Swiss private banking group REYL has launched an independent impact investing affiliate, named Asteria Investment Managers.
It said Asteria planned to carry out “one or more acquisitions” to enhance its offering.
According to REYL, the new entity’s main objective was to offer institutional investors a wide range of products and strategies “in order to provide much needed vectors through which capital can contribute meaningfully to a transition towards a more sustainable and equal society”.
Asteria would use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide the allocation of capital to companies, it said.
Katia Coudray, who the REYL group hired as head of impact investing in July, is the CEO of Asteria.
“It truly is a unique opportunity to be able to create from scratch a new asset management company entirely dedicated to impact investing,” she said.
Three individuals make up the investment team: Guido Bollinger, head of investments and equity strategies, Natacha Guerdat, head of research, and Fabio Sofia, head of bond and private debt strategies.
Bollinger was previously chief investment architect and head of quantitative strategies at SYZ Asset Management, and is an adjunct professor of finance at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland.
Guerdat was in sustainable portfolio management roles for nearly 10 years before helping found Conser, a company offering a tool to screen portfolios for sustainability risk and environmental and social impact. She is a founding member of Swiss Sustainable Finance and Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG).
Sofia, according to REYL, “devoted his career to developing and promoting impact strategies”. He began at the Swiss federal department for foreign affairs and then helped create and worked at Symbiotics, a microfinance company. He is president of SFG.
Institutional investors are increasingly interested in their investments having a positive environmental and/or social impact in addition to achieving a risk-adjusted return.
Earlier this year listed UK asset manager Schroders announced it was to acquire a majority stake in impact investor BlueOrchard.