From a young age, Martina Daubenthaler, a trained banker and business graduate, was fascinated by the financial markets and early on recognized the crucial interaction between money and major social developments, in recent years in relation to sustainability. No wonder then that Martina Daubenthaler developed the BeneFaktor concept jointly with Alexander Berger and played a key role in realizing the associated product series. The first BeneFaktorIndices® and associated certificates launched in 2021 in cooperation with comdirect, LIXX, and Leonteq.
Reason enough to conduct an interview with the general manager of Stuttgart-based Daubenthaler & Cie. GmbH about the BeneFaktor series and the ideas behind it.
Question: How did you develop the idea for the BeneFaktorIndices®?
Answer: We designed the BeneFaktorIndices® for progressive private investors who care not only about ESG (Environmental Social Governance) but also about other factors such as transparency and non-profit.
The BeneFaktorIndices® are also intended for organizations and foundations that have their own products and want to use them to establish another fundraising pillar.
Question: What is particular about the BeneFaktor concept?
Answer: All BeneFaktorIndices® represent very clear investment solutions. There are ESG-compliant solutions and those that are not ESG-compliant in the classical sense.
This is evident when looking at the BeneFaktorIndex® Vegan, for example: “Vegan” is not necessarily “ESG,” but describes an overall movement towards less factory farming, more conscious handling and consumption of food, as well as saving CO2 – thus a good and important development for our environment. The BeneFaktorIndex® Vegan appeals not only to vegan investors, but also to those who want to invest in this fast growing future-oriented sector.
What is particular about all BeneFaktor products is that 10 percent of the annual fees are donated to an appropriate charitable organization. These donations are not paid by the investor but are automatically deducted by the issuer.
Question: Who is the target group for the BeneFaktorIndices®?
Response: The BeneFaktorIndices® targets investors who feel responsible for their environment and would like to make a contribution. Self-deciders who would like to have solutions in their portfolio that are in line with their personal convictions are also addressed, such as cyclists who want to invest in bicycle manufacturers and component producers.
That is why a variety of topics is so important to us because everyone has different interests and preferences: There are enthusiastic cyclists, passionate animal lovers, vegans, but also people interested in engineering whose minds are more attached to technological progress, for example space research or recycling.
Question: What were the challenges in implementing the BeneFaktorIndices®?
Answer: As is always the case with such new developments, it takes a certain amount of time from the initial idea to actual market launch. We selected our implementation partners very carefully.
For the market launch, we found comdirect as our distribution partner, Leonteq Securities (a participation of Raiffeisen group Switzerland) as issuer, and LIXX Index Innovation, one of the first certified EU benchmark administrators, as index administrator.
We were particularly pleased that immediately after issue the certificates were publicly listed for trading on Frankfurt Stock Exchange and BX Swiss Exchange.
Question: How did LIXX support you in solving these tasks?
Answer: In LIXX, we found a partner for the market launch that is not only an innovative, young company like us, but which above all recognized the social added value of a public welfare-oriented investment right away. It also implemented the project in a highly professional manner as part of its own sustainability strategy.
Question: What is your interim conclusion from the products released to date and what are your future plans?
Answer: We are pleased that no less than 18 certificates on the BeneFaktorIndices® have already been successfully launched in Germany and Switzerland. We have received positive feedback from all over the globe; for example and especially for the world’s first bicycle share index. Of course, this high demand leads us to prepare an international market entry and to expand into funds and ETFs. We will take this step after our usual sound preparation with the appropriate partners.
Question: Which of your BeneFaktorIndices® has performed particularly well to date?
Answer: The BeneFaktorIndices® only launched in 2021, but one performance stands out in particular: the BeneFaktorIndex® Recycling with some 43 percent in 2021. And all of this with a very old and unspectacular topic: the processing and recycling of waste products.
The interview was conducted by Elisabeth Maier in January 2022