For Marnix van den Berge, it is the company's specific investment process, the "Capital System", that is at the heart of the management company's success (Photo: Capital Group)

For Marnix van den Berge, it is the company's specific investment process, the "Capital System", that is at the heart of the management company's success (Photo: Capital Group)

Capital Group received the award for the best Luxembourg management company in the “16 to 25 rated funds” category. Managing director Marnix van den Berge talks about the company's management approach and looks ahead to 2022.

The European Funds Trophy took place on 10 March in Paris at the Automobile Club. To reward the best management companies active in Europe, The consistency of the performance of the nominees over the last four years was examined.

You have just been awarded for the quality of your management. Can you tell us a little more about your method?

Marnix van den Berge We are delighted to have been recognised by the European Funds Trophy as the best Luxembourg management company in the ‘16 to 25 rated funds’ category. At Capital Group, we are dedicated to helping investors achieve their long-term goals.

At the heart of our approach is our distinctive investment process--the 'Capital System’--which seeks to combine the benefits of experienced investment professionals acting on their strongest convictions while limiting the risks associated with making decisions in isolation. The management of our portfolios, for example, is split between a series of carefully selected managers--each chosen to complement the investment styles of the other team members. By incorporating each manager's most compelling investment ideas into a portfolio, we aim to both increase the diversity of those ideas and reduce a fund's volatility, which can give investors a smoother ride in turbulent markets.

As a pioneer of industry standards in investment research, our in-depth research capabilities also add depth to the Capital System.

How do you think this has made a difference to your colleagues?

Through our Capital System process, we approach active management in a different way, bringing to investors the power of collaboration and diversity of thought within our investment teams, while always investing with great conviction. Collaboration is an essential part of the way we work and culture is a priority for us. We pay particular attention to empowering leaders and promoting a culture of ownership. This pays off in the form of high levels of seniority among our staff. Our portfolio managers, for example, have been with Capital Group for an average of 21 years. Throughout our 90-year history, we have developed a strong and distinctive culture based on our core values of collaboration, respect and integrity.

The hot topic for managers is the emergence of ESG in the field of finance. Has this changed the way you work and invest?

Active management has never been more relevant than in today's uncertain world. Our mission is to continue to improve people's lives through successful investing, and ESG is key to this. ESG has never been more important and asset managers have an important role to play, alongside a collective effort by governments, businesses and individuals to drive change.

Our investments are based on in-depth analysis of companies' business indicators, including environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. We believe that knowing the impact of a company on its community, customers, suppliers and employees is fundamental to understanding risks and opportunities. Our ESG approach is built around three elements: in-depth research, monitoring, engagement and proxy voting, and enhanced external reporting to clients and regulators.

Today, we are more systematic in applying ESG to ensure consistent application of best practice to help us be the best version of ourselves.

2020 and 2021 were two years marked by an unprecedented pandemic. Do you think this will have a lasting impact on the way the investment fund industry operates? Will it influence investment methods and choices in the long term?

As an independent, employee-owned organisation, we have had to put our principles into practice, particularly with regard to long-term orientation. When we talk about the long term, our objectives, remuneration structure and outlook are aligned with the interests of our clients.

So, from the beginning, our philosophy has been simple: always do the right thing for our investors, intermediaries and associates. Our mission is to continue to improve lives through successful investments. Regardless of markets or geopolitical events, this principle has remained constant and unwavering.

2022 has seen the first war on European soil for some time. What is the foreseeable impact on your management?

Our sympathies are with the victims of the violence and displacement caused by the tragic war in Ukraine. We are closely monitoring the situation to assess the potential impact on client portfolios and adjust positions if necessary. As we have done throughout our 90-year history, we will focus on long-term fundamentals and work closely with our clients as events unfold.

This story was first published in French on . It has been translated and edited for Delano.