Habsburg dynasty’s firm signs up to the Principles for Responsible Investment

Aliter Invest was founded in April this year

The new responsible investment firm founded by the descendants of the Habsburg dynasty which once ruled swathes of Europe has signed up to the Principles for Responsible Investment.

The firm, Aliter Invest, was founded in April this year and has just become a service provider signatory to the PRI.

Aliter was co-founded by Archduke Christian of Austria and his son Archduke Imre de Habsbourg-Lorraine.

Archduke Christian is the grandson of the last Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Charles 1, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2004; he is known to the Catholic Church as Blessed Karl of Austria.

The dynasty includes luminaries like Marie Antoinette and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

Archduke Christian is a former JP Morgan private banker who set up wealth management advisory firm Multiplus Finance in 1990 while Archduke Imre worked for three years in financial audit and strategic consulting at Ernst & Young (EY) in Luxembourg. He joined Multiplus in 2016, which he leads today.

Aliter, whose motto is ‘Responsibility, Engagement, Solidarity’ and which is not to be confused with UK private equity house Aliter Capital, is based in Switzerland.

“Eager to respond to a strong desire from their clients to invest more ethically, Aliter’s team wishes to accompany investors in their ethical transition, by proposing a rigorous approach in which the human person is considered in all its dimensions,” the firm says Habsburgs aren’t the only European royalty to be engaged in ESG matters. The Princely Family of Liechtenstein owns private banking and asset management firm LGT while Maria Teresa, the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, has long been a proponent of microfinance and inclusive finance. Just this week the Netherlands’ Queen Maxima was seen with ABP Chair Corien Wortman-Kool at a pension event while the UK’s Prince Charles is a noted advocate of sustainable finance.

“Aliter’s team wishes to accompany investors in their ethical transition”

Archduke Imre and his wife Kathleen are active in the pro-life debate while Aliter’s Head of Communications Guillaume d’Alançon is the founder of LIFE-Europe which offers counselling for “any woman who is facing an unplanned pregnancy”.

Aliter’s website says a “disrespect for the dignity of the human person on a social or bioethical level” is one of several risk factors that can hit performance.

A 2018 report from the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights, a pro-choice network of members of European parliaments, mentioned Archduke Imre and his wife as supporting a “range of anti-SRR [Sexual and Reproductive Rights] initiatives”.

The PRI said: “We are pleased Aliter Invest has chosen to join the PRI and we look forward to working with them.”