The took place in Paris on 9 March. Organised by Fundclass, the awards recognise the best management companies active in Europe for the quality and performance of their range. This year, Luxembourg firms distinguished themselves at European level.
Among them, Capital Group, already awarded in 2022. Bérenger Vidal de la Blache, managing director and financial intermediaries Benelux & France, spoke to Paperjam and Delano about the company’s management method and the investment prospects for 2023.
Marc Fassone: In a difficult macroeconomic context, what, in your opinion, allowed Capital Group to distinguish itself from your competitors and to win an award?
Bérenger Vidal de la Blache: The first part of the answer, I think, lies in Capital Group’s strong and deliberate choice to maintain a fairly limited range of funds. For a manager of our size, having less than 30 funds, and therefore less than 30 strategies, is quite unique. The reason for this choice is simple: we only want to do what we know we can do well. We don’t want to spread ourselves too thin by opening a bunch of funds and strategies to meet short-term demands for which we don’t think we have any real expertise.
The second thing that sets us apart from our competitors is our unique approach to management, which we call the ‘Capital System’ and which combines fundamental research on long-term companies with a multi-manager system where each strategy is managed by several managers. This allows us to combine conviction management--we ask each manager to invest only in his or her strongest convictions--with diversity. This diversity comes from the confrontation of several managers from different geographies, with different profiles and styles, while being complementary, which multiplies the perspectives in the portfolio. It is this combination that allows us to achieve better results over the long term with interesting volatility for our clients.
2022 saw the return of war in Europe. Has this had an influence on your management? Has it led to the advent of war management?
Not for us anyway. We are a research company. It is the long-term fundamental approach to companies that guides our investments. Obviously, we monitor the geopolitical context very closely. But if there is an impact on our investments, it is only on a case-by-case basis. The war has not changed the way we manage.
So what events have influenced you the most in the past year?
The evolution of inflation and interest rates. Since last year, interest rates and inflation have reached levels not seen for 10 years. This paradigm shift has, of course, led us to review our analyses. But above all, it allowed us to put our bond management, which is a high quality management, back in the spotlight. We had around €500bn in bond management assets at the end of 2022. We are one of the world’s leading and largest bond asset managers.
What do you think will mark 2023 for asset managers?
Firstly, the revival of the bond sector. The current environment is the most favourable for bonds for a decade: they are generating yield and that is something new.
Secondly, we will obviously be watching very closely the decisions of the central banks.
And while for now, the big markers for 2022 continue to be in the news, let’s never forget that every year always brings its own surprises.
Read the original French version of this interview on the site. This article was published for the Delano Finance newsletter, the weekly source for financial news in Luxembourg. .