On 19 November, Ethos and BCV took the first step under their new partnership with the launch of the Ethos Swiss Sustainable Equities investment fund. This fund, intended for both private and institutional investors, draws on the two partners’ experience in ESG investing and portfolio construction. It currently has CHF 160m in assets under management.
In this partnership, Ethos analyses companies based on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria, applying a methodology and skills developed over more than 20 years. In addition, Ethos exercises the fund’s voting rights at shareholders’ meetings in accordance with its own guidelines and engages in dialogue with the companies in order to encourage them to improve their ESG practices. BCV’s Asset Management department builds the portfolio taking Ethos’ ratings into account, and conducts financial and risk analyses.
Center of expertise in sustainable finance
Under the partnership, which was announced on 8 October, the assets of five other Ethos funds – two equity funds, two bond funds, and one asset allocation fund – will be transferred to BCV by the end of March 2021. These changes are pending approval by the relevant authorities, and the exact timeline is currently being finalised. These funds will be managed in the same manner as the Ethos Swiss Sustainable Equities fund: Ethos will carry out non-financial assessments of companies, exercise voting rights, and maintain a dialogue with the companies, while BCV’s Asset Management team will contribute its expertise in financial analysis and portfolio management.
BCV will actively promote Ethos’ funds and include them in the asset management agreements and portfolios that it manages for its clients. In parallel, specific BCV products – mainly bond funds – will incorporate Ethos’ ESG analyses and criteria. Ethos and BCV will work together closely in order to strengthen this partnership over the coming years and create a new center of expertise in sustainable finance in Switzerland.