Specialist Multi-Manager Architas: Responsible Investing Comes First

Architas was launched in the UK in 2008 — and now operates in 13 countries across Europe and Asia, with €28.6bn in AUM.

Architas

Architas is a long-term, global multi-manager providing investment and advisory services across risk profiles. Its aim is to help individuals and institutions meet their financial goals: capital growth, income generation, and wealth preservation.

Architas is wholly owned by the AXA Group, but operates independently — a best-of-both-worlds situation. It benefits from the stability and leverage of being part of a global leader in insurance and asset management, while retaining the agility and entrepreneurial spirit of a smaller company.

As a member of the AXA Group, Architas shares the ambition of protecting customers over the long term — and creating a stronger and more sustainable society. Specialising in multi-manager investing means bringing together the best fund managers available, rather than picking individual stocks to create portfolios. With a rigorous approach, the firm identifies managers who are experts in their field, then blends complementary funds to create diversified investment solutions.

“By using its influence as a big investor, Architas can help to direct investment flows into funds that follow good ESG principles — and engage with the managers of those that are falling short.”

But the process doesn’t stop there. Portfolios are constantly monitored and assessed to weed out any underperforming fund managers. The Architas investment team believes in active management, adjusting allocations to take advantage of opportunities in the markets, and responding to changing conditions.

All Architas portfolios are diversified across a range of sectors, geographies, and, in some cases, asset classes. As each investment will behave differently in varying market conditions, and spreading investments can help to reduce any volatility and provide smoother returns over time.

Focus on Responsible Investing

Integrated within this multi-manager approach is a commitment to responsible investing. Architas recognises the impact companies can have on the world around them, both positive and negative. The firm takes on the duty of ensuring this factor is taken into account in all investment decisions.

By using its influence as a big investor, Architas can help to direct investment flows into funds that follow good ESG principles — and engage with the managers of those that are falling short. A key target of this approach is to ensure that the selected funds perform well for clients, while adhering to principles that reflect ESG integration.

This incorporation of ESG factors into screening procedures adds a protective layer of risk control, and provides diversification for investors.

Across all Architas fund-of-funds offers, ESG due diligence is embedded in the fund or manager selection process. Funds judged not up-to-scratch are excluded, meaning investors can be confident that even offers without an explicit sustainable investment objective will meet strict ESG criteria.

Underscoring this commitment, Architas has been a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) since 2018. This is a set of six principles under which signatories commit to incorporating ESG factors into their investment decisions.

Enduring Commitment

As well as ensuring ESG considerations are fundamental to all of its offers, Architas offers dedicated sustainability-focused investments. At the start of 2022, it launched the first of its EPIC — Ethical and Prosperous Investment Choices — investment range.

The first fund in the range was an equity-focused portfolio which gave investors access to three megatrends: digital transformation, health and wealth, and sustainable planet. A multi-asset version will be available in some regions for 2023.

These funds are classified as Article 9 under the European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), which means they have a specific sustainable investment as their core objective. Architas commits to having 100 percent of the funds’ total assets (excluding cash) invested in Article 9 securities, based on extensive research and categorisation.

Architas CEO Matthieu André underlines the Architas commitment. “We are committed to sustainable investing,” he says, “and include ESG criteria in all our fund selection, looking to draw on the strength of the AXA world and external asset managers.

“We’re also committed to ensuring that we are aligned to the overall AXA Group purpose of acting for human progress by protecting what matters. This enables us to build stronger propositions for our clients.

“The Architas EPIC fund range provides investors with access to funds that specifically focus on sustainable objectives, ensuring their investments are being made in-line with the highest regulatory requirements, and showcasing our continued commitment in this space.”


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