UBS Makes Further Impact Investing Push; Raises $325 Million

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 12 July 2017

UBS Makes Further Impact Investing Push; Raises $325 Million

The wealth management house has raised money for The Rise Fund, which seeks to make changes through the impact investing route.

UBS has raised $325 million for an impact investment fund that collaborates with individuals such as rock musician and campaigner Bono and philanthropist/film-maker Jeff Skoll.
The Swiss banking group has raised the money for The Rise Fund, which UBS said is its “largest investment in the private equity impact investment vehicle”. 

The fund will focus on investments in seven sectors in which independent research has shown that impact is both achievable and measurable in quantitative terms, UBS said. The sectors are education, energy, food and agriculture, financial services, growth infrastructure, healthcare, and technology, media and telecommunications. 

The Rise Fund is “committed to achieving measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns,” UBS said; the fund’s interests are in line with United Nations’ sustainable development goals, or SDGs.

After raising $471 million for its UBS Oncology Impact Fund last year, UBS committed to raise $5 billion for SDG-related impact investments over the next five years at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 in Davos, Switzerland.

Impact investing - putting money to work to win non-financial as well as monetary returns - has been one of the hot trends of recent years, drawing in interest from financial players such as Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. The phenomenon is seen as a way to draw in investors worried about the world’s natural environment, poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, inadequate schooling and crime. 

The Rise Fund is an impact investing collaboration among several parties, including: co-founders Bill McGlashan, Bono, and Jeff Skoll. Bill McGlashan is chief executive of the fund founder and managing partner at TPG Growth;  The Bridgespan Group, a global non-profit advisor and resource for mission-driven organizations, philanthropists and investors; The Founders Board, a group of influential thought leaders, and The Rise Council, which supports the Fund and the impact investing industry more broadly, and whose members include UBS.


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