AQUIS Capital AG and its affiliated companies* are committed to create a positive, long-term impact for its stakeholder. As an active and responsible asset management firm, AQUIS’ mission is to provide innovative and sustainable investment solutions for its clients. For AQUIS it is paramount to achieve the best possible alignment with sustainable growth and development in order to fulfill its mission.
Our vision is to play an active role as a responsible investor in order to create positive impact. We engage with stakeholders, investee companies and funds in order to drive and bring forward the topic of sustainable and responsible investment.
As much as we believe in the value of ESG as investor, we hold ourselves accountable to ambitious standards in our daily interactions with stakeholders. Dedication, transparency and accountability are cornerstone values of our philosophy.
Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) considerations are an important aspect of our firm’s culture are a crucial driver of sustainable growth and superior investment returns.
In order to reflect our commitment and engagement on corporate and product level, we developed a holistic sustainability strategy that takes both pillars into consideration. The strategy builds on a materiality analysis in the context UN Sustainable Development Goals and Target as framework objectives. The materiality assessment reveals that the most effective contribution to sustainable growth can be achieved through providing responsible and sustainable investment solutions. Several of AQUIS products integrate actively ESG in investment decisions. AQUIS’ goal is to continuously lifting the bar in terms of sustainability in order to achieve a leading position in the respective ESG focused product strategy. AQUIS not only expecting investee companies and funds to embrace sustainability, it also is committed to uphold the standards on firm level.
At AQUIS, the CEO is directly overseeing the sustainability strategy, goal attainment and further developments.
1. Corporate Responsibility
1.1 Corporate Governance
Code of Conduct
AQUIS is committed to high ethical standards in all business dealings. In every contact with stakeholders, we act with integrity, due skill and care.
We put clients interest before our own and in particular before personal interest. We never let personal interests influence our work and dealings with clients. AQUIS employees and directors don’t offer or accept improper gifts or payments from clients and partners.
We always make sure, that our products are suitable and adequate for our clients.
We keep information secure and safe and protect client’s privacy rights. We are determined to handle all data appropriately and with due care.
AQUIS follows a zero-tolerance policy with regards to corruption, bribery and money laundering.
We have internal control systems in place to detect and report any form of misconduct.
Organization and Resources
Responsible management means to consider Economic, Social and Environmental criteria in all decisions. The CEO is responsible for implementing, representing, developing and managing the sustainability efforts at AQUIS. The CEO ensures that adequate rules, guidelines and control functions are in place to meet all regulatory standards. He also makes sure that enough resources are dedicated on product and corporate level.
The CEO does not receive variable ESG-linked compensation awards, however, to remuneration for the management of the sustainability strategy is included in the fixed remuneration package.
1.2 Social Responsibility
Working Environment / Health & Safety
Motivated and competent employees are essential to client satisfaction and thus the long-term success of AQUIS. We aim to create an environment where talented individuals with diverse background can strive and carry forward our mission.
AQUIS is committed ensure a healthy and safe working environment and a corporate culture that is supported by all employees. We respect the opinions of others and the dignity, the privacy and personal rights of each individual.
AQUIS offers ergonomic work places and flexible work models to support employees in creating a sustainable work life balance.
Diversity and equal opportunity
At AQUIS we celebrate diversity and we are proud to have a diverse team of individuals with different backgrounds, ethnicities and genders.
AQUIS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and committed to the principle of equal treatment, equal opportunities and equal pay.
We do not tolerate discrimination and harassment of any kind. Expressively we prohibit any discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, beliefs, nationality, ethnic origin and gender.
We are committed to uphold human rights. In this regard, we consider in particular the principles stipulated in the UN Global Compact and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in all of our endeavours.
AQUIS works together with clients, partners and investee companies from all over the world. AQUIS seeks the dialogue with all stakeholders on ESG and sustainability related matters.
This engagement aligns well with the UN Principles of Responsible Investment (UNPRI) which we pledge to uphold as a signatory. AQUIS integrates ESG, is an active owner and seek appropriate disclosures from investee companies.
