This began to change over the past several years. As Schreiner points out, Vontobel first introduced the capabilities of Twentyfour Asset Management, its London-based global fixed-income manager, to the North American market two years ago. The introduction of Vontobel’s emerging-market fixed-income offerings in Canada, he says, represented the next step in his efforts to provide the most interesting strategies on this side of the pond.
For Simon Leu-Fong, head of Vontobel Asset Management’s fixed-income boutique, or FIB, this was a significant milestone. “The US and Canadian markets probably represent the highest bar for investment managers,” he says. “Throughout my career, we’ve heard the saying that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”
From a business offering public funds, Vontobel has steadily built up its assets, track record and bench over the course of 10 years. Today, the firm stands as a successful example of a European asset manager who has built a special expertise in providing bespoke solutions for institutions.
“We have a 12-person emerging market team led by Luc D’Hoge, a seasoned veteran with over 32 years of experience,” says Liu-Fong. “His deputy is Wouter van Overfeldt, who has 19 years of experience. Then we have Thierry LaRose and Karl Vermasen, who have 31 and 28 years of experience respectively.
The rest of the team consists of experts and junior analysts, some working in Zurich and others in Hong Kong. Liu-Fong says bench strength has allowed Vontobel to establish itself as one of the biggest global players in the EM fixed-income game.