Vontobel hires industry veteran to manage newly launched impact fund

Vontobel has expanded its suite of sustainable funds with the addition of a new global impact equity fund. This will be managed by newly-appointed Elena Tedesco, a highly experienced Portfolio Manager who further strengthens Vontobel’s growing Listed Impact team.

Tedesco has joined Vontobel as a Portfolio Manager with responsibility for the newly launched Vontobel Fund II- Global Impact Equities on 7 June. She joins from Federated Hermes, where she was the co-portfolio manager for the global emerging markets ESG strategies and Director of Sustainability for the Global Emerging Markets team. She has over 20 years of experience in integrating sustainability in fundamental equity analysis and engagement and was responsible for developing the investment approach to sustainability and ESG issues for Federated Hermes’ emerging markets equity strategies. Prior to that, Tedesco was an analyst at Deminor, a Belgium-based independent research boutique, now part of ISS within Deutsche Börse group. She holds a degree in Economics and Business Administration, a Master's degree in European Economic Affairs from the College of Europe, and is a CFA charterholder.

The new Global Impact Equities fund seeks a “double dividend” for investors by investing in companies which contribute to the advancement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets as well as delivering attractive performance. The fund invests in companies that are helping to address critical challenges such as pollution and climate change, resource scarcity, food distribution, population growth, insufficient healthcare, rising inequalities, financial exclusion and illiteracy. Under SFDR regulations the fund qualifies as an article 9 fund.

The fund targets eight investable areas, with four of these focusing on companies that work towards a better environment: clean energy, clean water, sustainable cities and innovative industry and technology. The remaining four areas pertain to societal change: good health and wellbeing, sustainable food, responsible consumption and equal opportunities.

“Elena is well-known in the industry as an expert on sustainability and has been at the vanguard of ESG for the last two decades. Her strong background and experience in broader ESG issues as well as specifically in impact investing will play a key role in further strengthening Vontobel’s expertise in the impact space to generate value for our clients,” says Dan Scott, Head of Impact & Thematics.

“We believe the increasing demand for innovative solutions that contribute to a better environment and societal change will lead to market share gains, pricing power and rising stock prices. Moreover, such companies are less exposed to tightening regulation than their competitors. We are committed to creating real and tangible change through this positive impact fund, including continued engagement with companies on the most pressing societal and environmental issues,” says Tedesco.

Vontobel has been offering sustainable and impact solutions since 2008 and has been Carbon Neutral since 2009. The launch of the Global Impact Equities fund is a further testament of the firm’s commitment to taking responsibility on how investments can influence society.