Columna Collective Foundation Group Invest About the Foundation

Take a look behind the scenes at the Columna Collective Foundation Group Invest and find out everything you need to know about our history, organization, and our investment strategy.

Columna Collective Foundation Group Invest

The Columna Collective Foundation Group Invest in Winterthur was founded on March 15, 1984. Its purpose is to manage the occupational old-age, survivors’, and disability benefits insurance of its affiliated companies throughout Switzerland. To this end, it provides mandatory occupational benefits insurance and also offers pension plans comprising extra-mandatory benefits.

The Foundation's focus is on the long-term interests of its insured members. This encompasses not only financial aspects, but a healthy age structure too. The Board of Trustees seeks to achieve growth that is geared to the long term so as to safeguard the Foundation's robust structure and performance in the interests of its over 40,000 insured members. 

The Columna Collective Foundation Group Invest merged with the AXA Occupational Benefits Foundation in 2022, thereby securing a high level of growth on a sustainable basis. The merger also allowed the Foundation to further strengthen its stability and sound basis.

Management of investments

  • The Board of Trustees defines the investment strategy; the Foundation with its affiliated pension funds bears the investment risk.
  • The assets are invested by Credit Suisse and AXA Asset Management.

Protection of pension benefits

  • Benefits due if an insured becomes disabled or dies before retirement age are reinsured with AXA Life Ltd.
  • The Foundation pays the retirement benefits and the associated surviving dependents' pensions in the event of an insured member's death after retirement age.

Interest model

  • The model the Board of Trustees has put in place for interest on the retirement assets delivers the greatest possible scope for the affiliated pension funds in terms of transparency and the ability to plan. The interest is based on the Foundation's coverage ratio and the performance of the assets.

Administration and management

  • AXA Life Ltd

Our differentiated investment strategy

The aim of the Columna Collective Foundation Group Invest is to ensure that you and your employees can maintain the same living standards in retirement. To this end, the Board of Trustees makes use of the opportunities presented by the capital markets, applying a differentiated investment strategy through the two sub-strategies “Mandatory” and “Extra-mandatory”. These form the basis of the interest model.

Extra-mandatory retirement assets tend to enjoy a higher rate of interest. This means there is a prospect of earning a higher level of interest, which in turn leads to higher retirement benefits for insured members.

Advantages of the Group Invest investment strategy

"With two investment strategies, we offer our customers security coupled with the prospects of higher interest – so that they can maintain their accustomed standard of living in retirement.”

Andreas Schläpfer, Chair of the Columna Collective Foundation Group Invest

Organization of the Foundation

The Board of Trustees is the highest governing body and carries responsibility for the Columna Collective Foundation Group Invest. It determines and monitors the strategy, is responsible for managing the investments, and also ensures the Foundation's sustainable development and independence. The prime focus is its obligations to beneficiaries. 

The Board of Trustees has entrusted AXA Life Ltd with the management of the Foundation. AXA Life Ltd is responsible for operational management as well as distribution, and guarantees direct and transparent communication with beneficiaries and companies.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of the Columna Collective Foundation Group Invest is composed of the following members:

  • Andreas Schläpfer (Chair)

    Andreas Schläpfer (Chair)

    Employer representative

    Emil Egger AG, St. Gallen
    Head of Finance and Controlling

  • Hans Rudolf Haefeli

    Hans Rudolf Haefeli

    Employer representative

    Reoplan Treuhand AG, Bern
    Member of the Executive Board

  • Thomas Valda

    Thomas Valda

    Employer representative

    Puls Baumanagement GmbH, Winterthur
    Executive Board

  • Giuseppe Costa

    Giuseppe Costa

    Employee representative

    HRM Systems AG, Winterthur
    Head of Actuarial

  • Vanessa Emmenegger

    Vanessa Emmenegger

    Employee representative

    M&S Software Engineering AG, Bern

  • Angela Hagemann

    Angela Hagemann

    Employee representative

    Eaton Automation GmbH, St. Gallen
    Internal Sales


The management is responsible for the operational management of the Foundation, advises the Board of Trustees on strategic issues, and bears the responsibility for implementing the decisions of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees is responsible for appointment.

  • Claudia Borsari Zappa

    Claudia Borsari Zappa

    Managing Director Columna Collective Foundation Group Invest

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