Speakers List - Milan Forum 2019 (March)


Stéphanie Bobtcheff

Senior Portfolio Manager Small & Mid-Caps

La Financière de l’Echiquier


A graduate of Sciences Po Paris, Bocconi University in Milan, Centre de formation à l'analyse financière (SFAF, French professional Financial Analyst certification) and CFA, Stéphanie Bobtcheff has specialised in mid-cap investments for over 18 years. Portfolio manager at Indosuez Asset Management, Crédit Agricole Asset Management and Oddo Asset Management, she then spent 7 years in Geneva at Pascal Investment Advisers. Stéphanie Bobtcheff joined La Financière de l'Echiquier in September 2013 as a portfolio manager in the small and mid-cap team.


Investing in European Small and Mid-Cap

Starting from an overview on the asset class and its structural attractiveness, we analyse the need of having a rigorous and disciplined investment process (screening, fundamental analysis and portfolio constructions) in a very wide and somewhat inefficient universe, therefore focusing on our portfolio track record and its characteristics.

Thierry Larose

Executive Director, Senior Portfolio Manager

Vontobel Asset Management


He joined Vontobel Asset Management in January 2018. He is a portfolio manager within the Emerging Markets Bonds team and manages the Vontobel Fund - Sustainable Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond.

Prior, he was a portfolio manager at Degroof Petercam Asset Management for 7 years. From 2013 to 2017, he launched and managed a sustainable emerging markets bonds fund, which consistently ranked in the top decile of its category. From 2010 to 2013, he co-managed high yield and emerging markets bonds funds and was responsible for the emerging markets positioning of crossover portfolios. Before that, from 2008 to 2010, he was founder and CEO of Inbelflu Participações e Investimentos Ltda, a Rio de Janeiro-based boutique specialized in financial consulting/advisory and seed-capital raising. Thierry began his career in 1990 as an interest rate derivatives trader at Crédit Commercial de France in Brussels.

He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Liège. 



Investing in the Emerging Markets Local Currency Bonds world

Local-currency debt refers to bonds denominated in the currency of the bond's issuer. The emerging market universe consists of around 50 countries with an investable local-debt market. However, just a small number of bigger, commodity dependent economies dominate the major benchmarks. As many investors blindly follow the benchmark, this creates inefficiencies that an active manager can exploit. These inefficiencies tend to be related to structural, constraint-driven and governance inefficiencies.

Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important factor in the economic growth of emerging market countries. There is a correlation between a country's adherence to sustainability (i.e. the strength of its institutions and governance) and the performance of its bonds. Countries with a sustainable rating have, on average, better credit ratings than non-sustainable countries. For example, since 2007, countries rated sustainable have been able to keep their credit ratings constant, while non-sustainable countries have had to accept significant downgrades.

By being benchmark agnostic and investing with high conviction, across business models, and in countries that are on a sustainable path, investors can enjoy long-term returns from emerging market local-currency bonds.

"A country that strives to improve sustainability, will eventually deliver more sustainable economic growth" - Thierry Larose, Senior Portfolio Manager, Zurich

Dario Carfizzi

Head of Intermediary Sales

Vontobel Asset Management

Alessandro Pozzi

Head of Retail & Wholesale Distribution



Alessandro, with 23 years of experience in the asset management industry, is Head of Retail & Wholesale Distribution at Eurizon where, since his arrival in 2008, he has made a major contribution to the development of various business lines addressed to Sales Networks and Multimanager Institutional Investors. Previously, Alessandro worked with Pioneer Investments for over four years and, from 2000 to 2004 in the Asset Management Department of UniCredit Group, specialized in investment products and service models for Affluent and Private clients. He began his career as Private Banker for Banca Intesa.
On the academic front, Alessandro obtained his degree cum laude in Business Economics in 1995, and in 1998 he specialized cum laude in Social Communications. Alessandro also attended a post degree specialization in Marketing of Financial Services at Cattolica University's Centrimark.



Made for hard times: +2,5% in 2018 and what's next by Epsilon

Increased volatility in risky assets makes paramount to implement in your portfolio investment strategies providing protection to unexpected and large drawdowns.
With a 10-year consistent track record, Eurizon Fund Absolute Attivo managed by Epsilon SGR (LU0335994041) is a low-volatility, decorrelated strategy which aims to generate positive absolute returns in bearish markets, while providing stability in a more bullish environment.

Luca Sibani

Head of Discretional and Total Return Investments – Epsilon SGR



Sibani's career in the asset management industry started in 1997 when he joined the fixed income team of Fondigest SGR now Eurizon Capital. In 2000 he was appointed Head of Emerging Fixed Income funds and in 2005 he became Head of Global Bonds team of CAAM SGR now Amundi Italia. In 2009 he moved to Epsilon SGR as Head of Discretional and Total Return Investments. Luca Sibani was previously employed by Chase Manhattan Bank of New York in the private banking division and by Epstasim as a trader of swaps and derivatives on interest rates. Luca graduated from University of Bologna in business administration and is a CFA Charterholder since 2000.



Made for hard times: +2,5% in 2018 and what's next by Epsilon

Increased volatility in risky assets makes paramount to implement in your portfolio investment strategies providing protection to unexpected and large drawdowns.
With a 10-year consistent track record, Eurizon Fund Absolute Attivo managed by Epsilon SGR (LU0335994041) is a low-volatility, decorrelated strategy which aims to generate positive absolute returns in bearish markets, while providing stability in a more bullish environment

Olivier Systchenko

Senior Vice President, Director of Business Development

Acadian Asset Management

Olivier joined Acadian Asset Management U.K. in 2015 and leads AAM-U.K.'s business development efforts in Continental Europe. Prior to joining Acadian, he worked in institutional sales across French-speaking Europe for Janus Capital International, in London. Olivier earned an M.Sc. in finance from IÉSEG School of Management, Lille, France. He holds the CFA Society of the U.K.'s Investment Management Certificate (IMC).

