Erste Asset Management


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“Gesundheit!” – “(good) health!”: this German loanword has become synonymous with the wish of physical and mental well-being for others in social life. No surprise there: for many, good health is the ultimate wish and the most precious good. In France, every glass of wine is accompanied by “santé!”. In Austria, it is “Zum Wohl!”. Historically, this wish used to be desperately needed, given that many of the medical breakthroughs have only been with us since the previous century, sometimes much shorter.

The relationship to health has changed to such a degree that the formerly omnipresent “Bless you!” in response to someone sneezing is now considered rude, considering that it might be seen as pointing to a significant health issue on the sneezer’s part. And of course, recent months have put a whole different spin on this situation altogether. Either way, the interpretation of health as something on would wish on someone else may be out of place.

The former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, said about this that health was no wish, but that instead it had to be a human right.

As a core element of a fair society, health(care) is therefore one of the three pillars of the ERSTE FAIR INVEST fund.

Health – an unequally distributed good

In a developed country like Austria, with a fully developed, public healthcare system health insurance, we may forget that health(care) is an unequally distributed good. Even in the USA, one of the most developed countries in terms of  medicine, comparatively simple diseases or injuries may mean the financial ruin for a person. 27.5mn US citizens, or just below 10% of the population, did not have health insurance in 2018. In Austria, a significant number of people are in a similar situation. From a global perspective, the picture is even worse. Emerging economies in particular often lack the most basic medical care. Even in some CEE states, a healthcare system as we know it is only just emerging.

Therefore, in order to ensure healthy people, it takes more than the latest cutting-edge technology in medical therapies. What it takes, is access to these therapies.

This is a fact that we also take into consideration when selecting the companies that go into ERSTE FAIR INVEST. It is why the fund, at its outset, invested for example in Gilead Sciences, a US pharmaceutical company that engages in pioneering research in areas such as oncology as well as diseases like hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS, which affect emerging countries disproportionately. The unique aspect is the fact that Gilead cooperates with local partners in these countries that provide the various drugs at extremely discounted rates or even for free. This way, an estimated 12mn people are currently receiving HIV therapies from Gilead; and in 2013, up to 100mn people received a revolutionary drug against an incurable form of hepatitis C. Thus, the company creates the chance of a cure for countless people and creates an enormously positive impact on society. While Gilead has repeatedly been subjected to criticism for marketing its drugs in developed markets for steep prices, to us this seems secondary in nature compared to the aforementioned added value. At the same time, other pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis were suing against the production of generic copies of its drugs in India for the use in developing countries.

This describes the area of conflict that every investment/investor has to navigate in social impact: generating the maximum amount of solutions for many, especially poor people while turning a profit. What some may see as contradiction is none – from our point of view. We believe that in the medium to long term, positive impact and economic success will support each other.

More than just a cure

Above, we have interpreted health largely as being cured from disease. This is too reductive. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not just as the absence of disease or ailment. The mentioning of well-being illustrates the many socio-political questions that are entangled with the issue of health(care), such as poverty. It also shows that health on a personal level is much more than just the cure from disease.

Therefore, ERSTE FAIR INVEST, too, interprets the issue more widely than health and well-being. We also invest in themes such as healthy diet and sports. These are areas where a certain degree of consumption can have a positive impact on the well-being of people. In addition, they both help directly in the prevention of diseases. This is both an enormously positive contribution to society and an approach for the individual that is preferable to having to cure a disease. More and more people recognise this opportunity, which creates an enormous growth potential for these two themes.

Why pets?

This question has been asked time and again since the launch of the fund. The answer is: mental health. International studies show that pets contribute significantly to the mental well-being of their owners. The corona crisis in particular, with its recurrent pattern of lockdowns, has boosted the number of pets. Pets are therefore not only – excuse the term – nice to look at, but they also contribute to physical, mental, and social well-being, i.e. to health as defined by the WHO.

