The first fully dedicated Swiss impact investment manager
Asteria Obviam is the result of a strategic partnership between two leading Swiss impact investment companies to create a fully dedicated impact investment management firm in Switzerland. With our state-of-the-art technology, deep research capabilities and impact investment experts, we offer a unique range of impact investment strategies that can truly make a difference to the world we live in.
Our purpose is to help our clients transition their portfolios to align with risk, return and impact outcomes.
The demand for impact investments is growing exponentially every year, with more investors looking to use their financial assets to tackle some of the biggest challenges our planet is facing.
Even though the impact investment industry is still in its infancy, it is rapidly growing in prominence. Investors understand that impact investing not only enables them to meet their financial objectives but can also help to achieve environmental and social objectives.
Currently, around 50% of assets worldwide are managed taking into account ESG factors, but only about 1% are invested in strategies with the intention of real and positive impact. We have made it our mission to respond to the growing need for sustainability by focusing on investments that drive measurable positive impact and have attractive return potential.
Asteria Obviam brings together the fragmented impact investment market to offer investors a highly focused and agile investment business with cross asset class capabilities.
In addition, we take pride in making impact investment accessible to a wide client base, actively building bridges between private and public capital for the benefit of investors and society alike.
Theory of change
At Asteria Obviam, we want to support the status of our society. We are convinced that to tackle the most prominent challenges, every component of our economic system must become a positive contribution and at a large scale.
Identifying products and services providing demonstrable and measurable contributions to the global sustainability agenda can be evaluated through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). With estimation of over USD 2.5 Trillion of private capital needed to tackle the SDG, listed assets intentionally redirected to the right solutions can obviously help deliver progress. Undeniably, secondary markets are necessary to support innovation and value creation from primary markets.
We are convinced that directing that capital effectively can bring the greatest improvement and enables to lower the cost of capital over the long run. Not only does it provide scale, but it also gives access to impactful investment solutions to more investors.
Impact investing goes beyond ESG investing as the investment must have theintentionalityto generating positive impact, and thus influencing all steps of the investment process. This is the reason why transparency is crucial to overcome the challenge of “impact washing” the sustainable investing industry is facing.
We are committed to share our decision-making process at each step:
- Strategy definition: our strategies select companies or projects that offer game changing products or technologies as part of the solution to some of the largest issues society is facing
- Investment selection: we identify companies and projects generating benefits to the real economy through their products and services and provide exciting investment opportunities. Additionally, we avoid investing in companies that produce goods and services harming the environment or the society.
- Performance measurement: we measure how much impact the products and services from invested companies delivered in the real world
- Engagement: we joined collective actions to put pressure on companies whose climate strategy is not ambitious enough.
At Asteria Obviam, we use the lever of investment to act positively and on scale.
Board of directors
Ruth Metzler-Arnold served as the Minister of Justice and Police in the Swiss Federal Council (1999-2003) and was Vice-President of the Swiss Government in 2003. She holds various Board chairs and seats in Swiss companies and Foundations. I.e. Chairwoman of Switzerland Global Enterprise, Deputy Chairwoman of AXA Switzerland and member of the Board of Swiss Medical Network. She was appointed member of the Board of REYL & Cie Ltd’s in 2016. Her former professional assignments as a lawyer and chartered accountant with international firms such as PWC and Novartis provide her with a broad private sector management and industrial experience complementing her experiences in the public sector and world of SMEs. Former mandates include Board Member and Audit Committee Chair of Bühler AG, Member of the Board of Governors of University St. Gall as well as Minister of Finance, Canton Appenzell IRh.
Michel Broch began his career at the Federal Court of Insurance and the Legal Department of the Federal Banking Committee (now FINMA). He joined Ernst & Young as a banking and financial Advisor in 1990, later becoming a partner then a Board member. After being appointed Chairman of the Executive Committee of Banque Safdié SA in Geneva in 2002, he created his own consultancy specialising in services to banks and financial institutions in 2005. He was appointed respectively Vice-Chairman and Chairman of REYL & Cie Ltd’s Board of Directors and Audit and Risk Committee in 2009.
