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07.11.2006

Capital Invest Becomes Pioneer Investments Austria

  • As of tomorrow new company name, new fund names come into force on 8 February 2007
  • Vienna is the competence centre for guaranteed products, CEE and Austria funds
  • Group-internal reorganisation strengthens portfolio

The starting signal has been given for Pioneer Investments Austria: Tomorrow, Capital Investment, the capital investment company of Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) Group will officially change its name to Pioneer Investments Austria. Parallel to this, new designations will be successively introduced for the retail investment funds, with the addition "Capital Invest" in the fund names being replaced by “Pioneer Funds Austria-“.  Unlike the company name, the new fund names will only finally come into effect in three months time, i.e. on 8 February 2007. “This ‘rebranding’ will enable us to utilise the brand strength of the renowned global investment company. I expect this to give a boost to our market presence in Austria”, said Helmut Sobotka, Chairman of the Management Board of Pioneer Investments Austria.

The name change will have no consequences for fund investors. The funds will still be classified as Austrian funds and will be subject to the Austrian Investment Fund Act. Neither will the fund focus or investment principles be affected, historic data such as calculated values will be preserved in full. The range of products for institutional investors will also remain unchanged. “We will probably bring the first real Pioneer product onto the market in November”, said Werner Kretschmer, BA-CA director for Private Banking and Asset Management, announcing the launch of a new fund.

Globally present Pioneer Investments was founded in Boston in 1928 and it is the third-oldest investment company in the USA. It employs some 2,300 people worldwide and operates in 22 countries. At the end of 2005 it managed assets totalling approximately EUR 216 billion. In 2000 the Pioneer Group was taken over by the UniCredit Group.

The predecessor of Pioneer Investments Austria was founded in 1956 by Creditanstalt as Österreichische Investment Gesellschaft (ÖIG). It is thus the oldest capital investment company in Austria. In 1998 ÖIG was merged with the capital investment fund of Bank Austria to form Capital Invest, which currently manages total assets of EUR 26 billion. “Our fund management is significantly expanding its international expertise. With an additional 66 Pioneer Funds, we are immediately increasing the portfolio of our own funds significantly," said Werner Kretschmer from BA-CA's Management Board.

Number 2 among Austrian Capital Investment Companies by 2010
With a market share of 15.8 per cent, Pioneer Investments Austria is currently the 
3rd ranking capital investment company in Austria, and aims to become the Number 2 by 2010.  “This goal is absolutely feasible. We offer our customers a unique combination of global and local investment expertise, and we are taking over a well-established, international brand", said Helmut Sobotka. In the first three quarters of 2006 the Austrian market as a whole has grown by just under 5 per cent, with Pioneer Investments Austria growing by 6.6 per cent in the same period.

Reorganisation within the Group
As envisaged in the new “Bank of Regions” agreement, BA-CA will transfer Pioneer Investments Austria to the Pioneer Group within the group by the middle of 2007. The Pioneer Group is UniCredit’s product factory for investments. Vienna will act as a local investment centre within this network besides Munich, Milan, Warsaw and Prague. As such, it will implement the global investment strategies, augmenting them with local specialist expertise. In accordance with this, Pioneer Investment Austria will be the competence centre for guaranteed products, CEE and Austria funds.

The purpose of this reorganisation is to simplify Group structure and corporate governance at the UniCredit Group so that the individual business units have a clear responsibility and focus on their respective core markets, and to improve control of business areas in order meet business targets. While global responsibility for investment funds will rest with the Pioneer Group, BA-CA will be responsible for the business in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) within the UniCredit Group. Together with the UniCredit Group it now operates the largest international banking network in Central and Eastern Europe with 3,000 branches. Over 60,000 employees serve some 24 million customers.

Enquiries:  Capital Invest – Marketing, PR & New Media
Andreas Nurscher, Phone 331 73-2200
e-mail: andreas.nurscher@capitalinvest.at

Bank Austria Creditanstalt – Press Relations Austria
Tiemon Kiesenhofer, Phone 05 05 05-52819
e-mail: tiemon.kiesenhofer@ba-ca.com