Uriel Saragusti, Fixed-Income Fund Manager, La Financière de l'Echiquier

Tell us about your career path. Why did you choose asset management?

I was born in Argentina and I started studying economics there, at the University of Buenos Aires. When I arrived in France, I made a slight shift towards finance, at the Université Paris-Dauphine. After being a buy-side credit analyst at BNP Paribas AM, I now co-manage two fixed-income funds at La Financière de l’Echiquier, a company I joined in 2013 as a credit analyst on multi-asset funds. I should probably say that I’ve always wanted to be a fixed-income fund manager… but I must admit that I saw myself more at a Central Bank, or as a biologist or even an architect. In a twist of fate, my unusual journey brought me to the intersection of economics and finance, and this is where I belong. Financial analysis came quite naturally, given my curiosity about how any business that crosses my path operates. As for economics and rates, it’s also perfect for me since I wanted to work for a Central Bank!

You manage a fund invested in SRI-labelled corporate bonds. What does the SRI approach bring to credit analysis?

This SRI approach has the benefit of increasing the credit quality of Echiquier Crédit SRI Europe, a fund I co-manage with Olivier de Berranger, our CIO. At La Financière de l’Echiquier, we’re convinced that a selective approach to extra-financial analysis, which is specific to SRI-labelled funds, improves the fund’s risk-return profile. The corporate bond market has developed quite a bit over the past decade, becoming more mature and more diverse. It’s now quite possible to combine the search for yield with ESG – Environmental, Social, and Governance – risks while reducing the likelihood of extreme risks.

What are you passionate about?

Two things, actually!  Motorcycles – riding them and working on them – and gardening, a passion that’s currently restricted to terrariums during this lockdown in Paris!