Awards for Distinction 2018 – Best Private Bank – Sustainable Investments





Stefan Lecher

head of global mandates investment solutions, APAC,
UBS Global Wealth Management

“We are honoured to be recognised as the best bank for sustainable investments. 2018 has been an exciting year as we successfully launched the world’s first 100% sustainable cross-asset portfolio for our clients in Asia together with exclusive impact investing opportunities to further strengthen our leading offering in innovative sustainable and impact investments. While we delivered on the performance expectations, the speed of adoption from our clients clearly shows how they appreciate their investments being more closely aligned with their values.

In 2018, we successfully launched sustainable investing with mainstream investors in Asia and we look forward to further innovate in 2019.”

Winners rationale

UBS Global Wealth Management’s status as a frontrunner in sustainable investing (SI) in Asia reached a crescendo in 2018 on the back of a major research-led thought leadership drive and the wide-spanning enhancement in its platform and offering.

In 2018, UBS made waves with the launch of the industry’s first-ever 100% sustainable cross-asset strategic asset allocation (SAA) portfolio solutions in Asia across multiple risk profiles — yield, balanced, and growth — for various client segments, including standard mandates for HNWIs and customised mandates for UHNWIs. Further, upon client request, the bank can develop SI-focused customised advisory mandate solutions.

UBS GWM’s fund offering has also expanded over the year to include nearly 30 ESG-focused products as well as a UBS SI fund which fully implements the bank’s SI SAA. Meanwhile, its alternatives pipeline showcased exclusive access to two impact funds — one focused on low- and middle-market companies that invest in close alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and another which invests in growth-stage businesses in the agriculture, energy, transportation, industrial, and consumer sectors.

The bank has also added SI solutions to its capital markets shelf for more trading-oriented investors. In 2018, private clients in Asia were granted access to a traditionally institutional offering — a World Bank-issued structured note that provides exposure to the ‘Global Sustainability Signatories Index 7.5% VC ER’, an index created by ESG ratings and research firm Sustainalytics and administered by Solactive that is comprised of up to 100 UN Global Compact Signatories. And for fixed income investors, UBS expanded its green bond research capabilities to its advisory offering to provide clients with recommendations on the green bond universe.

Sustainable investing has yet to garner the same levels of enthusiasm among the region’s investors as more mature markets, and competitors in the market often demonstrate lacklustre interest due to the slow pick-up in demand. But UBS has bucked this trend in Asia by more than doubling its SI DPM assets since the April launch, growing its SI/ESG fund assets by more than 50% during the year under consideration, and sourcing more than half its private market impact investment assets from the region.

Moreover, its event series, ‘The Power of Sustainable Investing’, attracted more than 1,000 guests across eight cities in Asia, demonstrating that a lack of immediate inflows does not necessarily indicate a lack of interest.

It seems only a matter of time before SI turns mainstream in Asia, and when it does, UBS GWM’s first-mover status will be even more meaningful.

UBS is Asian Private Banker‘s Best Private Bank – Sustainable Investments for 2018.

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