The “G Fund” SICAV is celebrating 10 years of existence
Created in 2011, "G Fund", a "UCITS" (French acronym "SICAV") under Luxembourgian law, is a showcase for the key areas of expertise of Groupama Asset Management. This interview shines a spotlight on the fund's positioning and development prospects.
How would you describe the history of “G Fund”, 10 years after its launch?
Jean-Marie Catala : In our industry, a decade of existence, in such a rapidly changing market environment, is no mean feat. The fund’s age is an achievement in itself! At its birth, we chose the format of a Luxembourg-based open-end collective investment fund (“SICAV”) comprising different compartments: So, this “G Fund” SICAV was viewed as the most suitable basis for developing our range of asset management services on the pan-European scale. With the aim of serving a customer base of well-informed investors who were looking for avenues of diversification, our approach was to propose solutions of highly distinctive types or that offered high added value.
G Fund has enjoyed sustained growth and now has 17 active compartments, with a total of 3 billion euros under management. The fund covers a large spectrum of asset classes and investment strategies, adopting management styles that range from benchmarked active management to absolute performance management, with, in detail, 5 fixed-income compartments, 3 fixed-income total return compartments, 5 equity compartments, 1 equity total return compartment, 2 convertible bonds compartments and 1 diversified compartment.
What are the typical profiles of the target investors for G Fund compartments?
Jean-Marie Catala: G Fund is characterized by a range of innovative solutions conceived as long-term diversification alternatives.. Registered in 9 countries (France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark), the SICAV is today held by investors from 18 European countries and has even met with considerable success in Latin America. Two thirds of the assets under management come from institutional investors, with one third from the distribution segment, which serves a more retail-type customer base.
In short, G Fund is a showcase for the different areas of expertise of Groupama Asset Management.
The Paris market is already densely populated with SICAVs and, more generally, UCITS. How does G Fund stand out from the crowd?
Jean-Marie Catala: Through its positioning, which has remained true to the DNA of Groupama Asset Management and our company’s proven ability to generate regular and high-quality performance potential for each compartment. Many of our flagship strategies can be found in the fund, including thematic international equity, European small and mid-caps, convertible bonds or other thematic bond strategies. These strategies all share the common denominators of our conviction-based approach, our commitment to long-term investment and innovation.
We have a dynamic and forward-looking vision of our SICAV. For example, we have progressively enriched it with sophisticated solutions, such as in the segment of high-yield bonds, hybrid financial debt or “smid-caps”. As active manager, we aim to respond to the challenges of a complex market, characterized in particular by structurally low interest rates, a need for diversification and a demand that is geared towards the long-term funding of the economy in consistency with the principles of sustainable finance.
What will be the next phases of its development?
Jean-Marie Catala: First, we should remember that any SICAV must be flexible in structure, so that it can adapt to the changes in market context and management styles. From this point of view, although the history of G Fund consists of repeated launches of new compartments, it is also marked by updates, adjustments and regular fine-tuning of management processes and access to new markets, while at the same time preparing for new distribution channels, such as blockchain.
In other words, our processes have clearly evolved over 10 years, and the next steps in 2021 will be to consolidate the development of the compartments launched during the last few months, such as G Fund World [R] Evolutions, which focuses on the funding of tech companies, or G Fund New Deal Europe, which contributes to the stimulus of the economic recovery in Europe. This last compartment is even the first diversified management strategy to have obtained the “France Relance” stimulus label.
In terms of new medium-term products, the expansion of the SICAV will remain anchored in the development of investment vehicles offering high added value, in new asset classes or new markets identified for their high performance potential.
Can you tell us more?
Our aim is to continue proposing innovative and perfectly timed diversification solutions. The themes of long-term savings and pensions, ESG**, diversification and the search for high returns are structural development pillars for the future of our fund. We anticipate that this positioning will provide a coupling point for stable long-term growth.
The financial industry has considerably evolved over the course of one decade. Today, new tools provide different ways of promoting our funds. Private investor access to our SICAV is accelerating with the development of the distributor segment. The strategies developed in the G Fund SICAV, through their long-term nature, have a privileged place in the allocations of the new retirement savings funds that have arisen from the PACTE corporate reform law (“Loi Pacte”). To sustain this movement, it will be necessary for the government and all players in the asset management industry to work in parallel and in coordination to nurture and develop the financial culture of the general public.
*13/12/10: constitution of the SICAV – 10/02/11: filing of articles of incorporation
** ESG criteria: Environmental, Social and Governance criteria
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