Press Release

Universal-Investment provides ManCo and support services to Unilever


02. September 2020


  • Company
  • Unilever’s investment services company awards EUR 11bn mandate to Universal-Investment, with Northern Trust continuing to provide custodian and fund administration services
  • FCP and self-managed SICAVs onboarded as scheduled
  • More than 20 asset managers connected to platform

Universal-Investment group, the biggest fund services provider in the German-speaking region, takes over Management Company (ManCo) services for Univest pooled funds in Luxembourg. Univest pooled funds are set up by Univest Company, Unilever’s in-house investment services company which supports Unilever pension plans worldwide. The assets under management for the mandate are approximately EUR 11 billion. The sophisticated fund setup of both UCITS and AIFs has been onboarded on schedule. While Universal-Investment group has taken over the controlling of risk management and portfolio management, Northern Trust continues to provide custodian and fund administration services for Univest.
“I am pleased that we have been able to successfully implement this mandate within the agreed timeframe, despite the difficult market circumstances since February this year. It was a great team effort and I would like to thank everyone with whom we collaborated,” said Sean O’Driscoll, Country Head of Universal-Investment Luxembourg. In the Grand Duchy, the company is of the fastest growing market participants with administrated assets of EUR 72 billion and, according to PwC, has been one of the largest AIF and third-party ManCo since 2018. “Providing ManCo services for Univest is another milestone in our quest to become the leading European funds service platform for all asset classes. We intend to further build on this momentum,” added Katja Müller, Chief Customer Officer of the Universal-Investment group. 
More than 20 asset managers in six sub-funds of the overarching FCP (Fonds Commun de Placements) have been connected to the Universal-Investment open architecture platform. In addition, the setup of the support services for the self-managed SICAVs (Société d'Investissement à Capital Variable) has been realised simultaneously. Orchestrating the onboarding process has been a challenge that was mastered as all mandates were migrated on time. 
“We are pleased the transition was completed as planned and thank all parties involved for their hard work. We look forward to working with Universal-Investment as the new ManCo for our Univest pooled funds.” said Rianne Lemsom, Managing Director at Univest Company. 

 The mandate is considered as one of the largest to be awarded in 2019 and 2020. As provider of third-party ManCo services, Universal-Investment group acts as a risk management and governance body, thus ultimately increasing investor protection. The ever-increasing substance requirements by the Luxembourg financial authorities demand a strong partner with the expertise and experience to fulfil these duties.

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Bernd Obergfell

Bernd Obergfell

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