QUAERO CAPITAL ‘invests away from the crowds’ and backs ‘New Europe’ into the UK

QUAERO CAPITAL has introduced Arrash Zafari’s ‘New Europe’ equity fund into the UK.

The introduction of Zafari’s New Europe fund, extends QUAERO CAPITAL’s existing European small and mid (SMID) cap capabilities to include companies from Eastern Europe, as well as other ‘peripheral’ states, such as Greece, Turkey and Russia.

Zafari joined the QUAERO CAPITAL’s SMID team – run by Philip Best and Marc St John Webb – three years ago and has since been nurturing a New Europe strategy which seeks to take advantage of significant under valuations in East European stocks.

Typically, stocks in Eastern Europe feature single digit price/earnings ratios, price-to-book values of less than one, and dividend yields of more than 5%. As with QUAERO CAPITAL’s wider European SMID strategy, Zafari will be seeking quality companies which are often unrecognised by the market and not covered by analysts.

Zafari has been travelling extensively in Eastern Europe, including in Russia, for the past three years, and has been developing a strong sense of what makes a quality company in a part of Europe that some investors have found difficult to penetrate.

Zafari said: “There are a significant number of high quality, small businesses across Eastern Europe. Among them are those which offer all the advantages that we see from companies in more mature markets but are simply ignored by those more inclined to go for the big names. In my view, these large East European companies are the ones most prone to external risks, including political risk, and that has coloured investor sentiment for the wider market.

 “Smaller Eastern European companies are left alone to get on with what they do best, and many are seeking to develop along the same lines as their western European counterparts. I therefore believe that the opportunities offered by New Europe will provide a new dimension to our European small and mid-cap strategies, and a new dimension for investors in the UK.”

In making the case for New Europe Zafari also points to the significant investment currently being undertaken by the European Union particularly in Poland which is receiving over €70 billion of support in the 2014 to 2020 budgetary cycle. Smaller nations such as Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria are also receiving significant levels of support from the EU in a bid to stimulate economic growth.

Yet despite such significant levels of investment New Europe – particularly Eastern Europe – remains largely off the radar of mainstream investors. It has experienced the highest proportion of fund closures of any geography worldwide. Since 2008 total number of funds has reduced by some 35% and until recently capital market activity has been stunted for many years.

“Western Europe still has some orphan stocks, but Eastern Europe has some orphan markets,” comments Zafari.

QUAERO CAPITAL’s New Europe fund is highly concentrated with its 20 top holdings representing some 70% of the portfolio.

Since June 2014, the New Europe stocks, managed by Zafari as a ’sleeve’ within QUAERO CAPITAL’s European SMID strategy, grew some 41% against the FTSE Eastern Europe index, which grew just 7.32% over the same period, and against the MSCI Emerging Europe index, which was down 4.55%, and the STOXX Eastern Europe 50, which was down 7.3%.

In his peer group Zafari calculates that the performance of the New Europe ‘sleeve’ – were it to have been a fully-fledged mutual fund since June 2014 – puts it ahead of all 72 funds in the Morningstar Emerging Europe Equity All Sector index.

Read the full media release

Argos Funds to change name to Quaero Capital Funds (Lux)

Effective 12 October 2017, the name of the Luxembourg SICAV “Argos Funds” has changed to “Quaero Capital Funds (Lux)”.

The investment strategies and all the other features of the funds (such as liquidity, fees, ISIN codes, minimum investment, available share classes, tax considerations) remain unchanged.

The renaming provides more clarity by bringing consistency across our range of funds following the rebranding of the company in 2015 from “Argos Investment Managers SA” to “Quaero Capital SA”.

Additionally, the name of some SICAV’s sub-funds has been simplified, please see below for a complete list of the new names.

Names of the sub-Funds of the Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) SICAV

  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – Argonaut
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – Smaller European Companies
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – European Equities Long-Short
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – Bamboo
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – International Equities
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – Global Dynamic
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – Global Balanced
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – Global Conservative
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – Infrastructure Securities
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – World Opportunities
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – Yield Opportunities
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – New Europe
  • Quaero Capital Funds (Lux) – Accessible Clean Energy

New Energy : Mister Clean is Chinese

Jean Keller - Un oeil sur la place - Le Temps 4.9.2017

In his last column published in Le Temps of 4 September 2017, our CEO Jean Keller explains why the energy revolution has really started. It will however will need massive investments from the public sector to modernize its electric infrastructure and adapt its sources of income.

Read the article (in French)

QUAERO Capital strengthens global distribution through agreement with Allfunds Bank

QUAERO Capital - Spain

QUAERO Capital is strengthening its European and worldwide distribution capability with agreement from Allfunds Bank to make QUAERO Capital funds available on its global platform.

The move will see QUAERO Capital’s range of SICAV sub-funds made immediately available, where its funds are registered, to fund selectors in the two dominant European cross border markets of Italy and Spain, as well as in Switzerland and France.

The move will also position QUAERO Capital for expansion in over 40 countries in which Allfunds has a presence – in regions such as Asia where QUAERO Capital reached a distribution agreement with Peak Capital in January.

The arrangements with Allfunds were spearheaded in Iberia by QUAERO Capital’s Amancio Perez who will oversee the business development for the QUAERO Capital funds in the region. Amancio will also be looking to expand QUAERO Capital, through global third-party marketers, into Latin America. Allfunds has established a considerable presence in Latin America – with distribution agreements in most South American countries and local offices in Chile and Colombia.

Read the media release

Michaël Malquarti joins QUAERO as Senior Portfolio Manager

QUAERO Capital has appointed Michaël Malquarti as Senior Portfolio Manager.

