Set up with just 10 employees in 2008, Architas now operates in 13 countries across Europe and Asia, with assets under management of €29.2bn as at 31st December 2022. Part of the AXA Group, Architas is an independently operating business unit of AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), offering investing and advisory services across a range of risk profiles.
Retaining the agility and entrepreneurial spirit of a smaller company, Architas also benefits from the stability and leverage provided by being part of a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management
Architas supports institutions and individual investors in achieving their financial goals, whether it is capital growth, income generation or wealth preservation, while sharing the AXA Group’s goals of contributing to a stronger and more sustainable society.THE INVESTMENT PROCESS
With investment professionals based in Europe and Asia, Architas uses a multi-manager approach to investing, rigorously researching and building portfolios comprising funds run by asset managers, many regarded as experts in their field. Quantitative and qualitative processes are used to identify funds in each asset class. This helps Architas to focus on those managers delivering consistent returns. It also looks for funds that complement each other and strike the best balance between risk and potential return.
All Architas portfolios are diversified across a wide range of sectors, geographies, and in some cases, asset classes. As each component fund will behave differently in varying market conditions, spreading investments in this way can help to reduce volatility experienced by investors and provide smoother returns over time.
Once constructed, the portfolios are continually monitored. Allocations may be rebalanced to take account of any new opportunities or in response to changing conditions, while underperforming fund managers may be replaced.A FOCUS ON RESPONSIBLE INVESTING
Architas recognises the impact, whether positive or negative, that companies can have on the world around them and consider it essential to ensure this is considered when making investment decisions. Across all its products, ESG due diligence is embedded in the fund and manager selection process. Funds not meeting these criteria are excluded from the investable fund universe.
By using its influence as a significant investor, Architas can help to direct investment flows into funds that demonstrate good environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. It also engages with the managers of the funds thought to be at risk of falling short. This means that investors can be confident that even if they invest in an offer that does not have an explicit sustainable investment objective, the fund holdings in their portfolio will meet strict ESG criteria.
Architas also believe the inclusion of ESG factors when screening underlying managers adds an additional dimension of risk control and diversification for investors.
As a mark of its dedication, since 2018 Architas has been a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). These are a set of six ESG linked investment issues that signatories incorporate into their investment decision making.AN ENDURING COMMITMENT
As well as ensuring ESG considerations are incorporated in all their offerings, Architas provides dedicated sustainability focussed investments. It launched its first E.P.I.C investments (so called because it allows investors to make Ethical and Prosperous Investment Choices) at the beginning of 2022. This is an equity focussed portfolio, offering investors access to three megatrends: digital transformation, health & wealth and a sustainable planet. A multi-asset version was made available earlier this year.
These funds are classified as Article 9 under the European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), meaning they have sustainable investment as their objective. Architas commits to having 100% of E.P.I.C. funds total assets (excluding cash) invested in Article 9 securities.
Matthieu André, CEO of Architas, has outlined his commitment to sustainable investing:“At Architas, we are committed to sustainable investing and include ESG criteria in all our fund selection, looking to draw on the strength of both 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 unique position enables us to build stronger propositions for our clients.
The Architas E.P.I.C fund range provides investors with access to funds that specifically focus on sustainable investment objectives, ensuring their investments are being made in line with the highest regulatory requirements in sustainable investing, and showcases our continued commitment in this space.”