Pasha Bakhtiar began his career in 1998 with Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch in Geneva before moving to Dubai in 2004 to participate in the launch of LODH’s operations in the UAE. In 2010, he was one of the early movers in the impact investing space by founding Willow Impact Investors, a private equity fund focusing on East Africa. After a successful exit, Pasha Bakhtiar took on the role of Chief Executive Officer of ES Bankers Dubai Ltd. He joined REYL & Cie in 2015 as co-founder and CEO of REYL Finance (MEA) Ltd in Dubai to develop the Group’s activities prior to moving back to Geneva and becoming a Partner in 2018.
Jan Frogg has over 30 years of experience in hedge funds, asset management and financial services. As Head of Union Bancaire Privée’s Alternative Investments (one of the largest hedge fund investors) from 2004 to 2010 he ran an international team spread across New York, Geneva, London and Tokyo offices. He previously held various senior roles in Geneva, Paris and London, notably with Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Jan Frogg currently holds several board memberships in the asset management and hedge fund industry and is also the president and co-founder of TGIT Music SA Since 2012 (music production, publishing and touring).
Sunnie J. Groenveld
Sunnie J. Groenveld
Sunnie J. Groeneveld is the Managing Partner of the digital transformation consultancy Inspire 925, the Associate Dean of Studies of the Executive MBA Digital Leadership at the HWZ University of Applied Sciences in Zurich and a board member of several medium-sized companies in Switzerland in the media, communications, health insurance and engineering sector. Previously, she worked as the first Managing Director of digitalswitzerland, Switzerland’s largest cross-industry initiative on digital transformation. Moreover, she is the author of the book “Inspired at Work” (Versus Publishing), was named as one of the “Top 100 Women in Business”, appeared in the list “Top 50 Who is Who in Digital Switzerland” by Handelszeitung as well as in the “30 under 30” list of Forbes magazine. Sunnie graduated in Economics from Yale University and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the International University in Geneva for her accomplishments in building sustainable business models and transformation projects in Switzerland.
We have combined a team of investment professionals with proven track record from the asset management and the impact investing industry. We rely on collective intelligence where knowledge sharing and cross-expertise are the foundation of our collaboration.
Jonathan Duncan joined the REYL Group in March 2022 as Chief Impact Officer. He holds a degree in Engineering and a master’s in Environmental Science. He has over 24 years of professional experience in the field of sustainability and for the past decade led the Responsible Investment program of Old Mutual Investment Group. This included working across both private and public market capabilities and the commercialisation of the Group’s Green Economy product suite. Jonathan Duncan is a senior associate of the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership and was founding Task Force member of Impact Investing South Africa.
Guido has more than 25 years of experience in managing and developing systematic investment strategies. He is joining from SYZ AM, where he held multiple roles as Chief Investment Architect and Head of Quantitative Strategies. Prior to that, Guido served as CEO of the Olympia Capital Alternative Investment Fund. Guido is the Chief Investment Officer of Asteria Obviam, managing the Asteria Funds – Planet Impact Global Equities and Asteria Funds – People Impact Global Equities and is one of the members of the Executive Committee.
Natacha is a founding partner of Asteria IM and member of the Executive Committee. She also chairs Asteria IM’s impact committee. With more than 20 years of experience in sustainable and impact investing, Natacha is considered as a pioneer of this field. She started her career at Lombard-Odier in 2001 as financial and ESG analyst before becoming thematic and sustainability portfolio manager. In this position, she was also instrumental in developing the bank’s sustainable investment offering. She joined Asteria in 2019 from Conser Invest in Geneva, a specialized consultant and asset manager entirely dedicated to sustainable finance and responsible investment, where she acted as founding partner and head of asset management. Natacha is a founding member of Sustainable Finance Geneva, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable finance in Switzerland. She holds a master’s degree in international Relations from the Geneva Graduate Institute. Natacha is one of the members of the Executive Committee of Asteria Obviam.
Dajana holds a Master’s degree in Business Law from the University of Paris II Assas, as well as a degree from the ESSEC Business School, and was a member of the Paris Bar. She is an experienced Lawyer with more than 10 years of experience in finance and asset management. Her background combines both legal and financial experience. She worked as a Capital Markets lawyer for Gide Loyrette Nouel – Paris, where she advised issuers (banks, listed corporates, public institutions), arrangers and dealers in relation with debt securities and structured finance. In 2015, she joined UCAP (Union Capital Group/ UCAP Wealth Management) in Geneva as Head of Legal and Compliance and was in charge of legal, compliance and operational aspects relating to investment funds as well as other financial products or private equity transactions. Dajana is one of the members of the Executive Committee of Asteria Obviam.
