Vontobel is the fourth-largest provider of sustainable investments in Switzerland

5/30/2018 Reading time: 3 minute(s)

The Swiss market for sustainable investments grew by more than 80% in 2017 compared to the previous year. According to the ‘Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Study 2018’ published by Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF), the total volume of sustainable investments had reached CHF 390.6 billion by December 31, 2017. With a market share of 8.9% (2016: 6.6%), Vontobel is the fourth-largest provider of sustainable investments in Switzerland.

A total of 66 Swiss companies took part in the survey for the 2018 Market Study: 34 asset managers and banks, including Vontobel, and 32 institutional investors. At the end of 2017, Vontobel had almost CHF 14 billion of sustainably managed assets (previous year: around CHF 11 billion), corresponding to a market share of 8.9%. This makes Vontobel the fourth-largest provider of sustainable investments in Switzerland.

“This market position confirms that Vontobel is advancing towards its strategic goal of positioning itself as a ‘global wealth and asset manager that offers sustainable solutions as a key part of its product range and whose approach to business is characterized by foresight and ownership’, explains Christian Schilz, Head of Corporate Responsibility.

Top market players for sustainable investments by assets under management in Switzerland

Significant increases in volume were recorded for almost all sustainable investment approaches in Switzerland last year.

At 140%, the highest growth rate was seen in the area of ESG voting. Vontobel also exercises its voting rights for all investments in the mtx, Global Trends (i.e. Clean Technologies, New Power, Future Resources and Sustainable Water), Quality Growth and Swiss Equities strategies. All other Vontobel funds come under our internal ‘Management Company Voting Policy’, which is in line with the corporate governance recommendations of the European Fund and Asset Management Association.

The ESG integration approach also recorded a striking increase of about 90% in the Swiss market compared to the previous year. The investment funds in the mtx strategy group follow this approach: In addition to profitability, industry position and intrinsic value, the analysts include specific sustainability criteria in their assessment.

With a total volume of CHF 217.8 billion, the norms-based screening approach (e.g. screening according to the requirements of the UN Global Compact) now ranks top among sustainable investment approaches in Switzerland. This trend is mainly attributable to the fact that a growing number of pension funds are adopting this approach.

Development of Sustainable Investment Approaches

Providers focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals and climate solutions

The Swiss financial sector is increasingly embracing the United Nations  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change. More than one third of asset managers offer solutions with a that refer specifically to the SDGs. Vontobel's Global Trend strategies also make reference to the SDGs.

With respect to climate change, investments in climate solutions turned out  to be the most important strategy in 2017. The measurement of the carbon footprint of portfolios ranked second. To measure the CO2 footprint, Vontobel works with the climate expert ISS Ethix Climate Solutions and uses the potentially avoided emissions (PAE) approach. Here, our analysts record the contribution that energy-efficient, climate-friendly products and services are expected to make to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the portfolio. When investing, PAE allows us to identify companies that can have a positive impact on the climate (Vontobel Sustainability Report).

Outlook: Demand from institutional clients remains the main driver of growth in the sustainable investment market.

According to the survey conducted for the market study, Swiss asset managers are generally optimistic about the future growth of the sustainable investment market. They regard the growing demand from institutional clients worldwide and in Switzerland as the main driver of that growth. Demand from private investors and international initiatives rank second and third among the key drivers.

Key drivers for Sustainable Investments demand in the next 3 years for Asset Managers
Development of Sustainable Investments in Switzerland


About SSF

Since 2014, Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) strengthens the position of Switzerland in the global marketplace for sustainable finance by informing, educating and catalyzing growth. Vontobel is a founding member and played a significant role in establishing the organization. Currently, SSF unites 100 members and network partners.

2018 Market Study


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