The assets managed for pensions by the German fund industry reached €1.77trn by mid-2021, equivalent to 44% of the total assets under management of €4trn, according to a survey conducted by the country’s Investment Funds Association (BVI).
The association added that assets managed for pensions have grown by €600bn as the German fund industry managed 40% of the total assets for retirement provisions in mid-2017.
German funds manage €520bn for occupational pensions, including €270bn for direct pension promises and €190bn on behalf of Pensionskassen, whilst €400bn is managed on behalf of pension funds for professionals, Versorgungswerke, and €130bn for state-subsidised pension plans. There is also €110bn under supplementary pensions for federal, state, and municipal employees, and for churches.
According to BVI, the largest share of the funds is invested in open-ended Spezialfonds with €1.25trn, up from €810bn in 2017.
AMAS joins NZAMI
The Asset Management Association Switzerland (AMAS) has joined the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (NZAMI). The association is following recommendations of the Swiss Federal Council to join net-zero initiatives, it said.
AMAS claims its goal is to convince as many members as possible to commit to achieving climate targets.
NZAIM now counts 220 asset managers as members, which hold AUM worth around $57trn (€50.2trn), and who are committed to a net-zero taret by 2050 or earlier.
AMAS is planning to establish a self-regulatory framework on sustainable investment products and greenwashing next year. It has published recommendations on transparency of sustainable investment products in partnership with Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF).
Geneva pension fund takes first Swiss social bond
Caisse de prévoyance de l’Etat de Genève (CPEG), the CHF20.4bn (€19.4bn) pension fund for the canton of Geneva, has bought a CHF50m social bond from the canton that was issued as a private placement.
The pension fund and the canton said it is the first social bond from a Swiss issuer, and that the money will be used to finance renovations of Cycle d’orientation de Budé, a secondary school, and Uni Bastions, the oldest building of the University of Geneva, the second largest academic institution in Switzerland.
The issue qualifies as social according to the International Capital Market Association criteria.
It is not the first social bond to have been issued in Swiss francs – the Central American Bank for Economic Integration issued a CHF200m 10-year in September.
Alessia Torricelli, CPEG’s finance director, said the pension fund’s participation in the private placement fit perfectly with its sustainable development strategy. She also said it allowed CPEG to make an impact investment by integrating the social dimension alongside ESG’s environmental and governance criteria.
In 2017, the canton of Geneva became the first Swiss public entity to issue a green bond.
Munich court doubts accounting firm’s conduct in Wirecard case
The higher regional court in Munich has raised doubts on the decision of the regional court of the Bavarian capital to dismiss the claims for damages of investors in the Wirecard case.
The higher regional court said that there were “considerable misgivings” about denying the existence of a casualty between the liability of the accounting firm reviewing the balance sheet of Wirecard and the damages resulting from buying shares in the company by investors.
The regional court should have obtained an expert opinion to assess the allegations made by KPMG in a report against Ernst & Young (EY), which was in charge of reviewing Wirecard’s balance sheet.
The remark of the higher regional court can now open the door to investors’ claims for damages against EY.
Following Wirecard’s insolvency, hundreds of investors have sought to claim damages from the auditing company that had certified the company’s balance sheets before the Munich regional court.
The regional court in Munich has dismissed the claims of the investors without gathering evidence, the higher court said.