“Responsibility is a cornerstone of Vienna Insurance Group's investment philosophy.”

Gerald Weber (illustration, © Kornel Stadler)

Gerald Weber, Head of VIG Asset Management

“Think globally – act locally” – Vienna Insurance Group also follows this guideline when making investment decisions. In the area of infrastructure investments, for example, this means supporting local projects that bring sustainable improvements in local living conditions. This includes providing affordable housing in Austria. At the end of 2016, Vienna Insurance Group had around EUR 3.7 billion in investments in non-profit societies. These organisations build and renovate homes with affordable rents, thereby giving a broad section of the population access to a home of their own.

In addition to increasing the stability of the housing market, this also promotes social solidarity, which is an important influence given the increase in rents, particularly in metropolitan areas. The extensive use of renovation in social housing also reduces energy use and therefore has a significant environmental impact. The use of multi-story buildings to increase density and reduce space requirements makes an important contribution, too.

Another key element of Vienna Insurance Group’s investment philosophy is investing in government bonds from the CEE region, thereby providing long-term capital for these countries. By doing so, we play the role of a sustainable investor in our own market.

A responsible investment strategy is particularly important for life insurance, given the long-term obligations that are created. Ensuring that these obligations can be fully satisfied in the future is a top priority when investments are made. The life insurance companies in the Group are required to use appropriate control measures to make sure that this is the case. The Group regularly performs maturity matching analyses to assist them with this. The use of current market parameters guarantees that Vienna Insurance Group is able to fulfil its obligations in this area at any time.