The View from Minusio

Im englischen Citywire Magazin hat unser CEO Urs Imber ein Interview gegeben über die Sicht auf die Märkte aus Zug und Minusio. Citywire Magazine – The View from Minusio EN

Citywire: What is different about being based in Minusio as opposed to other independent asset managers in financial centres like Zurich and Geneva?

 To be based in Minusio close to Lugano gives us a different view to the market with more distance and focused to fundamentals instead of emotions. Minusio is just two hours from Zurich and about one and a half hour away from Milano. We have a modern and stable infrastructure as big cities, what is essential for us.

Citywire: Why are you based there (personal/historical reasons)?

We still have our office in Zug, but our research and fund selection team are based in Minusio. We realised, it is difficult to escape general market opinions, if you are based too close to the financial centres. From Minusio, we focus on good thematic stories, economic cycles and fundamentals without too much influence from outside.

Citywire: Would you say it gives you a different perspective? If so, in what way?

If you go out in Zurich, you meet especially financial friends and talk with them, it is hard to escape mainstream market opinion, but we are still close enough to get all the important information. Additionally, it is a wonderful area between a Mediterranean and mountain landscape to have a nice work life balance and to focus on important news flow.

Citywire: How would you describe the network between independent asset managers in Switzerland?

Independent asset managers are authorised by a Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) officially recognised by the Federal Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Switzerland is one of the most regulated market and as everywhere, in the future the size of an asset management company would be more important. In my opinion, it is important and enriching that financial boutiques could survive.

Citywire: What is the biggest challenge you are facing at present?

We need certainty in regulations and good sense in the implementation of MiFID II as well its implications for cross-border Banking. It doesn’t make sense creating senseless hurdles only to consolidate independent asset managers. Next to regulations, independent asset manages needs to invest in banking software to provide full and comprehensive services as well to support them for increasing administration work.

Citywire: What’s the number-one concern for your clients right now, and what asset classes are they most interested in?

The stability of Europe, politicians refrain continue the necessary economic reforms to generate growth. In this environment we keep to invest in solid equities and select long/short strategies as well some credit funds.

Citywire: Which markets are you avoiding?

 Since two years we avoid emerging markets, but in near future we think a footprint in those markets could make sense again. China consumer grows with double digits and it seems that a soft landing could work. In our opinion, after 54 weeks of downside of emerging markets, low valuations and growing population the bottom should be reached soon.

Citywire: What do upcoming regulations mean for Swiss independent asset managers?

Many independent asset manager will lose their independence and identity, a consolidation is probably essential, but that is not beneficial for customers. Many of upcoming regulations are senseless, needs additional works, but doesn’t help to improve stability of financial markets as well and even for asset managers more important protecting clients. We still missing clear definition of portfolio risks as well using derivatives like options or warrants.

Citywire: What is your main investment call for 2016?

Our general view is cautiously optimistic, we prefer solid equities and give preference to healthcare shares, because cost keep rising on the demographic structure and growing of chronic diseases. We believe, that oil price has more upside potential instead of downside. The recession fear is exaggerated, but lower revenues and downside of global economic remain as a problem. Upside potential is limited as long central banks not doing their work with important structural reforms.