NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UBS Wealth Management Americas partnered with Rethink Impact, a venture capital fund, to contribute to raising $110+million, more than half of which came from UBS clients, including high net worth individuals, family offices, private foundations, and universities, for the closing of Rethink Impact. Rethink Impact is an impact investing venture capital fund investing in gender diverse, tech-enabled companies working to solve the world's biggest challenges based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Rethink Impact, invests in social impact companies with a gender lens. The fund is particularly focused on the health, education, environmental sustainability and economic empowerment sectors and includes companies that merge strong businesses with a social mission. Rethink Impact investors span the majority of the states across the country, are balanced in terms of gender and are a mix of individuals, foundations, universities and beyond.
Impact investing aims to generate a defined positive social or environmental impact as well as a competitive return. It is an attractive area for investors who wish to align their portfolios with their values.
"We prioritize financial returns above all else for our clients," said John Amore, Managing Director UBS Wealth Management Americas, "Yet fundamentally, we believe in companies whose social impact enhances their financial returns and whose financial returns fuel their social impact. Our clients increasingly want financial advice as well as innovative solutions to utilize their wealth and resources to address societal issues. As the world's largest global wealth manager, we are well positioned to guide them and felt that Rethink Impact was a compelling solution given our clients' investment and impact goals."
Research shows that female-led businesses outperform. On average, firms with 30% female leadership see net revenues 15% higher than firms with no female leaders.2 Despite this, little capital goes to female-led firms, with only 3% of venture dollars going to companies with a female CEO3 and fewer than 6% of people making investment decisions at venture capital firms are women.4
Jenny Abramson, Founder & Managing Partner of Rethink Impact said, "My partner, Heidi Patel, and our team believe that the next generation of extraordinary companies will find success through their diversity coupled with relentless pursuit of mission, for the benefit of all communities. There has never been a better time to enter the field of impact investing. The problems that these companies address are still so vast, but now we’re seeing more and more seasoned entrepreneurs partnering up with top engineering talent to tackle these issues head on, in a scalable and sustainable way. This creates a ripe opportunity for investment for firms that really understand the sector.”
UBS is helping to mainstream impact investing in response to demand from clients and from the community. At the World Economic Forum's Annual 2017 Meeting in Davos, UBS committed to direct at least $5 billion of client assets into new SDG-related impact investments over the next five years. Other examples of impact investing milestones where UBS has been involved include the Oncology Impact Fund, the UBS Optimus Foundation’s Development Impact Bond, the Loans for Growth fund, a public-private model providing loans to SME's and co-funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the G8-affiliated Social Impact Investment Taskforce and the WEF's reports on mainstreaming impact investing. UBS has also integrated impact investing into its regular sustainable investing reports and Opinion Leaders white papers.
As of 31 December 2016, UBS's sustainable investments increased to CHF 976 billion compared with CHF 934 billion as of the end of 2015, representing 35% of the firm's total invested assets. Major increases in relative terms were observed among the integration and impact investments, which increased 64% and 228%, respectively, compared with 2015.
1 According to B Lab as of March 1, 2017.
2 Marcus Noland, Tyler Moran, Barbara Kotschwar, Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey, (Washington, D.C., : Peterson Institute for International Economics, February 2016)
3 Candida G. Brush, Patricia G. Greene, Lakshmi Balanchandra, Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital (Boston, MA: Babson College, September 2014)
4 Dan Primack, Venture Capital Still Has a Big Problem With Women (New York: Fortune Magazine, April 1, 2016)
Notes to editors
About UBS Wealth Management Americas
Wealth Management Americas is one of the leading wealth managers in the Americas in terms of financial advisor productivity and invested assets. Its business includes UBS’s domestic US and Canadian wealth management businesses, as well as international business booked in the US. It provides a fully integrated set of wealth management solutions designed to address the needs of ultra high net worth and high net worth clients.
UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. The operational structure of the Group is comprised of our Corporate Center and five business divisions: Wealth Management, Wealth Management Americas, Personal & Corporate Banking, Asset Management and the Investment Bank. UBS's strategy builds on the strengths of all of its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels, while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the businesses and regions in which it operates, in order to generate attractive and sustainable returns for its shareholders. All of its businesses are capital-efficient and benefit from a strong competitive position in their targeted markets.
UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in 54 countries, with about 34% of its employees working in the Americas, 35% in Switzerland, 18% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 13% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs approximately 60,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
About Rethink Impact
Rethink Impact is a venture capital fund that invests in social impact companies with the potential to deliver market-rate financial returns for investors alongside transformational social and environmental change. There are two main lenses for Rethink Impact’s investments: gender diverse management teams and technology enabled businesses. The fund is focused on the health, education, sustainability, and economic empowerment sectors. The leadership team and Investment Committee have experience operating and investing in impact companies.
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