Invera stands for Investment Ethics Research & Advisory. Ethical and sustainability analyses for investors are our core competence. Our company was founded in 2005, but our dedication to sustainablity stretches back much further.
In 1982, Dr. Elisabeth Höller started an asset management company, specialising in ethical and sustainable investments. At that time, she was the sole player in her field, also in terms of research and data. Twenty-three years later, she set up her company Invera, which was registered in the Zurich commercial register on 1 April 2005, relying on her proven research approach. From that date, Invera has pursued a single objective:
Identification and development of investment solutions that generate an ecological, social and ethical impact alongside a financial return.
As a pioneer in the field of sustainable investing, we have an impressive track record combined with extensive experience. Our research has always focused on ethics and sustainability, which is why we did not need to rethink our strategy and refocus our company when sustainable investing became a major trend. The same holds true for our independent ethics committee: top-class and interdisciplinary, it regularly meets and assesses every investment opportunity that meets our standards, which go beyond the ESG criteria.
We offer a wide range of services to institutional and private investors, who benefit from our know-how, our experience and our network. Moreover, we have set up the ethical investment funds called “Excellent ESG Global Bond” and “Excellent ESG European Equity”, which were awarded the Austrian Eco-label for the highest standards for sustainable financial investments.
Daniel Hug is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Secretary of the Independent Ethics Committee. He has more than 30 years of experience in banking and finance. His experience includes positions as member of the executive board at VP Bank Switzerland, director at HSBC Private Bank and auditor at Ernst & Young. He holds a degree in Business Administration. Subsequently, he was awarded an executive master’s degree in Business Administration and became a Trust and Estate Practitioner TEP and Certified Financial Planner CFP.
Catherine Egger Hug is a member of the Board of Directors and administrative director of Invera. After graduating from high school, she trained as a librarian. Among other positions she has held, she served as an assistant director of Basisbibliothek Unitobler in Bern and at the Library of Business Administration at the University of Zurich. Since 2010, she has held also a position as head of administration of the independent asset management company Blankart & Cie in Zurich, which, like Invera, focuses on sustainable investing.
Verena Buntz is Invera’s sustainability expert and responsible for quality assurance and the continuous development of our range of sustainable investments. She has more than 15 years of experience in banking and finance and holds an MBA in Finance. Moreover, she is a Certified International Investment Analyst and Swiss Certified Treasurer. She also completed a postgraduate course in Sustainable Finance at the University of Zurich.
The Ethics Committee - from left: Daniel Hug, Georg Schweisfurth, Jörn Könke, Christoph Schwingenstein, Jens Soth, Klaus Baumann (Carol Franklin is not pictured)
The members of our ethics committee work hard, take independent decisions and are invaluable to Invera. During periodic conferences, they define, review and revise our strict exclusion criteria, whereby they set particularly tough standards for critical products and controversial practices that partially go above and beyond the ESG criteria. Each security must satisfy these exclusion criteria for inclusion in our investment universe. Furthermore, our ethics committee screens the underlying stock and bond holdings of our investment funds “Excellent ESG Global Bond” and “Excellent ESG European Equity” to ensure that these meet our high ethical standards at all times.
Christoph Schwingenstein has been actively involved in non-profit organizations and engaged in initiatives for sustainability since the mid-1990s. Among other positions he has held, he served as a board member of Munich’s Environmental Academy. As a specialist in the fields of ethical and ecological investments, he advises foundations, banks, church administrations, monasteries and state institutions. He has been a member of the Invera Ethics Committee since 2005, which he has chaired since 2009.
Klaus Baumann is a Catholic priest, licensed psychological psychotherapist and has been a professor of Caritas Science and Christian Social Work at the Faculty of Theology of the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg since 2004. He is a consultant and member of various scientific societies and advisory boards and editor-in-chief of the open access journal on religions and theology, Religions. He has been a member of the Invera Ethics Committee since 2010.
