Within the investment department of Erste Asset Management, a team of several experts focuses exclusively on the question of sustainable investments. The investment process of Erste Asset Management is a so-called “integrative” approach that includes positive and exclusion criteria, engagement, and the best-in-class method. The core of this process is the ESG analysis, which refers to environmental, social, and (corporate) governance aspects.
Our selection process
Companies that we invest in have to meet a number of criteria. Nuclear power and arms production and trade constitute the most important exclusion criteria. Companies are also immediately divested from the fund in proven cases of corruption or child labour.
Companies that were admitted into the investment universe are managed according to a clearly structured approach and in cooperation with numerous internal and external specialists. An ethics advisory board, specifically set up for this purpose, appraises whether investments do in fact comply with sustainable criteria.
Active ownership: engagement and voting
Our sustainable activities go beyond the scope of investments in responsible companies. The active protection of owner interests is an integral part of our investment approach. We engage in dialogue with companies that we invest in or that qualify for investments. We request information via letters, conference calls, and company visits, and frequently demand improvements. These activities are called engagement. We also attend general shareholder meetings, where we vote. This approach aims at motivating companies that we invest in to engage in more sustainable business practices.
Erste Asset Management was the first investment company in Austria to commit to publishing the carbon footprint of its equity fund in September 2015. That was an important step towards transparency. The CO2 intensity is calculated annually and is published on the website of Erste Asset Management.
Taking into account Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) standards
The Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) of the United Nations form the basis of responsible investment at Erste Asset Management. As signatory of said PRI, Erste Asset Management undertakes to take into account the following six principles in its investment policy:
We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
We will publish each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
When selecting our cooperation partners we also make sure they have signed the PRI or at least follow them as much as possible.
Erste Asset Management refrains from investment in companies that operate in the area of banned weapons. Among those are:
Biological and chemical weapons
Cluster bombs, including possible launch and ejection systems
Anti-personnel mines, mine-planting systems, and other mine systems
In addition, we monitor the development of new controversial weapons in cooperation with our external partners in order to potentially include them into our catalogue of criteria. Along with companies, we also exclude governments that have been sanctioned by the UN Security Council for infringement with international treaties on banned weapons.
We have committed to refraining from trade in derivatives on food for all our investment funds and client portfolios. In our umbrella funds and multi-assets mandates, we will not invest in third-party funds that speculate in food.
Erste Asset Management was the first investment company in Austria to commit to refrain from investments in coal mining in all actively and discretionarily managed mutual funds and portfolios. All stocks have been sold by the end of the year 2015. Thereby, Erste Asset Management further contributes to managing climate change. Even stricter rules apply to sustainable funds, please refer to the Coal Divestment Policy below.
Sustainability, or responsibility, means being aware of one‘s actions and their consequences and approaching them in such a way as to avoid damage to others. Or, in other words, the decisions of today’s generation should not tie the hands of future generations. Or – to use yet another metaphor – behaving sustainably means acting like a farmer who takes best possible care of a tree and harvests its fruits without felling it. Th is way, we can expect a sustainably high harvest without endangering tomorrow‘s livelihood.
The Erste Responsible Advisory Board supports Erste Asset Management both in its ESG approach and its investment process. The Board consists of internationally renowned experts who contribute know-how from their respective area to facilitate an optimal decision-making process.
Dr. Anna Durnová, Ph.D. - Chair, Advisory Board expert for technology and medicine
Günter Benischek - Advisory Board expert for social affairs / NGOs
Ing. Mag. Klaus Bergsmann - Advisory Board expert for environment
Dr. Klaus Gabriel - Advisory Board expert for religion/ethics
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gyöngyi Lóránth - Advisory Board expert for governance
This document is an advertisement. All data is sourced from Erste Asset Management GmbH, unless indicated otherwise. Our languages of communication are German and English.
The prospectus for UCITS (including any amendments) is published in Amtsblatt zur Wiener Zeitung in accordance with the provisions of the InvFG 2011 in the currently amended version. Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG is prepared for the alternative investment funds (AIF) administered by Erste Asset Management GmbH, pursuant to the provisions of the AIFMG in connection with the InvFG 2011.
The fund prospectus, Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG, and the key investor document/KID can be viewed in their latest versions at the web site www.erste-am.com or obtained in their latest versions free of charge from the domicile of the management company and the domicile of the custodian bank. The exact date of the most recent publication of the fund prospectus, the languages in which the key investor document is available, and any additional locations where the documents can be obtained can be viewed on the web site www.erste-am.com.
This document serves as additional information for our investors and is based on the knowledge of the staff responsible for preparing it at the time of preparation. Our analyses and conclusions are general in nature and do not take into account the individual needs of our investors in terms of earnings, taxation, and risk appetite. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of the future performance of a fund. Please note that investments in securities entail risks in addition to the opportunities presented here. The value of shares and their earnings can rise and fall. Changes in exchange rates can also have a positive or negative effect on the value of an investment. For this reason, you may receive less than your originally invested amount when you redeem your shares. Persons who are interested in purchasing shares in investment funds are advised to read the current fund prospectus(es) and the Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG, especially the risk notices they contain, before making an investment decision.
Please consult the corresponding information in the fund prospectus and the Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG for restrictions on the sale of fund shares to American citizens. Misprints and errors excepted.