oekom assesses regularly and on the basis of more than 100 parameters the sustainability of more than 3,800 companies worldwide (as of 2017). The Research agency focuses on big, listed companies, listed companies with a strong connection to the issue of sustainability, and the unlisted issuers of bonds.
The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) of the United Nations form the basis of sustainable investment at Erste Asset Management. As signatory of said PRI, Erste Asset Management adheres to the following six principles in its investment policy:
1. We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
2. We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
3. We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
4. We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
5. We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
6. We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
With its expertise, WWF is one of the world’s biggest and most renowned environmental protection organisations. In 2006 the Erste AM subsidiary ERSTE-SPARINVEST (which has been merged with Erste AM in 2018) and WWF Austria started an alliance that spawned the ERSTE WWF STOCK ENVIRONMENT. For this purpose, WWF set up an environmental advisory board ensuring compliance with the strict ecological and social criteria in the selection of the fund shares. Erste AM donates a part of the fund management costs for the water and climate protection programme of WWF Austria. This does not affect the return of the client.
On 31 January 2019, Erste Asset Management was accepted by the Admissions Committee of Spainsif as new member. Spainsif is the platform for sustainable and responsible investments in Spain. The goal is to promote the integration of environmental, social, and governance criteria in the investment policy through the dialogue with various social groups.
At the moment, Spainsif has 69 members, among them financial and management companies and numerous service providers and charitable organisations, which are committed to sustainability.
Erste Asset Management does not only cooperate with special investment institutions, but also with internationally or globally operating investment banks. We have access to world-renowned reseachers and to external sector and country specialists for special research reports (e.g. emerging markets, pharmaceuticals, etc.).
In portfolio management we do not claim to hold specific knowledge available in-house for every category. Especially for niche or special strategies such as for example Japanese equities or special high-yield segments, we like to resort to the know-how of external asset managers and partners.
At the moment we cooperate intensively with the following houses:
Daiwa Asset Management – the Erste Asset Management partner for Japanese equities
Daiwa Asset Management Co. Ltd. is the asset management subsidiary of Daiwa Securities Group, one of Japan’s largest financial service providers. Managing assets worth USD 129.2bn (as of 31.03.2017), the 1959-founded company ranks second in terms of asset under management.
At the moment Daiwa Asset Management employs more than 675 people (as of 01.04.2017). In addition to its own Tokyo-based Research department, Daiwa also has a global Research network in place. Daiwa is particularly successful in managing Asian equity funds, but manages a total of more than 600 funds across different asset classes and looks back on an extraordinary success story, especially in the management of Asian equity funds.
GaveKal – the Erste Asset Management partner for Research
GaveKal is one of the leading independent providers of global investment Research. It was founded in 2001 by Charles Gave, Anatole Kaletsky, and Louis-Vincent Gave. As investment advisor Gavekal is in charge of funds that manage a total of more than USD 1.7bn worth of assets. With five partners and 65 employees, the company is based in Hong Kong and has offices in the USA, Europe, and China. (All data as of 25 July 2017).
On the basis of its research, Gavekal offers data services and asset management. The company passes on its idea and concepts in seminars and publications.
Invesco – the Erste Asset Management partner for quantitative equity strategies
With assets under management of more than USD 859bn worldwide, more than 740 investment experts, and an operating network spanning more than 20 countries, Invesco is one of the biggest independent asset management companies worldwide. The company is based in Atlanta, USA. Invesco is listed at the New York Stock Exchange and is in the S&P 500 index. (All Invesco data as of 31 May 2017)
The teams pursue clearly defined investment philosophies and are subject to the consistent management of risk and quality. Invesco’s broad range of products covers all important equity and bond markets as well as alternative asset classes both on a regional and on a global scale.
Prudential – the Erste Asset Management partner for US high-yield bonds
With about 48,500 employees and assets under management of more than USD 1.07 trillion (as of March 2017), Prudential Financial, Inc. is one of the biggest financial service companies worldwide. The company, based in Newark, New Jersey, has a history of more than 135 years and advises clients with asset management and insurance services in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the USA.
Vereinigung Österreichischer Investmentgesellschaften (VÖIG; Association of Austrian Investment Fund Management Companies)
The purpose and duty of this association, which is organised under the Associations Act, is to promote the domestic investment industry and to provide support to the association’s members. VÖIG participates in the evaluation of national and international (primarily European) rules that affect the interests of its members. It is in permanent contact with ministries, authorities, and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) and exchanges information with national and international organisations and associations.
Österreichische Vereinigung für Finanzanalyse und Asset Management (ÖVFA; Austrian Association for Financial Analysis and Asset Management)
Österreichische Vereinigung für Finanzanalyse und Asset Management is the professional organisation of financial analysts and asset managers in Austria and has more than 300 members at home and abroad.The course provided by ÖVFA in cooperation with VÖIG is the only certificate accredited by the international Association of Certified International Investment Analysts (ACIIA) in Austria.ÖVFA is prominently involved in the establishment of standards in capital markets (e.g. GIPS, Corporate Governance Code, Austrian Research Standards and Code of Ethics) and has sponsored the Börsepreis (Stock Exchange Award) for 20 years, i.e. the only Austrian award for outstanding achievements of listed companies.
Leitbetriebe Austria is an independent economic network that spans across all industries. It distinguishes and connects exemplary companies within the Austrian economy. Sustainable corporate success, innovation and social accountability are the primary focus of the certification process. This platform provides the Institutional Sales Team Austria of Erste Asset Management with the chance to contact companies and enter into dialogues.
At the beginning of 2019, Erste Asset Management was named Leitbetrieb (leading company) for the third time.
Erste Asset Management GmbH is subject to Part 3 of the regulations of the Deposit Guarantee Schemes and Investor Compensation Act (Einlagensicherungs- und Anlegerentschädigungsgesetz – ESAEG) and is member of Einlagensicherung AUSTRIA Ges.m.b.H., the standardised guarantee institution installed by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO).
For information on investor protection, please visit the homepage of Einlagensicherung AUSTRIA Ges.m.b.H. (www.einlagensicherung.at) .