UBS: 20 years of impact

Written by: UBS Posted: 20/11/2020

BL67_UBS_Marc_NightingaleUBS Jersey Branch Client Advisor Marc Nightingale (pictured) shares highlights of the UBS Optimus Foundation 2019 Annual Review, celebrating 20 years of impact

Twenty years ago, we established the UBS Optimus Foundation to partner with our clients and employees and help them to improve the lives of the most vulnerable around the world. Since that time, we’ve raised more than half a billion US dollars.

For the past two decades, our foundation has focused on the health, education and protection of children – 
as these are some of the most essential factors to ensure a successful future. 

We have supported innovations from inception to scale, working with social entrepreneurs and enabling social finance to tackle some of the most pressing global issues.

The foundation has a limited set of collective portfolio areas focused on long-term impact. 

We engage with philanthropists and social organisations, gathering evidence and experience from our frontline work to identify best-in-class programmes that we have selected for their impact and scalability. We review our collective portfolios regularly and periodically exit and add new areas.

Funds raised through the foundation have been split between the following worthwhile programmes:
• 45% invested in healthcare
• 24% invested in education
• 20% invested in child protection
• 11% invested in emergency relief.

Child trafficking and modern slavery: a case study

Slavery, unfortunately, has not been consigned to the history books. In 2017, more than 41 million men, women and children were victims of modern slavery – four million of these people enslaved in the sex industry and 16 million working in business supply chains to provide the goods that power the global economy. 

If slavery were a company, it would have made more profits in 2016 than the top four profitable companies in the world – more than $150bn, according to the International Labour Organization.

Philanthropy has been at the forefront of tackling slavery, supporting innovative work to strengthen the resilience of communities at risk, to strengthen law enforcement and justice systems and to work with businesses to effectively uncover and monitor labour abuses.

That is why we came together with our partners The Freedom Fund, International Justice Mission, and Survivor Alliance to start Justice, Hope, and Liberty (JHL).

JHL is a ground-breaking collaboration that aims to build a comprehensive, scalable and portable model that mobilises government, communities and survivors to end commercial sexual exploitation of children in Bangladesh.

This initiative offers the opportunity to invest collectively to tackle commercial sexual exploitation of children, not just in Bangladesh but also to develop an effective model that can be replicated globally. 

Urgent call for action

The UN has established 17 Sustainable Development Goals that it describes as an ‘urgent call for action’ for all countries, both developing and developed, to lift hundreds of millions out of poverty, create safe and equitable work environments, and protect our planet. 

Yet with a $2.5trn annual investment funding gap, it’s clear that a new, more collaborative approach is necessary. 

We believe that philanthropy at scale is best placed to catalyse the profound change that is required to meet these goals. By investing with fellow philanthropists – and with UBS matching funding – donations are leveraged to have an outsized impact. 

If you would like more information on the UBS Optimus Foundation, please contact Marc Nightingale:Marc Nightingale, Client Advisor, UBS AG, Jersey Branch
1 IFC, St Helier, Jersey JE2 3BX
T: 01534 701173

• To view the UBS Optimus Foundation 2019 Annual Review, click here

UBS AG, Jersey Branch is authorised and regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission for the conduct of banking, funds and investment business. UBS AG, Jersey Branch is a branch of UBS AG (a public company limited by shares, incorporated in Switzerland whose registered offices are at Aeschenvorstadt 1, CH-4051, Basel and Bahnhofstrasse 45, CH-8001 Zurich) with its principal place of business at 1 IFC, St Helier, Jersey JE2 3BX. Terms and Conditions are available upon request. 
© UBS 2020. All rights reserved.

This advertising feature was first published in the October/November 2020 edition of Businesslife magazine

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