Eric Sturdza Investments, an independent asset management firm that provides actively managed strategies to institutional and wholesale clients, has partnered with Phileas Asset Management, an investment management firm specialising in European equities, to act as investment adviser for its Strategic Europe Quality Fund.
Based in Paris, Phileas Asset Management (Phileas) is a boutique asset manager which was co-founded in 2010 by Ludovic Labal and Cyril Bertrand. Together, Ludovic and Cyril will be responsible for the investment strategy and management of the Strategic Europe Quality Fund, effective 1 November 2021. The current investment team, Lofoten Asset Management, will be stepping back from managing this strategy after 11 successful years.
Since the inception of its long-only equity strategy in 2015, Phileas Equity Europe, Phileas has delivered an annualised return to their clients of approximately 9 per cent – outperforming the MSCI Net TR index by 3 per cent annualised and delivering a consistent top quartile performance within the fund’s peer group. The team was selected after thorough screening and due diligence as part of a planned succession process.
Phileas will maintain the Fund’s current Pan-European equity portfolio, with a focus on quality: selecting stocks that are undervalued and demonstrate long-term growth along with sound financial structure. The team will employ a fundamental, bottom-up stock picking process based on rigorous research including accounting validation and financial analysis to deliver a high-conviction portfolio of 30-40 stocks.
Through this approach, Phileas will invest in opportunities that present the most compelling risk/return profile, through the market cycle – an approach which has historically delivered value to investors.
Phileas is also extremely committed to ESG, and the Fund will continue to adhere to Eric Sturdza Investments’ ESG policy and associated exclusion lists, while also applying their own robust and fully integrated ESG approach. The management team at Phileas are committed active owners, and undertake regular engagement with investee companies on ESG related considerations, and regularly vote on key issues.
The Phileas team’s ESG approach closely follows specific ESG factors which the investment team believe have a lasting impact on a company’s value.
Eric Sturdza Investments will also take this opportunity to remove the 5bps Research Fee currently charged to the Fund and also reduce the minimum investment criteria associated with the SI share classes from 25 million to 10 million.
“We are delighted to be working with the Phileas team,” says Andrew Fish, Managing Director of Eric Sturdza Investments. “Their appointment marks an evolution in our flagship European equity strategy’s positioning within the market, while retaining the overall strategy and approach to investing that has delivered so consistently to investors. Ludovic and Cyril’s long track record of producing returns while integrating a robust and forward-looking approach to ESG across their investment process is closely aligned to what is important to our investors and the ethos that sits at the heart of our business today.”
“We take this opportunity to thank Willem and his team at Lofoten for their dedication, commitment and service over the past 11 years. We are proud of the collective achievements to date and look forward to this next stage in the Fund’s evolution.”
Ludovic Labal adds: “We are very excited to be working with Eric Sturdza Investments. Investor demands are changing and we look forward to integrating our own robust ESG approach into the Fund, while also maintaining the strong returns the Strategic Europe Quality Fund has historically delivered to its investors.”