5 to Top 50: Hérens Quality Asset Management on COVID-Resistant Portfolios

February 16, 2021
Wealth management

As the proud sponsor of Citywire‘s award recognizing the top 50 IAMs across Switzerland (details here), we would like to give you an insight into the daily work of the winning companies. Arleta Więch asked 5 questions to selected top 50 IAMs to learn more about their success factors as well as the future of wealth management and the role of wealthtech in the upcoming years. Here’s what she found out.

Diego Föllmi is the CEO and Partner at Hérens Quality Asset Management (formerly known as CE Asset Management) based in Pfäffikon. Since its founding in 2003 in, the company has been exclusively focused on international sustainable quality equity investments supported by data from its own Research Center located in Riga, Latvia.

What is your role at Hérens Quality Asset Management AG? What differentiates your company from other EAMs?

I am one of the Partners and CEO of Hérens Quality Asset Management. One of the main things that sets us apart from other EAMs is that since we started in 2003, we have been solely focused on one investment approach – systematic and disciplined investment in attractively valued high quality companies – and have not deviated from it despite various market environments or investor trends. We have our own Research Team, which allows us to maintain high analytical standards and to be able to provide customized investment solutions based on the approach that has delivered sustainable track record over the last 17 years.

How has wealth management changed since you started working in the industry?

The industry has certainly become more regulated. Second, the trend of passive investments (especially for institutional clients) that we saw in the past has been showing signs of reversal recently. Another important change is the increased demand for sustainability and transparency on the investment and reporting sides compared to what it was 15-20 years ago.

You are one of the top 50 IAMs across Switzerland and Liechtenstein. What do you believe to be your success factors?

While there are more factors, I believe some of the most important contributors are:

  • dedication to our investment approach,
  • independent research with strong focus on fundamental analysis,
  • transparency towards our clients.

What were your major challenges in 2020? Were they rather strategic or operational?

Operationally, we did not experience any challenges as our team has transitioned to remote work mode very quickly and efficiently. We also have not changed anything on the strategic side.  

Our investment approach ensures that our portfolios include financially-solid businesses that can withstand even such unprecedented events as the COVID pandemic.  

What do you think about the importance of technology in asset management? Is it going to rise in 2021?

Technology plays an important role in our daily lives and it certainly has a strong presence in the asset management industry. From basic operational aspects to enhanced analytical capabilities (e.g. alt-data), whenever it allows to increase efficiency and accuracy, improve client experiences or provide even the tiniest value-added on the investment approach, it should not be neglected. Nevertheless, we believe that the personal (i.e. human) aspect will remain very important in traditional asset management for the foreseeable future.

5 to Top 50 is a series of interviews where we ask 5 questions to selected top 50 IAMs across Switzerland. For live updates on the rest of the interviews, follow our LinkedIn profile.