Our funds for private customers
Our open-ended real estate funds provide private investors with the opportunity to invest in broadly diversified portfolios that are actively managed by Union Investment, even where only modest amounts are available. The individual funds focus on different regions and have different risk-return profiles.
A stable foundation for investing in tangible assets
We have been making the same product promise to our investors for over 50 years: dependable investment with a balanced risk-return relationship. We regularly receive top marks from rating agencies for our high level of expertise in property management and tenant management.
These independent assessments also highlight our strong international capabilities, while our open-ended real estate funds likewise regularly perform very well in industry Ratings.
Broad-based product family
We offer our investors a range of opportunities across different real estate funds that deliver attractive performance. The Unilmmo funds are marketed exclusively through our partners in the cooperative “Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken” network. immofonds 1 is targeted at private investors in Austria.
About fund management
Find out more about our fund managers: UniImmo: Deutschland, UniImmo: Europa and UniImmo: Global.
Thomas Röhrs has worked in fund management at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH in Hamburg since July 2008. As Head of Fund Management for UniImmo: Deutschland, he is responsible for the performance, management, strategic direction and control of this open-ended real estate fund.
Prior to taking up his current position, Mr Röhrs was employed in various roles at investment management company WestInvest between 1995 and 2008. He was responsible for marketing the WestInvest retail funds up to 2004, first as sales director and then as head of sales. From 2005 onwards, he worked in an investor management role, supporting institutional investors and carrying out key sales support tasks. Thomas Röhrs then took over the position of fund manager of open-ended real estate fund WestInvest 1 in 2007. Mr Röhrs was an officer in the German armed forces until 1994. He studied business administration at the University of the German Armed Forces in Hamburg.
Broer Kalow has been head of fund management of the open-ended real estate fund UniImmo: Global since October 2020. He previously worked in fund management at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH from October 2010 to June 2018.
From July 2018 to September 2020, Broer Kalow was responsible for the management of open-ended and closed-ended investment vehicles for institutional investors at Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate as senior fund manager and authorised signatory.
He started his career at Ernst & Young, where Broer Kalow worked in due diligence and valuation of real estate and loan portfolio transactions from October 2006 to October 2010.
Axel Kleinefenn joined Union Investment Real Estate GmbH's fund management team in March 2021. He is responsible for the performance, management, strategic direction and steering of the UniImmo: Europa open-ended real estate fund.
Axel Kleinefenn worked already for Union Investment from May 2002 to March 2009, initially as a research analyst and then as a fund analysis and portfolio management specialist. In April 2009, he moved to fund management at Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate GmbH. Since April 2016, he has been Head of Fund Management, most recently responsible for a eighteen-member team of fund managers and analysts.
EU Disclosure Regulation
The EU Disclosure Regulation, which comes into force on 10 March 2021, obligates financial market participants to be more transparent when it comes to sustainability. It is the first major milestone in the implementation of the EU Action Plan for Sustainable Finance that aims to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, among other things.
The Union Investment Real Estste GmbH informs its investors about taking sustainability risks in consideration and about adverse sustainability impacts as follows:
The following description explains how sustainability risks are handled for the investment funds managed by Union Investment Real Estate GmbH (LEI 529900H8T3O0RWWDJA96).
Sustainability risks are environmental, social or governance events or conditions that, if they occur, could have a material impact – either actual or potential – on the value of the fund’s investments.
Sustainability risks are an integral part of known risks such as market risk, liquidity risk, counterparty risk and operational risk, and can influence the significance of these.
I. Investment decisions
At Union Investment, investment decisions are made on the basis of a fundamental assessment process. The principle of ESG integration is also embedded into all investment decisions. ESG integration is understood as the systematic consideration of sustainability factors during each of the key steps of the investment process. These sustainability factors include environmental, social and governance matters.
At Union Investment, a team of internal sustainability experts is responsible for integrating sustainability factors into the fundamental assessment process. The team deals for example with special types of real estate and countries which, due to specific events and/or structural trends, are particularly significant in terms of risk, income and valuation when sustainability aspects are taken into account. The team issues investment signals and recommendations for all the real estate, real estate funds, real estate companies and fund managers concerned.
II. Incorporating sustainability risks into investment decisions
Risk managers and sustainability experts analyse the most material sustainability risks for the respective property or real estate fund, thus adding information on financially significant sustainability risks to the classic acquisition due diligence.
The results of the ESG analysis are placed on record together with individual sustainability factors. The Union Investment fund managers have access to these documents, which enable them to assess the sustainability risks inherent in portfolios and base their investment decisions on their findings.
In order to minimise sustainability risks, the fund managers seek constructive dialogue with the asset managers responsible for servicing and developing the real estate. The goal is to actively develop the portfolios with reference to opportunities and risks that may be connected with sustainability factors (Manage to Green).
III. Impact on returns
In the long term, the way in which sustainability factors are treated can have a material impact on how the value of an investment develops. Real estate with insufficient sustainability standards may be more susceptible to event risks, reputational risks, regulator risks, litigation risks and technology risks. These sustainability risks can for example affect business operations, property value, the continued rentability of the property and the way in which it is managed. If these risks materialise, the investment could be negatively valued with a corresponding impact on the fund’s returns.
