Video source: YouTube, CNBC International TV
Authorities in the US and Germany are investigating Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm DWS Group following allegations that the firm exaggerated the use of sustainable criteria to manage its assets.
The probe was launched after DWS Group’s former sustainability chief, Desiree Fixler, told The Wall Street Journal earlier this month that the $1 trillion Frankfurt-based asset manager overstated its environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing efforts.
The Journal noted that DWS has had difficulties with its ESG investing strategy and “at times painted a rosier-than-reality picture to investors.”
According to Bloomberg, Fixler was dismissed in March, just six months after she started in DWS’s newly-created role of group sustainability officer, a move that suggested her progress to mainstream ESG investing was too slow.
Her responsibilities were taken over by DWS’s chief executive officer Asoka Woehrmann, who has said several times over the past year and a half that sustainability is a key part of his strategy for the asset manager.
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, the firm’s local financial markets regulator, along with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and federal prosecutors from the US attorney’s office in Brooklyn, New York, are investigating DWS.
In a statement, DWS said it stands by its annual report disclosures and rejected what it described as “unfounded allegations.”
The firm also said it will “remain a steadfast proponent of ESG investing as part of its fiduciary role on behalf of its clients.”
Source: Equities News