1.3 Environmental Management and Stewardship
Climate Change is a global challenge and everyone is affected. Managing environmental risks and opportunities is in particular relevant on product level. However, also on corporate level we integrate environmental considerations into business decisions. We also directly recognize the economic benefits of eco-efficiency. The responsible use of materials and the improvement of energy efficiency, play an essential role in our operational processes.
When procuring office materials and goods, AQUIS considers eco-friendly local products.
2. Sustainable Product Offering
The most material impact we can create is through our products. We belief that it is essential to achieve the best possible alignment with sustainable economic growth to achieve our economic targets and exceed our client expectations.
In order to achieve our mission, AQUIS actively manages sustainability risks and opportunities and integrates ESG factors in investment decisions. AQUIS manages funds of different asset classes and profiles and thus each investment product has its own approach regarding ESG risk management. AQUIS engagement in various asset classes enables the firm to address sustainability challenges in different ways.
Currently two investment strategies follow a particular commitment regarding sustainability: the Lumen Vietnam Fund and the IMPACTIS Fund of Hedge Funds. AQUIS monitors key ESG metrics for both funds on an ongoing basis. AQUIS puts great efforts to collect as much relevant ESG information as possible, also in collaboration with third parties, to guarantee the best possible monitoring and management. Regarding SFDR Art 4 AQUIS is opting for the solution “Explain”, as certain pre-defined, principal adverse impact indicators are not easily available on corporate level.
Lumen Vietnam Fund
The Lumen Vietnam Fund, a UCITS-compliant fund focussing on the Vietnamese equity market, looks back on a long tradition of ESG investing. ESG criteria are integrated throughout the entire investment process.
In the initial phase, a rigid exclusion and controversy screen is applied. Before a company is considered in the investable universe, the potential investee company is screened on its exposure and dependency on products that constitute a high risk and/or burden for society. In a second step, the potential investee company is screened on its potential involvement in controversies and unethical business practices. Severe controversies, and breaches of international norms are often related to Principal Adverse Sustainability Impacts, with significant negative impact on the environment and social aspects including human rights.
Subsequently, selected companies will undergo an ESG due diligence process. In order to assess the ESG risk and opportunity profile of a company, the sector specialist will consider particular ESG criteria in the investment thesis. The ESG criteria used in the investment analysis are selected and monitored in collaboration with an external ESG consultant.
The management team of the LVF engages regularly on material ESG topics and ESG disclosures with selected investee companies.
IMPACTIS – A World of Sustainable Hedge Funds
Impactis is a Fund of Hedge Funds which invests exclusively in target hedge funds with a strong alignment and compatibility with sustainable economic growth and with solid ESG management practices. Increased public awareness of climate change and it’s consequences have an influence on societal preferences and behaviours. The shift in consumer demand and the regulatory support catalyses the adaption of sustainable solutions and innovations across sectors.
In order to be eligible in the investable universe, target hedge funds must reveal a strong ESG focus, strong ESG integration mechanisms, strong ESG performance and a solid level of transparency. Relevant information is gathered through a benchmarked and structured ESG Due Diligence Process which is conducted bi-annually. The systematic information obtained is fed into a proprietary ESG framework which assesses the answers in a structured manner. Only the best performing funds are eventually investable. The structured approach supports also the ongoing monitoring of ESG risks and opportunities.
Impactis Fund offers investors access to specialist Hedge Funds who are able to identify structural winners and losers that emerge as the world shifts to a more sustainable, lower carbon and diverse economy. The ESG Hedge Funds’ universe is continuously evolving due to the momentum of the transition. Impactis invests in various investment approaches and risk exposures to avoid multiple overlaps. Although the Fund is expected to be rather concentrated, the core of the underlying strategies provides a high level of diversification in terms of ESG management strategies.
*Aquis Management Sarl and VietNam Holding Asset Management (VNHAM)