Carol Franklin is a senior executive overseeing the operational functions of several companies that pursue sustainable development goals in Switzerland and Panama. She was a director at Swiss RE (Aviation and Human Resources), CEO of WWF Switzerland, ombudswoman for the telecommunications industry and Postfinance Switzerland, and captain and division judge in the Swiss army. She has been a member of the Invera Ethics Committee since 2005.
Jörn Könke holds a degree in business administration and a doctorate in political science. Up until 1993, he held executive positions in publishing (including Süddeutsche Zeitung, Bild Group, Burda). He subsequently performed managerial, advisory or strategic tasks in charitable foundations, in the restructuring of family-owned companies, in setting up museums and in switching to comprehensive sustainability). He has been a member of the Invera Ethics Committee since 2009.
Georg Schweisfurth holds a degree in Economics, he is an author, butcher, managing director of the eco hotel Gut Sonnenhausen, co-founder and former board member of the Basic organic supermarket chain, the organic wholesaler EPOS Bio Partner and the Herrmannsdorfer Landwerkstätten, as well as honorary chairman of the board of the Environmental Academy Munich and was a member of the supervisory board of Greenpeace Germany from 2008 to 2018. He has been a member of the Invera Ethics Committee since 2007.
Jens Soth is an Agronomist and Environmental Engineer and an internationally recognized specialist in sustainable commodity value chains. He is a senior consultant at Helvetas, a lecturer in Environmental Economics and Commerce at the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences and an expert on the sustainability panel of the International Cotton Advisory Committee. The EU also nominated him as an expert on several occasions. In addition, he served as a co-managing director of EPEA, the Hamburg Environmental Institute, for ten years. He has been a member of the Invera Ethics Committee since 2009.
A specialised ethics research team employed by our partner Inrate applies the exclusion criteria determined by our independent ethics committee to individual stocks and issuers (Inrate, registered in Zurich, is an independent rating agency specialising in sustainability). This is how we arrive at our hand-picked Invera investment universe, which is updated every month. Our ethics committee meets quarterly with Inrate's ethics research team to discuss the impact of the exclusion criteria and any rating changes.
Valex Capital Ltd. in Pfäffikon / SZ is the asset manager of our funds “Excellent ESG Global Bond” and “Excellent ESG European Equity”. The responsible portfolio manager Verena Buntz is a proven specialist for sustainable investing.
Verena Buntz, portfolio manager at Valex Capital Ltd., manages both individual mandates and collective investment schemes as well as our ethical investment funds “Excellent ESG Global Bond” and “Excellent ESG European Equity”. She prepares fundamental data analyses for every single investment in the Invera universe. In addition to financial criteria, she analyses the ESG profile and selects investments that best meet the individual ESG criteria and have the highest earnings and/or growth potential.
Marcel Hess deputises Verena Buntz as portfolio manager of our ethical investment funds “Excellent ESG Global Bond” and “Excellent ESG European Equity”. He has extensive experience in banking and finance. He worked for Fisch Asset Management Ltd. in various capacities for many years, most recently as managing director and delegate of the board of directors. In 2009 he founded Valex Capital Ltd., which is licensed by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA. He completed his training in the trading business of Credit Suisse and supported institutional investors whilst working for an English broker. He has profound expertise in the equity, bond, derivative and convertible asset classes.
We have closely collaborated with Privus Ltd., Zurich, for many years in incorporating the results of our analyses into sustainable investing and asset management solutions.
Thomas Flothen is a founding member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Privus Ltd. in Zurich. After completing a banking apprenticeship and studying business administration at the Zurich Business School, he headed Bank of Ernst's wealth management department. He later founded and managed Wil Asset Management. He became a CFA Charterholder (Chartered Financial Analyst) in 2002
The specialists at the independent sustainability rating agency Inrate Ltd. in Zurich ensure that the exclusion criteria determined by our ethics committee are complied with at all times.