Starting Point

ESG-AM off to a flying start

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An exclusive focus on sustainability and many years of expertise in corporate credit: these are the two core attributes of the newly founded company ESG-AM. The claim “Beyond Sustainable Credit” alludes to the vast pool of sustainability and investment competence concentrated in the four founders Philipp Good, Peter Jeggli, Ingeborg Schumacher and Marco Tognarini.

The founding of ESG-AM marks the arrival of a new asset manager based in Zurich. The company’s officers are currently in the process of obtaining a licence as a manager of collective assets from the Swiss regulator FINMA. ESG-AM will focus exclusively on companies committed to making a positive contribution to the environment and to society at large.

Thanks to the depth of expertise in the area of corporate credit and sustainability, institutional clients will have access to a specialised offering of products and services, once FINMA has issued the necessary licence. Here ESG-AM invests not only in companies that are sustainability champions, but equally those that qualify by having made concrete, measurable progress, as well as those able to demonstrate an explicit impact. While relying on industry partnerships for sourcing data, ESG-AM uses proprietary models and cutting-edge technology for in-house analysis.

Strong in corporate credit, strong in sustainability

“As an active and highly focused business, sustainability and yield are equally important. Our goal is to combine both value drivers to provide optimal performance,” says Philipp Good , CEO of the newly formed ESG-AM, in describing his motivation for setting up the business. As long-standing CEO and member of the executive board at Fisch Asset Management, as well as portfolio manager for strategies in the high yield, emerging markets and global corporate bonds segment, he is one of the driving forces behind the new company.

, who after 15 years as a credit analyst at Credit Suisse and Credit Suisse First Boston, founded the research boutique Independent Credit View AG in 2003. A decade later he moved on to Fisch Asset Management, where he managed multi-award winning products in the high yield segment. As Head Credit Research, Peter has latterly been a leading  force behind the integration of sustainability criteria into investment processes.

The third founder is Ingeborg Schumacher , who provides unparalleled know-how in the field of sustainability. As an internationally recognised specialist with over 20 years’ professional experience in sustainable and responsible investing, her knowledge of existing market solutions is unrivalled. She also brings a broad network of contacts through her consulting and lecturing activity, as well as her role as board member of the Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen.

The last member of the management team is Marco Tognarini , a specialist with around 20 years’ experience in banking, including spells in London and Dubai. In his role as COO Private Banking for Africa & NRI he was able to build up practical experience in the themes of risk management, finance and strategy development. His last role was as joint Market Head for Sub-Sahara Africa.

Together the four company founders target an institutional client base looking to ensure their portfolios demonstrate measurable sustainable attributes and requiring bespoke, specialised investment solutions to achieve this.

A sustainable corporate culture too

ESG-AM is committed to sustainability within its own walls too, by advocating ecological balance, social justice and a high standard of governance and integrity. To this end, the company has appointed an independent board of directors to complement the founders’ expertise and oversee the company’s continuous development.

The six board members Thomas Hirsiger(Chairman, entrepreneur and CEO of various finance companies), Dr David Wyss (Vice-Chairman and former member of the management board of the Swiss regulator FINMA), Cécile Bachmann(Member and Unit Lead Public Affairs at Farner Consulting), Florian Heeb(Member and researcher at the Institute for Banking and Finance at the University of Zurich), Tonia Zimmermann(Member and founder of the fintech start-up Umushroom) and Reto Schwager(Member, entrepreneur and long-serving executive in asset management) provide a wealth of know-how and many years of experience in all the company’s core disciplines.

In addition, ESG-AM has decided to improve its own sustainability credentials, for example by donating three percent of its revenues to charitable causes and fully offsetting its carbon footprint.