Meet the dynamic and enthusiastic leader, Ugo Loeser, CEO and General Manager of Arca Fondi SGR. Established in 1983, Arca Fondi SGR has emerged as a prominent player in the Italian retail wealth management sector. With assets under management totaling around 37 billion euros in mutual funds and pension funds, the company’s offerings are distributed through prominent banking networks. Presently, Arca Fondi SGR boasts a network of approximately 100 distributors, catering to the needs of over 900,000 clients.
A Glimpse into Ugo’s History
Ugo Loeser has been the CEO and General Manager of Arca Fondi SGR since 2011. He’s also a board member of italian asset and wealth managers organization Assogestioni. His qualifications include a degree in Economics and Social Sciences from Bocconi University in Milan. Prior to his tenure with Arca Fondi SGR, Ugo accumulated valuable experience in the banking sector and corporate consulting. Over a career spanning more than three decades, he assumed various high-level managerial roles with substantial responsibilities.
Notably, he served as a Partner at Bain & Company Italy, where he played a pivotal role in advancing wealth and risk management practices. Additionally, he contributed his expertise as a Senior Strategist and Director specializing in the European fixed income derivatives market at BNP Paribas. Ugo Loeser also held the pivotal position of Executive Director of Fixed Income Research at Goldman Sachs International.
This year, Arca Fondi SGR celebrates its 40th anniversary as the only enterprise in its sector carrying the same brand and logo for four decades. “When I joined Arca Fondi in 2011,” says Loeser, “the company was going through a difficult period as it was unable to provide a platform that met the expectations of its shareholders, who were also distributors.
Given the backdrop of the ongoing banking crisis in Europe, the situation presented intricate challenges, and this motivated me to prioritize the necessary interventions.” Ugo Loeser recalls, “Bringing the right people on board was the first step, as the right people are indeed a company’s greatest asset. The next stages involved addressing both the organizations, the IT systems, and the product range within a very challenging microeconomic setting.”
The Cornerstone of Arca’s Success: Customer Satisfaction
Arca’s unwavering commitment to delivering a 5-star service to our customers has always been deeply ingrained in our organizational DNA. Our customers encompass both the distributors of our products and the clients who invest in our Funds. Our inaugural commercial slogan, dating back to 1984, declared: ‘Arca Invests for You.’ Upon joining Arca, my primary objective was to place this straightforward concept at the core of our strategic framework.
We concentrated on upholding the four values that encapsulate Arca’s mission: provide excellent returns, offer high-quality service, maintain clear and transparent communication, promote continuous innovation. Embracing this vision, we have managed to establish a long-term trust relationship with clients and distributors that has allowed us to achieve outstanding results even in critical times.
This was, indeed, the case in 2022: despite a challenging year for the stock and bond markets, we achieved an Operating Margin, net of performance fees, of €141.3 million thanks to a cost/income ratio of 35%, one of the lowest in the industry. In the meantime, our assets under management touched €37 billion, with net inflows exceeding €1.8 billion.”
“Every day, we strive to develop investment solutions tailored to our customers’ financial needs,” emphasizes Loeser. ” This encapsulates the essence of Arca: we focus on products that help clients achieving their financial goals, that are easy to understand, and that have the potential to generate excellent returns, confirmed by numerous awards earned throughout the years.”
“What we refer to as product innovation”, Ugo Loeser adds, “is an approach that encompasses the introduction of new funds and the dynamic management of our product range aimed at ensuring that all investment solutions are aligned with customer needs and prevailing macroeconomic trends. This is part of our 5-star service to our customers.”
Implementing Technology and Transformation
Ugo Loeser acknowledges that “In today’s business world, it is impossible for a company to succeed without embracing technology. But this doesn’t mean adopting every novelty and innovation that appears on the market. At Arca, we study and monitor new technologies, but we only implement those that effectively have the potential to enhance our services or the performance of our products. In a sense, you could say that we are applying selected technologies to effectively transform our business model into a digital one.”
ESG Prioritization and Achieving Success
Sustainability is an essential to Arca Fondi SGR’s strategy. Ugo Loeser states, “You know, the ESG sector represents the latest and most rapidly expanding frontier, and our company has been adeptly introducing highly innovative products within this domain. However, it’s important to recognize that success isn’t an isolated occurrence; rather, it’s the outcome of numerous factors that have guided the company’s strategy: we started investing in data and technology, we developed proprietary models and applications and we finally set up a rigorous quantitative approach integrating ESG factors into our investment process.
This allowed us to design new products aiming to high returns while granting excellence in sustainability. For instance, in 2023, we introduced ARCA Social Leaders 30. This fund is designed to pinpoint prime opportunities for capital growth selecting companies scoring high on four social pillars: ensuring equitable working conditions, fostering equal opportunities, investing in employee training and education, and promoting workplace health and safety. Screening criteria have been developed in partnership with Plus Value, a leading consultant in social responsibility, while analysis and reporting procedures are well integrated into Arca’s systems.
Ugo Loeser Highlights His Vision for Arca’s Future
“Investors are showing a growing interest in exploring new strategies to improve returns and diversify risks. This is particularly true when we think about illiquid assets. We have decided to venture into private market by introducing our inaugural private equity fund in partnership with Space Capital, a well-recognized and successful player in the arena. Similar initiatives in private credit and infrastructures will follow.
Our aim is to bring the benefits of private markets to retail investors. We recognize that private equity demands careful adaptability, as it entails the full alignment of our organizational systems and control mechanisms, especially if we intend to offer this type of instrument to the retail public in addition to the institutional world. An exciting challenge for Arca Fondi!
Forty years of success can be attributed to the mindset we developed, to our values and our culture. The results achieved in recent years are clear evidence of this. Arca has promoted a collaborative environment that encourages cooperation between different functions and has adopted an agile and adaptable mindset, facilitating rapid responses to changing market dynamics. Arca’s stakeholders should rightfully feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in the quality of our team. The dedication and enthusiasm of employees are indeed the best guarantee that our competitive advantage will endure in the future.”