this transaction, we aim not only to demonstrate our firm optimism in this asset class in words but, more importantly, to translate our engagement through action. We believe that this combined entity will be able to offer the opportunities that clients are increasingly requesting through a more inclusive and truly impactful way of investing.”

Katia Coudray, CEO of Asteria Investment Managers, said: “I am delighted to start this cooperation with Obviam. They are not only recognised as experts but also great people. This new entity is reinforcing the Swiss Financial Place for Sustainable Investing, allowing to build bridges between the various impact segments and to intensify the collaboration within public and private sector around sustainability."

Claude Barras, CEO at Obviam, said: “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."

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