Mark Webster

Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Acadian Asset Management

Mark joined Acadian Asset Management U.K in 2015. As a member of the Portfolio Management team, he contributes to improving the investment process, manages portfolios, and supports marketing and client service efforts. Prior to Acadian, he worked as investment director at the CCLA, and previously held the title of managing director/European team head of active equity quantitative strategies at State Street Global Advisors. Mark is a member of the CFA Society United Kingdom. Education: B.A. (Hons) in Financial Services from Bournemouth University.

Zak Smerczak

Analyst/Portfolio Manager Global Equities



Zak Smerczak joined Comgest in 2016 and is an Analyst and Portfolio Manager in the Global equity team. Zak started his career in 2006 at Deloitte in London, initially in Assurance & Advisory Services before moving to Transaction Services where he was responsible for operational and financial due diligence. In 2011 Zak joined Mirabaud Asset Management where he worked as an Analyst covering global equities. In 2015 he moved to Polar Capital Holdings where he held the position of Analyst / Portfolio Manager for the firm's global multi-asset income strategy. Zak holds a Bachelor of Business Science degree with Honours in Finance from the University of Cape Town. He is a CFA® charterholder and has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland since 2009.



Global Equities with a long-term growth approach

While 2017 was characterised by record-low volatility, synchronized global growth and upward earnings revisions, 2018 saw the return of volatility due to different factors: significant divergences in economic growth across regions; the beginning of downward earnings revisions; rising market concerns on the US-China trade wars and an unwavering US Federal Reserve on its path to quantitative tightening. At Comgest, we believe that our "quality growth approach" is a key element to overcome this year's challenges. Our rigorous methodology is the result of a mix of a bottom up investment approach with the ESG criteria integration. Through those elements we build high conviction concentrated portfolios with the aim to deliver long term growth even in today's competitive and increasingly volatile markets.



Panel Session – Moderator

Sara Silano

Managing Research Editor


Sara Silano joined Morningstar in 2003, where she has been Managing Research Editor since 2012. Sara has a deep knowledge of asset management industry, mutual funds, ETFs and pension funds. Moreover, she is part of the Morningstar ESG Thought Leadership Team and she is in charge of spreading the awareness of sustainable investments through financial education, editorial contents, research, media and events. She has been a member of the steering board of Italy SIF/the Italian Sustainable Investments Forum (SIF) since 2017. She graduated in Communication Sciences at University of Turin and she has been in the investment industry for 20 years.

Panel Speakers

Manuela D'Onofrio

Co-General Manager and Head of Investment & Products area

Cordusio SIM

Magna Cum Laude degree in Mathematics, University "La Sapienza", Rome
Master of Science in Mathematics, Courant Institute of Mathematical Science, New York University.

She started her career at Chase Manhattan Bank New York in 1989 as Derivatives Specialist and continued in JP Morgan where she managed the bank bond portfolio and thereafter managed the private clients' portfolios.

She moved to Bipiemme Gestioni SGR SpA in 1999 as Head of Investments and she was Member of the Investment Committee. In 2001 She has been appointed General Manager of Bipiemme Private Banking SIM.

In October 2003, she joined UniCredit Group as Chief Investment Officer in UniCredit Private Banking to become later, in 2009, Head of Global Investment Strategy.

In 2013 She has been appointed Head of Global Investment Department in UniCredit SpA

On 1st November 2016 she has been appointed Co-General Manager and Head of Products and Investments area in Cordusio SIM.
She has responsibility for Cordusio SIM Investments Committee, and she is also Member of Cordusio SIM Product Committee, Member of Business Continuity & Crisis Management Committee and Member of Risk and Internal Controls Committee.

She is Member of Fineco Bank Board of Directors.

Starting from February 2018 She is simultaneously Head of Group Product & Investment Platform

Grazia Orlandini CFA

BPER Chief Investment Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Optima SIM (company dedicated to discretionary mandates)


Ms. Orlandini has twenty-year experience in the asset management industry.
After a period in leading Italian asset management companies and research groups, including IMI-Fideuram (now Fideuram Asset Management), Orlandini worked for 14 years, until 2013, in Montepaschi Asset Management Group which later became Anima SGR, where she was strategist, portfolio manager and since 2005 Chief Investment Officer.
More recently, she held the position of Chief Executive Officer of a small Italian asset manager owned by a private equity fund.
Ms. Orlandini has a Bachelor and Master degree from Bocconi University, a specialization from Haas School of Berkeley University and she is a CFA charterholder.

Patrizia Bussoli

Team Asset Allocation Research

Pramerica SGR

Since 2018, Patrizia is heading the team of Asset Allocation products in Pramerica SGR, after 12 years as Head of Fixed Income Asset Allocation at Fideuram Investimenti. Previously, Patrizia was a fund manager for credit and ABS in Nextra. Previously, she worked as macroeconomist at Deutsche Bank, London.
She was a professor for International Economics at Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. She wrote a book "Investire con le obbligazioni" (with L.Bagato, Hoepli).
She was a researcher at Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan and she published several working papers. She also temporarily served the European Commission, DGII - Economics and Finance.
Patrizia attended Pompeu Fabra University, where she obtained a Master and a PhD in Economics cum laude. She graduated at Bocconi University with a degree in Economics (cum laude).