Health is more than just a pillar

The question of mental health in particular shows how the theme is integrated with other pillars of the ERSTE FAIR INVEST fund. The maintenance of mental health of a company’s employees is becoming more and more important in the corporate sector, as has the avoidance of workplace accidents done for years – with very immediate financial implications. Education also demonstrably contributes in a positive way to human well-being. The creation of ways to earn a living at least provides a relative form of financial well-being via financial inclusion.

Health(care) is thus (one of) the theme(s) that <falsches “dass”> strongly unites the sustainable goals of ERSTE FAIR INVEST and offers chances from a human and investment perspective.

Therefore: Gesundheit!

Read the full ESGenius newsletter on social responsibility and sustainable investing:

Legal note:

Prognoses are no reliable indicator for future performance.



Legal disclaimer

This document is an advertisement. Unless indicated otherwise, source: Erste Asset Management GmbH. The language of communication of the sales offices is German and the languages of communication of the Management Company also include English.

The prospectus for UCITS funds (including any amendments) is prepared and published in accordance with the provisions of the InvFG 2011 as amended. Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG is prepared for the alternative investment funds (AIF) administered by Erste Asset Management GmbH pursuant to the provisions of the AIFMG in conjunction with the InvFG 2011.

The currently valid versions of the prospectus, the Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG, and the key information document can be found on the website under “Mandatory publications” and can be obtained free of charge by interested investors at the offices of the Management Company and at the offices of the depositary bank. The exact date of the most recent publication of the prospectus, the languages in which the key information document is available, and any other locations where the documents can be obtained are indicated on the website A summary of the investor rights is available in German and English on the website and can also be obtained from the Management Company.

The Management Company can decide to suspend the provisions it has taken for the sale of unit certificates in other countries in accordance with the regulatory requirements.

Note: You are about to purchase a product that may be difficult to understand. We recommend that you read the indicated fund documents before making an investment decision. In addition to the locations listed above, you can obtain these documents free of charge at the offices of the referring Sparkassen bank and the offices of Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG. You can also access these documents electronically at

N.B.: The performance scenarios listed in the key information document are based on a calculation method that is specified in an EU regulation. The future market development cannot be accurately predicted. The depicted performance scenarios merely present potential earnings, but are based on the earnings in the recent past. The actual earnings may be lower than indicated. Our analyses and conclusions are general in nature and do not take into account the individual characteristics of our investors in terms of earnings, taxation, experience and knowledge, investment objective, financial position, capacity for loss, and risk tolerance.

Please note: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of the future performance of a fund. Investments in securities entail risks in addition to the opportunities presented here. The value of units and their earnings can rise and fall. Changes in exchange rates can also have a positive or negative effect on the value of an investment. For this reason, you may receive less than your originally invested amount when you redeem your units. Persons who are interested in purchasing units in investment funds are advised to read the current fund prospectus(es) and the Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG, especially the risk notices they contain, before making an investment decision. If the fund currency is different than the investor’s home currency, changes in the relevant exchange rate can positively or negatively influence the value of the investment and the amount of the costs associated with the fund in the home currency.

We are not permitted to directly or indirectly offer, sell, transfer, or deliver this financial product to natural or legal persons whose place of residence or domicile is located in a country where this is legally prohibited. In this case, we may not provide any product information, either.

Please consult the corresponding information in the fund prospectus and the Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG for restrictions on the sale of the fund to American or Russian citizens.

It is expressly noted that this communication does not provide any investment recommendations, but only expresses our current market assessment. Thus, this communication is not a substitute for investment advice, does not take into account the legal regulations aimed at promoting the independence of financial analyses, and is not subject to a prohibition on trading following the distribution of financial analyses.

This document does not represent a sales activity of the Management Company and therefore may not be construed as an offer for the purchase or sale of financial or investment instruments.

Erste Asset Management GmbH is affiliated with the referring Sparkassen banks and Erste Bank.

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