chameleon asset management ag was founded by CEO Carlos Zanotelli in 2007, with a primary area of expertise in “convertible bonds,” a special kind of bonds/debt securities that may be, but do not have to be, transformed into stocks.
In subsequent years, our organization gradually crystallized into our current model: a sustainable, “boutique” bond company, with “high-interest bonds” and “structured products” as our two complementary asset classes; the latter is used with a modest number of private clients for whom it is still possible, in the current disadvantageous interest environment, to generate (mostly) tax-free income.
In our role as "collective assets managers" under FINMA’s supervision, our main target groups are institutional investors like retirement funds, family offices, SBE banks and wealth managers.
Depending on country-specific regulations, our funds that are authorized for public sale can of course also be acquired by private investors. In individual cases, we also accept some high-net-worth private clients with an investment volume of two million Swiss francs or more, provided we have the personnel available to do so, as we always want to be sure we can provide all stakeholders with top-quality personalized service.
Like chameleons, we seek to handle clients’ money as prudently, responsibly and deliberately as possible. Our gaze is directed straight ahead so we can recognize potential early on; to the side, so we can assess risks and dangers; and behind us, so we can reliably evaluate developments and opportunities.
Because this approach has always been in line with our convictions, we give a mid-single-figure percentage of our sales/profits back to society in acknowledgement of our privileged situation. We usually give to NGO’s and support activities in developing countries, fund research expeditions in our mascot’s countries of origin, or initiate and support publications on the topics of our primary asset classes or on sustainability in general.
Since its founding, chameleon asset management ag has always renounced all retrocessions and kick-backs as a matter of principle, preferring to believe that “sometimes less is more,” since such practices have never fit with our ideas about fairness and transparency, and we do not consider such practices to be sustainable. It is not right to charge our valuable clients in multiple ways. Thus holdings of our own funds and larger cash positions are routinely removed from the calculation of our honoraria, provided we find this practicable and it is clearly communicated to the client.
“It was my mother, Ruth Anna Zanotelli-Studer, who made it possible for me to found my own company; she always supported both me and my sister in our plans, however bold our goals may have been. I am still grateful to her for her trust in me but also, in particular, for her values and convictions, which continue to guide and inspire me today.
The knowledge that I have been permitted to live my own dream, to live in a safe and democratic country, and to lead my own company, to help shape and develop it, fills me with both gratitude and humility, and gives me a clear mandate to always act responsibly and with foresight vis-à-vis people, society and nature.
I view my work as comparable to that of a careful gardener who, unlike a power mower, doesn’t ride roughshod over a meadow but instead approaches the task with affection and thoughtfulness. By being aware of fragility and confidently seeking out hidden potential, I hope to make it possible for good things to blossom and develop.
My attitude can be summarized with reference to three values or characteristics:
ethical, social, sustainable.
Basing my own life on these values and inspiring others to do the same is more than just a drop in the bucket; it’s an attitude that helps generate a lot of drops, which flow together into a powerful river that fills life with meaning. After all, working together for our shared future is far more productive than striving individually to obtain material things.”