10.03.2021: Initial publication
As part of the UI cooperative financial group, the principles of cooperation have long bound us to act responsibly; we therefore make sure to do so both at corporate level and in our core business area of fund management. Sustainability is consequently a key element of Union Investment’s self-understanding. We implement this by taking adverse sustainability impacts into account in all our investment decisions. Our general strategy when dealing with matters of corporate responsibility and sustainability is also published regularly in our CSR report.
1. Key sustainability factors and adverse impacts
For the Union Investment Group, the most important sustainability factors are environmental, social and employee concerns, aspects of good corporate governance, respect for human rights, and anti-corruption. Investments have a particularly negative impact on these factors if they are associated with the co-financing of controversial business practices and/or controversial areas of business. Controversial business practices are specifically defined as violations of ILO labour standards (including child labour and forced labour), grave violations of human rights, grave violations of environmental standards, and corruption. Controversial areas of business include the manufacture of banned and controversial weapons (weapons of mass destruction, landmines, cluster bombs) and the mining and combustion of coal to generate electricity.
The adverse impacts that can arise from the co-financing of such business practices and areas of business are manifold, which is why detailed explanations based on examples are provided below. A violation of human rights is understood as a significant adverse impact on the peaceful and mutually respectful coexistence of humanity on Earth. Exploitative working conditions are clearly incompatible with equal opportunities, human dignity, and physical and mental integrity. Violations of environmental protection standards can lead to the extinction of species, water, soil and air pollution, or the destruction of natural resources, thus significantly impacting the living conditions required for nature and humanity to thrive. The increased emission of greenhouse gases, e.g. by burning coal for electricity, is clearly incompatible with global efforts to protect the climate.
2. Strategies for determining and weighting adverse sustainability impacts
Assessments of the adverse impacts of investments on the sustainability factors outlined above are based on internal analyses and on sustainability data supplied by external ESG data providers. The fund management of Union Investment follows the principle of ESG integration. This is understood as the systematic consideration of sustainability factors during each of the key steps of the investment process. Within this framework, sustainability experts and fund managers analyse the most important adverse sustainability impacts of (planned) investments and document the results. Union Investment’s fund managers then use this documentation to view and evaluate the adverse sustainability impacts of individual properties and entire portfolios (e.g. emissions of greenhouse gases, water intensity, below-average sustainability ratings or the degree of involvement in the extraction and storage of fossil fuels), basing their investment decisions on this information.
If significant adverse sustainability impacts are identified when making investment decisions, corresponding plans of action are reviewed by a team of experts. This team discusses strategies for managing adverse sustainability impacts and, depending on their nature and scope, extrapolates investment signals and recommendations for the real estate acquisitions affected and for all fund managers.
When evaluating the sustainability of investments, various sustainability considerations are weighted differently depending on their relevance to the investment in question. The most important factors include the consideration of investments in energy-efficient buildings and the avoidance of investments in buildings used to extract, store, transport or produce fossil fuels.
The energy efficiency of buildings is initially evaluated during the acquisition process on the basis of nationally available documents such as Energieausweise (Germany), Energy Performance Certificates (large parts of Europe) and Energy Star (USA); it is then systematically documented by Union Investment. Once the beneficial transfer of the real estate investments has taken place, Union Investment collects and systematically evaluates specific energy consumption data insofar as this is possible. National standards currently make it impossible to perform evaluations that comply with the specifications in ANNEX I (28) of the Regulatory Technical Standards under Regulation (EU) 2019/2088.
3. Measures for managing adverse sustainability impacts
Union Investment implements three principal measures to minimise or prevent adverse sustainability impacts caused by investment decisions.
1. ESG integration
As explained above, the principle of ESG integration ensures that sustainability considerations, and with them adverse sustainability impacts, are taken into account whenever investment decisions are made.
2. Exclusion criteria that apply throughout the Group
Real estate investments are excluded if the tenants or vendors are involved in controversial business practices and/or controversial areas of business. These include companies which violate ILO labour standards, including those on child labour and forced labour, or which are involved in corruption or grave violations of human rights or environmental standards. Business partners are also excluded if they manufacture banned and controversial weapons (weapons of mass destruction, landmines, cluster bombs) or exceed specific figures with regard to the mining and combustion of coal to generate electricity.
4. Integration of international standards and frameworks
Union Investment’s fiduciary function places it under an obligation to give top priority to investor interests. As well as applying the relevant laws and regulatory requirements, our approach to responsible investment is oriented on the foremost national and international standards, which serve as benchmarks when making decisions. These standards include the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the UN Global Compact (UNGC). We also use these principles to extrapolate the adverse sustainability impacts that are most significant in our case. Our understanding of values and our principles for engagement are based on the BVI Rules of Conduct (BVI 2019) and the German Corporate Governance Code (Government Commission DCGK 2019). Union Investment adheres to the principles of the EFAMA Stewardship Code (EFAMA 2018), the DVFA Stewardship Guidelines and the ZIA sustainability code for the real estate industry.
In December 2015, parallel to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, Union Investment adopted a climate strategy titled “2° are feasible” which expresses the corporation’s commitment to realising and proactively supporting the long-term political goals of reducing emissions. The Manage to Green strategy, a separate climate strategy for the real estate portfolio, was approved at the beginning of 2018 and has set the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
10.03.2021: Initial publication
30.06.2021: As of 30 June 2021, the company considers the main adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability factors as part of its investment decisions.