With a capital of 3.98 billion euros, the Volkswagen Foundation is one of the largest foundations in Europe. The task of asset management is not only to maintain the Foundation's endowment capital in real terms, but also to use the income to finance grants in general funding and business operations.
The Foundation's capital is broadly invested: Equities (49.3% of assets), interest-bearing securities (38.4%), real estate (11.1%), sundry investments (1.2%).
Sustainability in investment activities
The Foundation has been taking sustainability aspects into account in its investment activities for many years. The entire stock and bond portfolio is analyzed on an ongoing basis to determine whether so-called ESG criteria are being observed. The letters ESG stand for "Environment", "Social" and "Governance". ESG defines a standard that can be used to check how sustainable a company is.
The aim of the Foundation is to achieve the highest possible degree of sustainability with its investments – without jeopardizing the mission set out in its statutes, i.e., to invest the assets as profitably as possible.
The Investment Advisory Committee
The Foundation is advised on its investment strategy by five renowned representatives from business and science. The Asset Advisory Board meets twice a year. Its members are:
Professor Dr. Birgitta Wolff (Chairwoman)
Rectorate, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal
Chief Investment Officer and Member of the Management Board DZ Privatbank S.A., Luxembourg
Director, Head of Asset Management Infrastructure, Real Estate and ESG, BASF SE, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany
Dr. Michael Menhart
Chief Economist, Munich Re, Munich
Dr. Gertrud Traud
Chief Economist/Head of Research & Advisory, Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, Frankfurt am Main