Awards for Distinction 2020 – Best Private Bank – Sustainable Investments

2020 Winners

Best Private Bank – Sustainable Investments

UBS

Stefan Lecher
head CIO Global Investment Management APAC, UBS Global Wealth Management

At UBS, we have 25 years of experience in delivering sustainable investing (SI) solutions globally and we have been at the forefront of innovative and bespoke SI offerings in Asia. We believe education on the benefits, impact and competitive returns are essential to mainstream SI in the industry.

Through our research insights and series of client information sessions, we have seen investors’ appetite for sustainable solutions develop over the past few years. Our clients realise SI has a key role to play within a diversified portfolio that optimises risk, reward and impact.

We will continue to extend our leadership in sustainable finance, helping clients align their values with their investments and do good to society.

Aspiring to be a leader in sustainable finance for all its clients, UBS Global Wealth Management has shown itself to be a pioneer in sustainable investing on many fronts. The private bank has taken a holistic approach and endeavoured to organically integrate sustainability into every stage of the investment and advisory process.

UBS GWM is the first major global financial institution to recommend sustainable investments over traditional investments for private clients investing globally. In September 2020, the bank labelled sustainable solutions its “preferred solutions” and doubled down on its commitment to sustainable assets, which extends beyond the bank’s own managed solutions.

By September 2020, UBS’ wealth management business in APAC grew its sustainable assets at a CAGR of 54% between 2017 and 2020. APAC client participation in the bank’s proprietary 100% sustainable investing cross-asset portfolios reached 8.3%, up from only 0.1% in 2017. At the same time, these portfolios have outperformed traditional portfolios since their launch, including in 2020 when the markets experienced high volatility.

In order to ensure ESG alignment and the quality of its offerings, UBS runs a robust selection and due diligence process in a product universe consisting over 90,000 EU-domiciled funds. It has internally developed the ESG screening process — deploying a combination of digital analytics tools and qualitative, in-person assessments — and allows transparency of its sustainable profiles on a wide range of investment funds with ESG ratings available to investors. On the other hand, the sustainable investing framework is based on an open architecture, sourced from multiple ESG data providers to guarantee the robustness and reliability of standards.

UBS recognises the importance of education around sustainability topics for its employees. It held sustainable investing-dedicated APAC-wide townhalls within the bank, launched three-tiered client advisor upskilling workshops, and introduced a sustainable investing ambassador network with 25 opinion leaders and high conviction client advisors to drive engagement across markets. In content management, the bank devises new channels and information to keep its clients informed and engaged.

More recently, the bank has launched a fully customisable SI advisory premium offering — a first in the marketplace — catering to clients’ individual convictions and aligned to their personal portfolios. With ESG-sophisticated clients being onboarded with the solution, the personalised approach has stood up to client rigour and added to the bank’s value proposition to potential clients.

2020 also saw strong momentum in sustainable finance activities across the bank globally. Core sustainable investments for the year rose by 62% to US$793 billion to become 19% of all client invested assets.

UBS is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank — Sustainable Investments for 2020.