New setback for Cobas Asset Management, which has closed its branch in France after its manager's departure to Generali Investments. Veronica Vieira, who has worked with Paramés both in his time at Bestinver and in his new solo career with Cobas, has signed the transalpine insurer's manager as director of Large Accounts. The Spanish boutique will continue selling its funds in the French country from Madrid, although it loses an important commercial asset at the local level.
Vieira is a highly recognized professional in France, where she has spent much of her career. The managers know this and have always tried to leverage their contacts and their knowledge on the ground to open the doors of the French market. Paramés signed her at Banque SYZ & Co, where he held the position of institutional sales of the sicav Oyster, and took it to Bestinver in 2011, where he was a Senior Product Specialist and Head of Business Development for France. He worked at Acciona's management until Paramés left, in the famous September 2014.
When Paramés began his two-year non-competition period, Vieira entered the private bank Banque Neuflize OBC, owned by ABN Amro. There he served as head of Third Party Fund Distribution. But When the Spanish guru of ‘value investing’ set up Cobas, he claimed it. His role has been key in the firm as head of Cobas' European investors and, according to his professional profile on LinkedIn, he has led the implementation of environmental, social and corporate governance criteria (ESG, for its funds in the fund.
In the beginning, he had worked for prestigious entities such as ABN Amro, CM-CIC Securities or Berenberg, always as variable income sales.
In this way, Generali Investments hits the table to position itself as one of the main European managers. It manages 462,000 million euros and has three main management centers: Italy, France, where its new signing will work, and Germany. Recently, the Italian insurance group has created the fund boutique ThreeSixty with former Pioneer chief, Giordano Lombardo.
BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT DEPARTURES IN COBAS
According to an official spokesperson for Cobas, the closure of the French branch is "temporary" and, for the moment, "there is nothing definitive." "When the situation is normalized," referring to Covid-19, whose outbreaks are hitting Spain, France and other European countries hard, "we will decide" what to do with it, this spokesperson said. However, he points out, this office was not for sale, but rather served to serve customers in the area, that is, after-sales.
Paramés has all its funds in the negative and has spent months facing criticism from customers and the departure of several of its commercial and investment relations managers. Carmen Fernández jumped to Equam Capital last fall to direct this fund's relationship with investors, although Cobas maintains a shareholding in it that wants to be progressively halved, below 40%, as published by Bolsamanía. Half a year ago, for his part, the director of Investor Relations of Cobas, Santiago Cortezo, left the firm to play the same role in the Navarra securities agency PlusValue, who had also previously gone through Bestinver and Azvalor. Both Fernández and Cortezo had accompanied Paramés since his solo debut.
The co-manager John Barden also left the project last fall to "look for new opportunities", although for now he is helping his wife in the family wine business, Vino Saturnino.
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