Claude has more than 20 years of experience in investing in developing countries and emerging markets. After beginning his career in economic diplomacy, Claude served as advisor to the Swiss Executive Director at the World Bank Group and has held numerous chairs, including the Global Corporate Governance Forum of the OECD and World Bank. Since then, he has been responsible for management of the Swiss government’s portfolio of SME-focused private equity funds in developing countries and emerging markets. Claude holds an MSc in economics from the University of Fribourg.
As the Co-CIO of Asteria Obviam, and member of the Executive Committee, Andrea is responsible for the Bern branch’s investment activities. Her task is to oversee and coordinate the investment team in Bern and execute the various mandates. Andrea also manages a portfolio of fund investments in sub-Saharan Africa. She joined Obviam in 2006 and led the investment programme in Africa. Before that, she worked at SECO in the Bilateral Economic Relations and Economic Development and Cooperation divisions. Andrea holds an MSc in history and international relations from the University of Zurich.
Philip co-heads the team responsible for private equity investments, with a lead responsibility for investment and portfolio construction in Africa. Prior to Obviam, Philip was a founding member of the team that developed and launched the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Philip has a master’s degree in finance from London Business School.
Dries Cornilly, CAIA
Dries Cornilly, CAIA
Dries has 5 years of experience in quant-driven investing. He is currently portfolio manager for the listed equity products where he manages the investment strategies from a return, risk and impact perspective. Dries leads the end-to-end data and analytics workflow for liquid assets. Prior to joining Asteria in 2020, he was a Quantitative Analyst at SYZ Asset Management, where the team managed a global long-short equity fund and a multi-asset fund with a protection overlay. He started his professional career at ING Belgium and a research collaboration with Degroof Petercam Asset Management. Dries holds a PhD in Mathematics from KU Leuven and a PhD in Business Economics from Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He has published in leading journals such as Journal of Econometrics and Journal of Financial Econometrics. Since December 2020 he is a CAIA Charter holder.
Javier heads the debt team in Bern and leads the origination, structuring and execution of new debt investments in emerging markets. He oversees the Private Debt team’s global portfolio of financial institutions and microfinance debt funds. Prior to joining Obviam, Javier held positions in internal audit, risk management and debt investments at several banks and asset managers in Spain and Switzerland. Javier holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in accounting and finance.
As part of the Private Debt team in Bern, Maxime provides support to Obviathe Company’s debt portfolio, particularly in terms of deal origination responsibilities, investment analysis and structuring, deal execution and monitoring. Before joining Obviam in 2020, Maxime worked as a senior analyst at Qivalio, a financial service provider. Previously, he was an associate at Crescent Capital Group, an international private debt fund, and worked at Société Générale CIB. Maxime holds an MSc in corporate finance and a master’s degree in management from EDHEC Business School.
Pierre has 13 years of banking and asset management experience in private debt investments in renewable and infrastructure assets. He joined Asteria in November 2020 from London based M&G Investments – project and infrastructure finance team where he spent five years. He was in charge of the sourcing, origination, execution and management of unlisted and listed global infrastructure debt investments. He gained his professional experience working in London for Credit Agricole CIB – Structured Finance EMEA (Energy, Infrastructure and Natural Resources) team and at Nord/LB within the Infrastructure Structured Finance Europe team. In these positions, he worked in portfolio and origination to bring deals to a financial close as well as meeting potential clients to develop new business opportunities in Europe. Pierre holds a Master’s degree in Finance from Dublin Institute of Technology, Master in Management from Copenhagen Business School and Bachelor in Business Administration from Strasbourg Robert Schuman University.
Sarunas holds a Master’s degree in Law from the Vilnius University as well as a postgraduate degree in International Law and Management from the ESSEC Business School. He has more than 13 years’ experience in the financial sector such as Private Equity, VC, M&A, corporate finance, business development, board positions, due diligence, financial engineering, management & negotiations. He developed his professional skills at Société Générale in the Corporate M&A/Private Equity department in Paris and in Lithuania, where he structured the commercial department of the SocGen subsidiary. Lately, he worked for Triodos Investment Management in the Netherlands as Senior Investment Manager and Member of Investment Committee for CEE and Asia.