Malquarti, a specialist in multi-manager and alternative strategies, will manage the Long/Short European Equity fund and assist Cristofer Gelli in the management of asset allocation strategies. Prior to joining QUAERO Malquarti was Head of Manager Research & Alternative Investments at SYZ Asset Management.

Michaël Malquarti
Michaël Malquarti

Holder of a PhD in Cosmology from Sussex University and of a Master in Mathematical Physics from the University of Geneva, Michael Malquarti has held several positions in fund analysis and selection, multi-manager portfolio management and risk management.

Malquarti recently promoted his ideas in the media for the use by the Swiss National Bank of new tools in monetary policies and is currently preparing the publication of a book on the reform of the monetary system.

Read the media release


QUAERO Capital appoints Francesco Samson as Group Chief Operating Officer

QUAERO Capital has appointed Francesco Samson as its Group Chief Operating Officer, as of April 1st (subject to Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA’s approval). Samson joins from Brevan Howard in Switzerland, where he was Head and Chief Operating Officer of the Geneva office and a member of the Executive committee of Brevan Howard Investment Products Limited in Jersey. He has considerable experience in the asset management business, built up over more than 20 years. Prior to his last post, he spent 10 years at Nyon-based EIM SA, where he was Partner, Group Chief Operating Officer and member of the Executive Committee. He also led M&A activity for the Swiss firm, built its managed account platform and oversaw business development and corporate communications.

Francesco Samson
Francesco Samson

Previously, Samson worked at Citigroup’s EMEA Private Bank, where he led the growth strategy for the region, building and leading two front office teams. He started his career in the chemical industry prior to joining McKinsey Switzerland where he focused on finance, telecom and transportation corporates. Fluent in Italian, French, English and German, Samson has an MSc from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (“EPFL”) in Lausanne, Switzerland, and an MBA from INSEAD.

Jean Keller, CEO of Quaero Capital said: “We are delighted to welcome Francesco to our team. His experience and energy will strengthen our structure and help us plan for the growth of our business. Over the past 3 years we have experienced healthy growth in our assets under management and we are convinced that the arrival of Francesco will help us execute our ambitious business plan.”

Francesco Samson said: “I am excited at the opportunity that joining Quaero Capital presents. With growing international reach, an interesting product range and solid growth already under way, I look forward to helping develop a dynamic business that is truly focused on client requirements.

Media release

Serge Ledermann joins the Board of QUAERO Capital

QUAERO Capital has appointed Serge Ledermann as a member of its Board of directors. Backed with more than 35 years’ experience in the financial industry – in investment research, asset management and commercial activities – Serge Ledermann is a well-known public figure both in Switzerland and abroad.

Serge Ledermann
Serge Ledermann

Working as an independent advisor and an independent director for family offices, pension funds, foundations and asset managers Serge Ledermann has held several managerial positions in asset management. In particular, he was a member of the Executive Committee and Head of Asset Management at J. Safra Sarasin, as well as Deputy CEO and Head of Investment of Retraites Populaires in Lausanne. Prior to that, he was Partner at Lombard Odier and Union Bancaire Privée Gestion Institutionnelle.

Serge Ledermann is a graduate of the HEC School of the University of Lausanne and of the International School for Banking Studies of Geneva. He followed several management and graduate trainings at IMD and ACAD in Switzerland. He chaired the Swiss Association of Financial Analysts and Asset Managers (SFAA) from 1997 to 2001.

He is often quoted on the Swiss media for his expert opinion on the markets or the trends in the financial services industry. He sits on various boards of directors, such as Schroder Investment Management (Switzerland) and the Swiss Triathlon Federation.

Cristofer Gelli, Chairman of QUAERO Capital said “We are delighted to have a leading figure such as Serge Ledermann join our Board of directors. His breadth of experience and extended international contact network in the financial world will be very useful assets to pursue our expansion and successfully face the challenges facing the Swiss asset management sector”.

Serge Ledermann added “I am excited to join QUAERO Capital’s Board. Indeed, besides plain-vanilla products produced by the asset management giants, there is a strong need for a specialist boutique such as QUAERO, whose very distinctive strategies and conviction-driven investment style have delivered superior results.”

Media release

QUAERO appoints Amancio Perez as Head of Iberian sales

QUAERO Capital - Spain

QUAERO Capital has appointed Amancio Perez ‘Head of Iberian Business Development’ to enhance its presence in Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well in the LatAm markets.

Amancio Perez has twenty years of experience in B2B financial industry – as a sales person for Iberia & LatAm markets in institutional, fund distribution, private banking and services to external asset managers – which brings together all aspects of the sector including retail, private banking, independent asset managers, financial advisors, family offices, funds of funds, pension funds, central banks and sovereign funds. Until recently, he worked as a senior sales manager at Pictet & Cie where he was responsible for developing private banking commercial activity in the Brazilian market with Single/Multi Family Offices, independent/external asset managers, financial advisors and banks.

With more than 20 years in the fund distribution business with Iberia and LatAm, he has always developed new markets from scratch with all the business development steps and all the segments, from retail market to sovereign mandates of the lead the opening of the Pictet Asset Management office in Madrid, from 2003 to 2013. He started his career in 1992 with Pictet in Geneva – his move to QUAERO aims to build on this success.

Jean Keller, CEO of QUAERO Capital, said “I am thrilled to be working with Amancio Perez – a highly skilled senior professional. He has an enormous amount of experience working in Spain as well as Latin America – I can think of no-one better to take QUAERO forward in Iberia.

Amancio Perez said, “I am honoured to be part of QUAERO Capital, a fast-growing asset manager targeting growth in new markets. There are not many players with the current environment available to invest on business development like QUAERO. The Sicav has been registered in Spain and will soon extend to the Portuguese market, expecting to be added to the leading platforms. I’m also looking for a representative to cover the LatAm markets, a challenging region.”