Wilgenhaege has won the award for Best Performance, The Netherlands at this year's SRP Europe awards.

SRP considered four products that redeemed early between 1 October 2022 and 30 September 2023 as well as four products that matured organically during the period.

In 2023 as a whole, 11 of the company’s products matured or autocalled.

We have built up a good track record of products that have redeemed early with very attractive investment returns - Albert den Haan

The majority of Wilgenhaege’s products are Athena autocalls, often linked to equities. They offer annualised coupons varying between 10 and 25% with a protection barrier of between 60 and 80%.

The structure of these products appeals to a growing group of clients, according to Albert den Haan (pictured), senior account manager at Wilgenhaege.

“Our analysts carefully select those shares [as underlyings for our products] that they expect to develop positively.

“We have built up a good track record of products that have redeemed early with very attractive investment returns,” he said.

Products that expired early in 2023 included Easy Coupon 12.8%, a five-year Phoenix autocall linked to a basket comprising the shares of ASR Nederland and ASMI, and Besi 14.5%, a five-year Athena structure linked to the share of BE Semiconductor Industries. Both autocalled after one-year, returning 13.5% pa and 15.9% pa, respectively. 

“Any investment product that ends up with a nice payout is a highlight, but if we have to choose one for 2023, Aegon Click 14% with an overall return of 193.5% – which means a net return of 88.4% – is a good example,” said Den Haan.

The product, which was issued on the paper of Société Générale, struck on 30 November 2018 when the value of the underlying Aegon share was €4.917 while the shares closing price on 30 November 2023 reached €5.026. “The share has only risen 2.2% in five-years, excluding dividend payments, while our customers have received a net 88.4%. In that case, you can rightly speak of a highlight,” he said.

Wilgenhaege is a discretionary asset manager and distributor of structured products on an execution-only basis. Most of its products are either linked to single shares or a basket of two shares, often Dutch multinational companies such as ASM International, Nationale Nederlanden, ING Groep, and DSM.   

The company has its own research team that conducts fundamental research into listed companies in Europe.

“Our research team has a good track record of outperformance compared to the benchmark. This knowledge is not only used for asset management portfolios, but also for selecting underlying assets for our execution-only products,” said Den Haan.

The shares selected for Wilgenhaege’s structured products must meet the strict selection criteria that its research team applies.

“This means that these are shares of companies with a good market position, interesting growth prospects, at an attractive valuation [...] in addition, the names of the companies must be appealing and the coupon of the investment product must also be interesting enough for the customer,” said Den Haan.

In 2024 to date, the company has launched two products so far including an Athena autocall on the shares of LVMH and Nestle that offers a potential coupon of 17.4% pa, and a capital protected digital linked to the AEX-index. The latter pays a yearly coupon of 7.7% if the local benchmark closes at or above its initial level on the annual valuation date, or 4.4% otherwise.

Den Haan is positive about the rest of the year, and expects Wilgenhaege will be able to continue to develop interesting products.

“2023 was a record year for us in terms of the number of products that autocalled, and I don’t think we will be able to match that anytime soon, but we do clearly see the growth in our customer base and the invested capital per investment product,” he concluded.

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