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IPE special report May 2018

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New CEO at Austria's Raiffeisen streamlines company, focuses on SRI

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  • Vienna, Austria

Austria-based asset manager Raiffeisen Capital Management (RCM) is to merge its Raiffeisen Vermögensverwaltungsbank (asset management bank) and Raiffeisen International Fund Advisory subsidiaries into the Raiffeisen Kapitalanlage GmbH (KAG), according to new chief executive Michael Höllerer.

Höllerer told IPE RCM would continue to be the overall brand for the KAG, the Raiffeisen Immobilien KAG for real estate and the regional Raiffeisen Salzburg Invest Kapitalanlage GmbH.

Further, the asset manager will “slim down” the number of departments for various fields of business from seven to three covering fund management, fund services and customer service.

Höllerer recently succeeded former chief executive Mathias Bauer, who left together with his fellow board member Gerhard Aigner to “underline the realignment of the asset manager’s organisational structure”, according to local media reports.

On the new board, Höllerer, who will also remain as secretary general of the Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB), will be responsible for finances, risk management and internal revision.

Rainer Schnabl joined from a regional branch of Raiffeisen to take responsibility for client services – both private and institutional – as well as products, while Dieter Aigner will stay on as board member for asset management.

Speaking at a recent fund presentation in Vienna, Marc Renaud, founder of French boutique Mandarine Gestion, said Raiffeisen was a “complicated story”, referring to the whole of the banking group rather than the asset management branch alone.

He claimed the group “used to be a risk” for investors, but said this was no longer the case due to a restructuring and a capital increase.

Responding to Renaud’s comments, Höllerer said he was “delighted third parties are seeing it this way”, but he argued that “there had not been a problem before either”.

According to IPE’s Top 400 Asset Managers survey, RCM had €28.4bn in assets under management, excluding real estate fund assets, as per year-end 2013.

Höllerer told IPE RCM would now focus on its institutional business, strengthening the service element and demand-orientated business in particular.

He said, at the moment, he saw increasing interest from institutions for sustainable global equity products and euro corporates.

In the sustainable segment, RCM hired Wolfgang Pinner last year to create new products. Since then, Pinner has set up a mixed fund product as well as a sustainable bond fund.

“We see significant potential in this area,” Höllerer said.

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