Union Investment reveals €1.5bn in sustainable fund inflows (Amended)

Frankfurt powerhouse reports strong demand

Amends to clarify that Union’s engagement and proxy voting is led by Ingo Speich.

Frankfurt-based asset management giant Union Investment has reported strong German demand for sustainable investment funds over the last 18 months.

Union said that since the start of 2011, its sustainable funds had inflows totalling €1.5bn – or almost one third of its total volume of €5bn.

Union is one of Germany’s largest fund firms and has €173bn in assets under management.

Speaking at a news conference last Saturday, Union CEO Hans-Joachim Reinke described the inflows as a clear sign that retail demand for sustainable funds was gaining speed in Germany.

Another sign he said was a recent study from Germany’s co-operative bank association showing that one-third of private investors preferred sustainable funds to traditional ones.

“As a full-line fund distributor, we are ready to meet this growing need,” Reinke said.
Other major providers of sustainable funds forGermany’s retail market are Allianz Global Investors (AGI) and DWS, Deutsche Bank’s fund unit. DWS has around €3bn invested in its sustainable funds.

Reinke also highlighted Union’s credentials as a sustainable asset manager for institutions. “We have more than 20 years of experience to draw from, working in particular with ecumenical organisations, foundations and other charitable groups,” he said.

“We are ready to meet this growing need”

Other examples were the thousands of discussions that Union held with investees to get them to be more sustainable as well as proxy voting at shareholder meetings. The asset manager votes around 350 times a year on behalf of institutions who engage on sustainable issues. Union’s engagement and proxy voting operations are led by Ingo Speich [corrects from Florian Sommer].