Shares and bonds


ESG criteria in connection with equities and bonds

We measure our external asset managers on the basis of whether they take environmental factors, social responsibility and sustainable corporate governance into consideration when selecting equity and bond investments and integrate these in the investment process. We carefully monitor the selection of equities and bonds and examine the ESG approaches of each individual asset manager.

For equity investments, the asset managers exercise their voting rights at the shareholders' meetings of the companies in order to enforce environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects.

What have we achieved?

  • 100 percent of our asset managers apply ESG criteria in the investment process.
  • Assets worth 16 billion are managed under consideration of ESG criteria.
  • All external asset managers of equity mandates are PRI signatories and continually update us on the progress they make. PRI stands for «Principles for Responsible Investment». 

How do we ensure the ESG discipline of our external asset managers?

Our external asset managers regularly inform us about the measures they have taken in the individual ESG disciplines. Depending on the result, we take systematic measures in order to implement our ESG integration standards.

The regular reports comprise seven topics:

  1. Application of the ESG criteria in the investment process
  2. Use of ESG-specific data providers to support the investment decision
  3. Regular portfolio analysis for ESG risks
  4. Direct ESG-oriented collaboration with the management of company invested in
  5. Regular training of employees
  6. Plans for the integration of the criteria
  7. Regular review of the progress made with regard to the integration of the ESG criteria

How can asset managers have a positive impact on corporate decisions?

Our external asset managers seek target-oriented dialog with the management of companies in which they invest our customers' assets. In this way, they exert a positive influence on the management and business practices. We attach great importance to this approach, which is in line with the Code of Conduct of the Zurich Insurance Group and supports the actions that our company as a whole strives to take.

How can shareholder voting rights give the corporate policy a positive turn?

An effective voting rights policy with systematic focus on ESG criteria effects changes at the corporate level and results in better investment decisions. Shareholder voting rights exist in Switzerland and abroad and are always exercised for the benefit of our customers. Within this process, the fund management of Zurich Invest Ltd exercises the shareholder rights and votes (on behalf of all investment groups with an underlying fund). This promotes sustainable corporate governance and the awareness of the significance of sustainability.

What we achieved in 2020:

  • 623 shareholders' meetings in which Zurich Invest Ltd cast votes
  • 9,521 proposals that were voted on
  • 13.2 percent of the votes were against the proposal of the Board of Directors

Here you can learn more about the votes cast in 2020.

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