UBS Asset Management's Global Real Estate ("GRE") business is pleased to announce its results in the 2016 GRESB Real Estate and Real Estate Debt assessments, which measure the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios worldwide, including property funds and companies. GRE has continued its strong showing from previous years, with a record number of GRE funds across the US, Europe and Asia represented in 2016 and top results achieved in every region.
Building further on its 2014 and 2015 successes when GRE secured eight and nine Green Stars, respectively, 14 of GRE's real estate equity funds from the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Japan – including three new entrants this year – have been awarded Green Star status in the 2016 GRESB Real Estate assessment, reflecting the first year GRE has achieved such a feat for all of its participating funds.
In addition, seven of these funds, spanning every region and sector GRE operates in, achieved the highest GRESB rating of 5-stars, reflecting upper quintile performance compared with the entire universe of participants, and overall, 13 of GRE's 14 real estate equity funds achieved a GRESB rating of at least 4-stars.
Most notably, one GRE fund investing in core residential real estate in Switzerland posted the strongest performance in its sector group (Listed European Residential), achieving Sector Leader status in its first year participating in the assessment, and a UK value-add fund investing in Central London offices again achieved strong performance globally to become the eighth best performer amongst 733 participants worldwide.
At the same time, GRE's two real estate debt funds in the UK and US again posted excellent results, with both achieving a GRESB rating of 5-stars, with the UK fund retaining its position at the top of the GRESB Real Estate Debt assessment and the US fund coming in third.
Thomas Wels, Head of Global Real Estate at UBS AM commented: "Sustainability is something that we take very seriously at GRE, and it firmly remains a key consideration for us at the highest levels of our business worldwide. Our continued success in the GRESB assessments is testament to our long-standing efforts in this regard and, crucially, to the efforts of our teams on the ground globally that oversee the consistent implementation of our Responsible Property Investing policies. I’m particularly proud of the global nature of GRE’s participation, demonstrating how important sustainability is in each of the sectors and markets we operate in, as we aim to coordinate our market-leading best practices at a truly global level.”
Underpinning GRE's sustainability efforts is GRE's Sustainability Workgroup, which comprises GRE professionals from several countries and disciplines, including engineering and construction, operations, research, asset management, fund as well as business management, and which has regional representation from the UK, US, Singapore, Switzerland, Continental Europe, Japan and Australia. Established in 2010, this Workgroup focuses on setting high-level objectives and targets and maximizing best practice sharing, as some technologies or policies start in one country and are adapted by other regions, and to provide implementation guidance. This team approach to sustainability has played a fundamental role in integrating sustainability into all of GRE’s investment practises worldwide and has enabled the business to consistently achieve excellent scores across a range of funds ever since it first participated in the GRESB assessment in 2011.
A summary of GRE's results for 2016 is shown in the table below.
|Real estate equity funds|
|Core Japanese industrial and infrastructure||Green Star||5-stars|
|Core Japanese retail||Green Star||4-stars|
|Core Japanese office||Green Star||4-stars|
|Core US commercial property||Green Star||5-stars|
|Value add US diversified||Green Star||5-stars|
|Core Swiss residential||Sector Leader, Green Star||5-stars|
|Core Swiss diversified (unlisted)||Green Star||4-stars|
|Core Swiss diversified (listed)||Green Star||3-stars|
|Core European office and retail||Green Star||5-stars|
|Core European office||Green Star||5-stars|
|Core German logistics||Green Star||4-stars|
|Value add UK office||Green Star||5-stars|
|Core UK commercial property||Green Star||4-stars|
|Core Eurozone diversified||Green Star||4-stars|
|Real estate debt funds|
|UK debt fund||n/a||5-stars|
|US debt fund||n/a||5-stars|
Source: GRESB Real Estate and Real Estate Debt benchmark reports 2016
GRESB (formerly known as the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) is an investor-driven organization that is transforming the way it assesses the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real assets globally, including real estate portfolios and infrastructure assets. More than 250 members, of which about 60 are pension funds and their fiduciaries, use the GRESB data in their investment management and engagement process, with a clear goal to optimize the risk/return profile of their investments. GRESB has assessed nearly 1,100 property companies and funds, on behalf of close to 60 institutional investors. GRESB is an independent organization not connected to UBS Asset Management's GRE business area.
This year's GRESB Real Estate assessment was completed by 759 real estate companies and funds/portfolios (733 excluding developers) across 63 countries worldwide, representing a total property value of USD 2.8 trillion and 66,000 individual property assets under management. GRESB Real Estate collects information regarding the sustainability performance of property companies and funds, including information on performance data, such as energy, GHG emissions, water and waste. The assessment also covers broader sustainability issues, such as sustainability risk assessments, performance improvement programs, and engagement with employees, tenants, suppliers and the community.
GRESB’s global benchmark uses a consistent methodology across different global regions, investment vehicles and property types. Participants’ scores are based on seven detailed aspects – Management, Policy & Disclosure, Risks & Opportunities, Monitoring & EMS, Performance Indicators, Building Certifications & Energy Ratings, and Stakeholder Engagement.
Starting in 2015, GRESB began gathering information regarding the sustainability performance of companies and funds specialising in real estate debt. The GRESB Real Estate Debt assessment is specifically tailored to the functions and processes of real estate lenders and debt portfolio owners, and is designed to capture sustainability engagement and performance metrics on a worldwide basis. The scores of the 18 participants are based on five key sustainability factors: Management, Policy & Disclosure, Due Diligence, Monitoring and Opportunities.
UBS Asset Management is a large-scale asset manager, with around 3,5001 employees located in 22 countries. We offer investment capabilities and investment styles across all major traditional and alternative asset classes.
We take a connected approach to find the answers to our clients' investment challenges. Our global capabilities include equity, fixed income, currency, hedge funds, real estate, infrastructure and private equity investment capabilities that can also be combined into customized solutions and multi asset strategies. Complementing our investment offering, our fund services business provides professional white-labeling services including fund set-up, accounting and reporting for traditional and alternative funds.
Invested assets totaled CHF 633 billion (EUR 584 billion, GBP 487 billion, USD 647 billion) as at 30 June 2016. We are a leading fund house in Europe, the third largest international asset manager in Asia, the largest mutual fund manager in Switzerland2 and one of the largest fund of hedge funds and real estate investment managers in the world.
UBS Asset Management's Global Real Estate business actively manages real estate investments of approximately USD 78.4 billion3globally and regionally within Asia Pacific, Europe and the US, across the major real estate sectors, making it one of the largest real estate managers worldwide. Its capabilities are focused on core and value-added strategies, but also include other strategies across the risk / return spectrum. These are offered on a global, regional and country basis and through open- and closed-end private funds, REIT's, customized investment structures, multi-manager funds, individually managed accounts and real estate securities.
|1||Thereof around 1,100 from Corporate Center (as at 31 December 2015)|
|2||Source: Morningstar/Swiss Fund Data Swiss Promoters Report (as of 30 June 2016)|
|3||Asset under management stated on gross asset values basis, reflecting property values as at 30 June 2016. Includes assets managed by our joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan.|
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