Leading wealth manager UBS announced today that it has made sustainable investments the firm’s preferred solution for private clients investing globally, becoming the first major global financial institution to make this recommendation. UBS stated that of its $2.6 trillion global wealth management AUM, it currently manages nearly half a trillion dollars in core sustainable assets.

Iqbal Khan, Co-President of UBS Global Wealth Management, said:

“The shift in preferences toward sustainable products and services is only just beginning. We believe sustainable investments will prove to be one of the most exciting and durable opportunities for private clients in the years and decades ahead.”

According to UBS, while there are some circumstances in which traditional investments will remain most suitable, the wealth manager believes that a fully sustainable portfolio can deliver similar or potentially higher returns, while continuing to offer strong diversification for clients investing globally. UBS stated that it was the first to develop fully diversified sustainable portfolios for private clients, which have now been tested through both bull and bear markets.

Tom Naratil, Co-President of UBS Global Wealth Management and President of UBS Americas, said:

“COVID-19 has put the exclamation point on one of the most important shifts in financial services in a generation. The pandemic has brought the vulnerability and interconnected nature of our societies and industries to the forefront of investors’ minds and shown that sustainability considerations cannot be ignored.”

Mark Haefele, Chief Investment Officer of UBS Global Wealth Management, said:

“Not all sustainable investments are created equal. Investors need a properly diversified sustainable portfolio that has the flexibility to source new opportunities and consider new risks. A well-designed sustainable portfolio can adapt to evolving market and economic environments, and help clients weather the kind of volatility that we expect to persist throughout much of the decade ahead.”

Huw van Steenis, Chair of UBS’s Sustainable Finance Committee and Senior Advisor to the CEO, added:

“Sustainable finance is a firm-wide priority for UBS and our aim is to help clients take advantage of new opportunities and manage 21st century risks more smartly. As sustainable finance has moved into the mainstream, it is a critical component for clients and a strategic growth opportunity for UBS.”