- Marketing communication -
Top honours for MainFirst in terms of sustainability: no fewer than six funds from the Frankfurt-based multi-investment boutique have been awarded the FNG label this year. After four funds were awarded the label for the first time last year, MainFirst has now significantly increased the number of certified funds.
For the second time, the Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG), a sustainable investment forum that operates in German-speaking countries, has recognised a number of MainFirst's mutual funds. With this, the asset manager has once again improved significantly compared to the previous year - the basis for this was the continuous further development of the sustainability approaches in the different portfolios. The following investment funds have now received two stars for a particularly rigorous and comprehensive sustainability strategy: the MainFirst Global Equities Fund, the MainFirst Global Equities Unconstrained Fund, the MainFirst Absolute Return Multi Asset and the MainFirst Germany Fund. The flagship product, the MainFirst Top European Ideas Fund, which took part for the first time, also received two stars, while the recently launched MainFirst Megatrends Asia received one star. All of the award-winning funds scored additional points in the areas of institutional credibility, product standards, and selection and dialogue strategy. The coveted FNG label takes internationally recognised sustainability standards into account when assessing funds and is now a well-regarded standard of quality in the German-speaking world.
“Since last year, we have once again put a lot of effort into increasing our transparency,” says Managing Director Patrick Vogel. He congratulates the teams working with Fund Managers Frank Schwarz, Adrian Daniel and Olgerd Eichler. “It is important to us that the individual teams implement an authentic ESG approach in their investment philosophies. The fact that this work has been recognised externally makes us proud,” says Vogel. “Moreover, our products are performing well across the board.” At MainFirst, the further development of sustainability approaches is the responsibility of each Portfolio Management team. The management actively supports this endeavour.
Accordingly, for Fund Manager Frank Schwarz, who manages global equity and multi-asset funds as well as institutional mandates with his team, the consideration of ESG criteria in their investment decisions is fundamental. “We see it as one of our core responsibilities to make a valuable contribution to a more sustainable use of capital through careful stock selection and clearly defined exclusion criteria,” explains Schwarz.
The team led by Olgerd Eichler, which is responsible for the MainFirst Top European Ideas Fund and the MainFirst Germany Fund, focuses on active dialogue with the companies in which it invests. “Our goal is to drive sustainable action through our interactions with decision-makers in the companies. In doing so, we also make intensive use of the option of actively exercising voting rights,” explains Alexander Lippert, Portfolio Manager in the German and European equities team. “We are pleased that our efforts over many years have been recognised in the form of two stars for each fund. Even a product launched as a ‘conventional fund’ can score in terms of sustainability without ‘sustainable’ in its name. We prefer to create a bridge between sustainability and return through active dialogue and our engagement,” says Lippert.
The relevance of transparent and comprehensible sustainability labels is increasing, as there is no clear, overarching definition of sustainable investments. The Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen satisfies this requirement and MainFirst therefore welcomes the award of the FNG label as a quality standard for sustainable investment funds in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Information about the FNG label
The FNG label is the quality standard for sustainable investments in the German-speaking financial markets. It was launched in 2015 after a three-year development process involving key stakeholders. The associated sustainability certification must be renewed annually. The holistic methodology of the FNG label is based on a set of minimum standards. These include transparency criteria, and the consideration of labour and human rights, environmental protection and anti-corruption as summarised in the worldwide UN Global Compact. All companies in the respective fund must also be analysed completely with regard to sustainability criteria and the product must have an explicit sustainability strategy. Investments in nuclear power, coal mining, significant coal-based energy generation, fracking, oil sands, tobacco production and arms & armaments are prohibited. As such, certified funds follow a transparent sustainability approach whose credible application has been verified by an independent audit (University of Hamburg) and monitored by an external committee with interdisciplinary expertise.
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