When the EVZ Foundation was established in 2000, 700 million German marks (357.9 million euros) were set aside from the total assets for the purpose of setting up a foundation providing funding at the international level. The EVZ Foundation finances its promotional activities from the proceeds of this capital.
Half of the foundation's assets of DM10.1 billion (5.2 billion euros) were provided by funds from the German Industry Foundation Initiative and half by the German government. Most of this money was used for individual payments to former forced laborers and others affected by the injustices of National Socialism. According to the law, DM 700 million (357.9 million euros) of the total assets were earmarked for the establishment of an internationally active foundation. The EVZ Foundation finances its sponsorship activities from the proceeds of this capital.
The Foundation is aware of this historical responsibility and is therefore guided by the following criteria in its investment strategy:
• preserving and managing this special capital in compliance with sustainable investment principles,
• generating income that is used in accordance with the Foundation’s purpose.
The EVZ Foundation pursues three main objectives in the investment of its assets. First, capital investments
are to generate sufficient ordinary net income to cover the Foundation’s funding activities and institutional expenses with a controllable level of risk. Second, the capital is to retain its real, inflation-proof value over the long term. Finally, the availability of adequate liquidity for the Foundation’s ongoing business must be ensured at all times.
These three goals are achieved while taking into account social, environmental, and good governance criteria (hereafter: ESG criteria). The primary focus is ESG aspects that have a direct link to the purpose of the Foundation. Above all, this includes avoiding contemporary forms of forced labor and human rights abuses in the working environment. These are defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO). As a specialized agency of the UN, the ILO is responsible for developing, formulating and enforcing binding international labor and social standards.
The EVZ Foundation’s investment strategy seeks to diversify risks as broadly as possible by investing in highly diversified investment classes including shares, pensions, property, and infrastructure.
Its asset management pursues the principle of a “steady hand.” Strategies and earnings targets are based on a long-term approach. Short-term disruptions on the capital markets do not lead to modifications to the EVZ Foundation’s capital investment strategy. Nonetheless, the investment strategy undergoes an in-depth review every year. Modifications to support tactical measures are still permitted. The Foundation’s asset investment process is documented in full, follows modern compliance
requirements, and is designed so that decisions can be made on the basis of scientific findings and up-todate knowledge at any time. Activities are consistently subjected to the multiple-control principle and the requirements for corporate governance in the capital investment area.
The Foundation has already received five awards for its successful capital investment strategy: Four times with the portfolio institutionell Award - including the three categories "Best Foundation, Best Portfolio Structure and Best Investor Shares" - and as "Foundation of the Year" with the German & Austrian Peer-to-Peer Award.
The capital investments are administered by two capital management companies (KVG) with a central depositary and implemented
by means of specialized fund mandates. The liquidity required to meet the Foundation’s short-term requirements is held and managed by the Finance department in the direct portfolio.
The expenses for managing the Foundation’s assets consist of expenses for the depositary, capital management companies, manager remuneration, and expenses for advisory services.
The Board of Trustees of the EVZ Foundation adopted ESG investment guidelines in November 2021, paving the way for a more sustainable investment of the Foundation's assets. The focus is on environmental, social and corporate governance aspects that are linked to the foundation's purpose. This includes, in particular, the exclusion of current forms of unfree labor and human rights violations in its financial investments. In this way, the foundation will align its investments with key social and political goals, as defined in particular by the Paris Climate Accords, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Global Compact. In addition, various levels of exclusion criteria have been defined.
Different amounts are available each year for project funding.
All facts and figures on the financial investment and project funding can be found here.
The EVZ Foundation publishes its income and expenditure, including third-party funds, in an annual activity report. It is also a member of Transparency International's initiative Transparent Civil Society. The signatories of the initiative commit themselves to publishing ten transparency reports in order to strengthen trust and credibility for the public and donors.
The annual financial statement of the EVZ Foundation is compiled by the responsible individuals at the Foundation
in accordance with the provisions of the German Commercial Code (HGB) and audited by an auditing firm. In addition, an audit of the execution of the EVZ Foundation’s budget is conducted annually as per the German federal budget code by the Federal Office for Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues (BADV) and the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt), which are commissioned by the legal supervisory body of the EVZ Foundation. Finally, audits are conducted by the Federal Audit Office at irregular intervals.
Information on the asset advisory committee and the investment commission can be found under committees.