Luca Manera, CFA
Luca Manera, CFA
Luca joined Asteria Investment Managers in 2020 to help support and launch the fixed income capabilities of the firm and is currently managing the Asteria Funds – Climate Bonds. Prior to joining Asteria Investment Managers, he was based in London as investment analyst in the fixed income team of Mirabaud Asset Management, helping to manage high conviction institutional fixed income strategies. The strategies ranged from short-term credit to global high-yield and he has built an extensive sector and geographic coverage in credit investing. Luca started his career in investment banking at Lazard in Milan. Luca holds a Bachelor degree from Bocconi University, a Masters in Finance and is a CFA.
Pietro Scotto di Carlo
Pietro Scotto di Carlo
As part of the Private Debt team in Bern, Pietro’s main role is to help grow and manage the debt portfolio. This includes screening and assessing new potential deals, drafting investment proposals, and monitoring of the existing portfolio. Before joining Obviam in 2020, Pietro worked for an Italian investment banking firm dedicated to mid-market clients, where he gained experience in financial analysis, corporate valuation and debt restructuring. Pietro holds a double master’s degree in finance and management from Nova SBE in Lisbon and LSE in London, and a bachelor’s degree in economic and social sciences from Bocconi University in Milan.
As part of the Impact team, Kylie’s main role is to support the monitoring of development effects in PE and PD portfolios. This includes support for the assessment of development effects for potential investments, and the analysis and report of actual outcomes to shareholders, clients and other stakeholders. Before joining Obviam in 2014, Kylie studied in Australia, Munich and Zurich for a degree in international business; this included a focus on community development alongside related work for a family foundation in Zurich.
Wenceslas holds a Master’s degree in Management & Information Systems from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom as well as an Advanced Master’s degree in Strategy and Management of International Business from ESSEC Business School in Paris. He began his career at Rothschild & Co Bank, before joining Alpha FMC as consultant in management and organization specialized in the financial sector. In this role, he participated in and led transformation projects for Wealth and Asset managers.
Silvia holds a Master’s degree in Mass Media Communication and Advertisement Studies, a Post-Master’s degree in Business Management from SciencesPo de Paris as well as a Diploma in Luxury Marketing from CREA Genève. She has 15 years of international work experience in Marketing and her expertise includes, among others, event management, coordination of marketing campaigns, maintaining and developing client relationships, preparation and monitoring of budgets, development of marketing strategies. She gained her professional experience while working for Air Liquide, Groupama, Renaissance Asset Managers, Unigestion and before joining Asteria, for Aston Martin.
Céline holds a BSc in International Hospitality Management from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne with a major in finance. Céline started her career at Ernst & Young SA’s Audit department. Before joining Asteria, she was employed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development where she held two different positions. She started as Finance Associate, overseeing the day-to-day accounting, recurrent closings, financial monitoring and reporting to cost centers, budget and forecasting as well as supporting in grants expenditure management. She was then promoted to Finance and Payroll Manager, reporting directly to the CFO.
As Financial Officer, Silvano ensures a seamless implementation of portfolio monitoring, valuation and reporting processes. He thereby seeks to improve and maintain the reporting quality by investees, analyses the financial performance of investment positions and underlying assets and guarantees data consistency among the entire valuation process and various partners. Silvano studied business and economics at the University of Bern with a focus on finance and data analysis. During his studies, he worked in project controlling for a major Swiss insurance company.
Jérôme is responsible for ensuring that the Bern branch meets the applicable legal standards. He advises departments on legal matters and assists the deal teams in on-going transactions. Before joining Obviam, Jérôme worked for CMS von Erlach Partners SA, a Geneva-based business law firm and for the Swiss Federal Tax Administration.
Jérôme holds a bilingual law degree from the Universities of Lucerne and Neuchâtel and is admitted to the bar.
In her role as Office Manager in Bern, Barbara is responsible for the smooth running of office operations. She prepares meetings, provides KYC documents for investments, supports the Finance team with investment transactions, and monitors invoicing/billing/expenses and bank accounts. In her role as HR assistant, Barbara is part of the recruitment committee and is the employee contact for all staff-related matters. After her commercial apprenticeship, Barbara worked for Swisscom for several years, before moving to the United States. She has worked for Obviam since her return to Switzerland in 2011.