Pictet Asset Management

Perseverance and a focus on our strengths

The story of Pictet is one marked by a solid foundation with a long-term view. Pictet is a partnership of seven owner-managers responsible for the entire business of the Group. Our principles of succession and transmission of ownership have remained unchanged since 1805. Over the past 211 years, there have been only 41 partners, each with an average tenure of over 21 years.

The partnership structure allows us to shape our business strategy without pressure from external shareholders or creditors. Thanks to this financial independence, we enjoy independence of mind, exacting risk management and freedom from the temptations of short-term fashions.
The Pictet Group comprises three business lines: Wealth Management, Asset Management and Asset Services. Pictet AM is a specialist asset manager offering investment solutions and services to investors around the world. With 850 employees across 17 offices worldwide, we manage assets totalling CHF 192 billion.

Focus on specific strengths
We believe success comes from our focus. We commit substantial analytical resources to three axes: Greater Europe, where we have a natural competitive advantage; Emerging World, where we have been pioneers in both equity and debt markets; and Global Specialities, where we take a different approach to global investing through active, benchmark-agnostic strategies.

How it all began
In 1967, we were a founding member of Switzerland’s first independent investment foundation and started managing our first institutional mandate. The following year, we launched our first Swiss fund. In 1980, in a joint venture with Melon Bank, Pictet Asset Management was formed to open up new markets. However, we never aspired to be all things to all people. Instead, we are a focused asset manager investing where we can add value for our clients. We believe in manager skill and aim to deliver alpha coupled with high active share and astute management of market risk (see below for further details).
Since the launch of Pictet AM, our decisions have always centred on our strong investment convictions and clear strategic priorities. We believe that our strategies should be hard to replicate, and this has led us to develop very specialist skills in areas of the market where active management is not only desirable, but essential for success. This approach has enabled us to provide specialist investment services to some of the world’s largest pension funds, financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds and financial intermediaries as well as their clients.

Milestones

  • 1967 Managed our 1st institutional mandate
  • 1968 Launched 1st Swiss fund
  • 1980 Inception of Asset management business
  • 1986 Launch of our first equity indexation product
  • 1989 First Luxembourg operations: Began investing in emerging markets (equities), followed by sovereign bonds in 1998 and corporates in 2012
  • 1995 Establishment of Lux and Swiss ManCo as well as Pictet Asset Management in Singapore. We began our thematic franchise by being one of the first asset managers to launch a biotechnology product.
  • 1996 Began selling mutual funds to external investors
  • 1998 Launched our Fixed Income & ESG franchise
  • 1999 Launched our first Sustainable Equities fund
  • 2001 Began our Money Markets franchise
  • 2005 Establishment of Pictet Asset Management SA, Geneva as well as SEC registration
  • 2007 Signature of the PRI Principles for Responsible Investment
  • 2008 Launch of our first Sovereign Money Market product
  • 2011 Launch of our first alternative investments (Pictet TR) strategy
  • 2014 Our distribution and investment activities merged and came under one roof
  • 2016 Creation of a dedicated ESG team
  • 2018 Formalised a firm-wide ESG engagement strategy

Timing and perseverance: aspects that must not be underestimated
We consider our distinctive investment capabilities to have been a strong factor in our success. Iterms of distribution, we were early to establish Pictet AM in Japan, opening an office in 1985 and staying on when many of our competitors withdrew from the market in the 1990s. Today, Pictet AM is one of the leading foreign asset managers in Japan. In contrast, we were arguably later to develop our Asia business relative to some competitors. In recent years, however, we have seen strong growth in Pictet AM’s Asian business, with expansion of the offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taipei.
Pictet AM offers distinctive active investment strategies that are not easily replicated outside the firm. This focus has led to Pictet AM being perceived by clients and distributors alike as a pioneer and an innovative investment firm. From our range of thematic equities to specialist emerging market and credit strategies or our substantial hedge fund business, Pictet AM offers genuine active alpha to investors. This, coupled with a reputation for exceptional client services, makes Pictet AM a powerful brand globally.

No intention of resting on our laurels
Our key business objectives for the next three years are:

  • Achieving asset growth within our three strategic axes: Greater Europe, Emerging World and Global Specialities
  • Strengthening our sub-advisory services
  • Increasing awareness of our brand among end investors

Furthermore, we believe in responsible capitalism and take an enlarged view of the economy and its interactions with civil society and the natural environment. With this in mind, we are integrating ESG into our approach across six dimensions: investment processes, proxy voting, exclusion, risk management, reporting, and marketing and communication. In doing so, we are instinctively considering the interests of future generations.

Switzerland – our most important location
Although Pictet Asset Management now operates globally, with more than 75% of revenue comingfrom outside Switzerland, Geneva has remained our most important location by far. The city is home to the Executive Committee as well as the centres of Marketing, Legal, Operations and Compliance and the bulk of our Portfolio Management unit. The latter is especially important to us as we would like not only to keep our Swiss Portfolio Management base, but to expand it where possible. It contributes the biggest share of our profit. Ensuring that this remains the case going forward hinges on the exportability of our services and market access for our products worldwide.