Leading wealth manager UBS announced today that it has surpassed its impact investment fundraising goal more than a year ahead of schedule. The company had set a target to raise $5 billion for impact investments aimed at generating a measurable social or environmental impact relating to one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) between 2017 and 2021, and reached its goal in the second half of 2020.

Axel A. Weber, Chairman of the Board of Directors at UBS Group, said:

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at UBS. We are proud to have met our key target of USD 5 billion for SDG-related impact investments earlier than expected and believe sustainable finance will make a growing impact in 2021.”

UBS also announced that it has launched a white paper for the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda, outlining a series of sustainable finance trends for 2021.  Highlights from the report include projections for impact investing to drive a new wave of sustainable finance growth in the coming year, for investor engagement on sustainability issues to be more influential than regulation in 2021, and for a faster than expected evolution in sustainability data. Attractive areas for investment opportunities, according to UBS, will include electric transportation, plant-based meat and the reinvention of oil companies.

Huw van Steenis, Senior Advisor to the CEO and Chair of the Sustainable Finance Committee at UBS, said:

“Sustainability has become a key driver of portfolio performance and resilience – and we are finding an inflection as clients aren’t just looking to reduce risk or exclude some securities, but rather scan for investment opportunities leveraged to energy transition and other sustainable themes.”

UBS also noted that it has seen significant growth in its sustainable investment offerings, including Climate Aware strategies reaching $15 billion sustainable investing-focused assets more than doubling to $97 billion in its Asset Management division, and more than $7 billion in inflows into its Global Wealth Management’s 100%-sustainable portfolios.

Suni Harford, President, UBS Asset Management, said:

“As sustainable investing moves into the mainstream, our clients are seeking to better understand and improve the long-term outcomes resulting from their investments.”