Unigestion, the independent, specialist asset manager, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021 – marking 50 years of innovation on behalf of clients and the integration of social responsibility into the business.
The Company, which was established in Geneva during 1971 by Henri Sabrier, was bought by his son, Bernard in 1976 and as highlighted in this video, has evolved from its roots as a bond fund manager into a significant player in Europe, covering four areas of expertise: equities, private equity, liquid alternatives and multi-asset.
During this time, Unigestion has navigated and grown through several market cycles and crises including the recession of 1973 – 1975, the tech-fuelled bust of 2000 and the global financial crisis of 2007 – 2008, as well as the Covid-19 recession in 2020. It has achieved this by attracting and retaining key talent who have worked together to adapt and deliver innovative solutions for institutional clients.
Over this period, Unigestion has anticipated several major trends, including hedge funds, private equity, minimum variance and liquid alternatives. In addition, while focused on organic growth, the Company also undertaken some notable M&A activity through the acquisition of Banca della Svizzera Italiana (BSI), then the fourth-largest Swiss bank, in 1987 (later sold to Swiss Bank Corporation), and the acquisition of mid-market private equity specialist Akina in 2017. Unigestion now manages assets of $22bn.
Over the past two decades, Unigestion has also integrated social responsibility into its business; developing its capabilities as a responsible investor and moving from a shareholder model of ownership to a stakeholder model. Unigestion’s largest shareholder is now the Swiss-regulated* FAMSA Foundation, established by Bernard Sabrier 10 years ago to contribute to a wide range of projects in the charitable, educational, cultural and medical fields. In addition, over 84% of the assets managed by Unigestion are now covered by ESG considerations.
Bernard Sabrier, Chairman of Unigestion, comments:
“Unigestion has grown into a strong and stable European asset manager. None of this would have been possible without the talent, skills and dedication of our people. In particular Patrick Fenal, who joined Unigestion in 1979 and remains a Partner today, together with both Fiona Frick and Régis Martin, our CEO and Deputy CEO, who joined the Company in the early 1990s. Their vision and teamwork, together with that of everyone in this business, remains critical to our success.
“For the future, we want to continue providing our clients with investment solutions that meet their performance objectives. By achieving this we can not only deliver industry-leading organic growth over the long term but also make a positive contribution to society: help people fund their retirement, promote long-term value creation and inclusive capitalism, develop investment solutions that contribute to solving social and environmental problems and, distribute dividends to the FAMSA Foundation to grow its philanthropic activities.”