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Sustainability belongs to the DNA of our company

Sustainability at Universal Investment 

What does sustainability mean to us?

As the largest bank-independent fund service platform in the German-speaking world, Universal Investment assumes responsibility for customers employees, society and the environment. Corporate sustainability is part of the DNA of our company. This importance is underlined strategically by the integration of sustainability into our vision and operationally by the organisational anchoring of the ESG-Office.



As a company and as a service partner to our customers, we have two effective levers to drive sustainable development. Global awareness and the need for sustainable development mean that economic systems, as well as financial systems, must change.

As a platform, we see ourselves in the unique position to link the entire value chain of capital management, to support our clients in sustainable investments as a competent partner, and to drive change in the marketplace through comprehensive exchange and cooperation. 

Our position on sustainability

Our Commitment



Our customers, our employees as well as society and environment form the pillars of our sustainable corporate success. We achieve our vision with a sustainability strategy that meets our responsibility for these three areas. Corporate goals, customer orientation and employee satisfaction should be in line with social and ecological principles.

Our customers, our employees as well as society and environment  form the pillars of our sustainable corporate success. We achieve our vision with a sustainability strategy that meets our responsibility for these three areas. Corporate goals, customer orientation and employee satisfaction should be in line with social and ecological principles.
As a central platform for institutional investors and fund initiators, the Universal Investment Group is a fundamental building block of the financial industry. To live up to the related high level of responsibility, we have actively committed ourselves to the "Principles for Responsible Investment" (PRI).
This voluntary commitment, developed by the United Nations, aims to increase the incorporation of environmental, social and corporate governance factors in investment decisions. Since its foundation in 1968, the Universal-Investment Group – as a fund service platform – has strictly excluded active asset management.
For this reason, these PRI principles are of utmost importance for us:

- We will promote acceptance and implementation of the PRI principles within the investment industry.
- We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the PRI principles.
- We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the PRI principles.

Implementation and responsibilities

Implementation and responsibilities

Sustainability and corporate responsibility are already lived at the Universal-Investment Group and play an increasingly important role in our strategic positioning. This is also demonstrated by the fact that we have anchored the issue directly at our CEO.

Sustainability in company organisation

Sustainability has also been structurally implemented in the company organization. Firstly, a Sustainability Officer had been appointed, whose role is to support the integration of sustainability in all areas of the company and communicate sustainability issues both internally and externally.

Secondly, an ESG Office has been established as a separate entity within the company under the leadership of the Sustainability Officer. The ESG Office has been set up as an interdisciplinary team, bringing together employees from different departments such as Communications, Legal, Risk, Sales and the Product and Operations divisions.

This approach enables the Universal-Investment Group to respond flexibly to the growing demands and to accompany the constant change with the newly created structure.

Our responsibility to our customers



As independent fund service platform and fiduciary, we ensure the responsible handling of investors' capital and rights. We have co-authored the Code of Rules of the German fund industry association BVI and comply with the voluntary principles and regulations of the German asset management industry.

We strive to support our business partners in the integration of sustainability in their investments and accompany them with our expertise. Our strategy is based on three pillars. These not only serve to promote acceptance, transparency and cooperation, but also enable joint development of sustainability in the financial industry in the future.

Mission Statement



Our self-image

Universal-Investment-Gesellschaft mbH, member of BVI Bundesverband Investment und Asset Management e. V., acts in coherence with the mission statement of the German Investment Fund Industry

We are committed to the investors as trustee.

In managing the assets entrusted to us, we solely act in the interests of our investors. We pursue their rights independently. We appreciate the governmental oversight over this legal obligation; it differentiates us from other providers of investment products. Our funds are protected against bankruptcy since the funds assets are segregated. They are under the independent control of the respective depository, which is also supervised by a competent supervisory authority.

We are producing benefits for economy and society.

We enable access to all investment markets equally to small and large investors. By making investors‘ money available to companies and public sector, we contribute to growth and employment. We are providing suitable solutions for funded pension-schemes. We are promoting the financial education of investors.

In order to implement this mission statement in the ongoing business activities of the fund management companies, the investment fund industry has defined its own self-regulation standards by developing the BVI rules of conduct. These rules are taking account of the role as trustee, which requires a high standard of conduct towards investors.

We want to receive long term investment success

Our success is the success of our investors. Not only convincing return, but also risk diversification and liquidity are very important. We are supporting investor-friendly advice by providing clear and comprehensive information on opportunities, risks and costs.

Fund management companies are aware of their social responsibility. They are a separate pillar of the financial sector and are acting in the sole interest of investors, equally and independently of banks and insurance companies. They are managing a huge part of the retirement capital which is invested in retail and special funds. Therefore, fund management companies play a key role in pension provision in Germany. They provide companies with capital for growth and, as buyers of bonds, they are financing public budgets. They create jobs and actively participate in educational initiatives. They participate in the overall social discourse on responsible investment.

Fund management companies manage the funds entrusted to them in accordance with strict legal requirements. They act solely in the interest of investors and observe the integrity of market, the principle of risk diversification and investment and risk limits when managing the funds. Internal control procedures (e.g. Risk Controlling, Internal Audit, Compliance) are an integral part of proper business organisation. Fund Management companies take arrangements to ensure that they invest the investors funds in accordance with the investment policy described in the sales documentation and the risk profile of the respective fund as well as in accordance with the applicable legal provisions.

In addition to their statutory obligations, fund management companies independently and appropriately take into account the self-regulatory principles and codes set out in the BVI Code of Conduct which is continuously amended. Fund management companies inform their investors in an appropriate way whether and to what extent they comply with the BVI Code of Conduct. They may deviate from the Code of Conduct. In this case, they are required to disclose this on a yearly basis and to justify such deviations (“comply or explain”). This allows the fund management companies to take into account flexible and company-specific needs, as well as investor and investment needs.

Our responsibility for the environment and society



Our responsibility for the environment and society

We are aware of our social responsibility as a company and fund service platform in managing the assets entrusted to us. Capital from private pension provision and company pension schemes account for a high proportion of mutual and special funds launched on our platform. As the market leader in master funds, we play a key role in company pension schemes and pension funds in Germany.

We are working at shaping our business activities to make them sustainable and valuable for the society in which we live and for our environment:

Our responsibility for employees

The struggle for the best specialists and demographic change are just a few of the issues that also concern us as a company. In times in which corporate success increasingly depends on the availability, competence and commitment of employees, it is becoming increasingly important to attract, retain and develop them.

In doing so, the Universal-Investment Group relies on a corporate culture of responsibility and autonomy. This includes the promotion of equal rights and diversity as well as support for the compatibility of family and career, for example through the participation in childcare costs or close cooperation with pme Familienservice  in the areas of childcare, homecare eldercare or coaching in life situations.

In addition, by involving our colleagues in our employee development programme, we help them to realise their professional and personal potential.

Contact

We are looking forward to discussing how we can support you regarding your commission management or international fund licensing.
Robert Bluhm

Robert Bluhm

Sustainability Officer sustainability@universal-investment.com