Since early 2015, UBS has been bringing together families that have the means and the passion for effecting change in the autism community with a network of entrepreneurs, experts and organizations that share this goal. Fueled by the commitment of UBS clients Billy and Jennifer Frist, this initiative has progressed – growing to include a community of over 20 philanthropic families across the globe and involving organizations that support people affected by autism in different ways, from scientific research to employment programs.
Capital is not always enough
In 2017, the success of this philanthropic community continued to grow. Together with the Frists, Vanderbilt University and The Precisionists, we launched The Nashville Model, a program designed to improve employment opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum. There was also significant support for autism research, including the Frists’ USD 20 million investment in Curemark, a biopharmaceutical company investigating methods of reducing the symptoms of autism. Additionally, we hosted the third annual UBS Global Autism Innovation Roundtable in Jupiter, Florida, at the Els Center of Excellence, established by professional golfer Ernie Els and the Els for Autism Foundation. As a financial institution, we, of course, know the importance of capital. However, we also understand that, when it comes to effecting change, capital is not always enough. To be most effective, philanthropy requires collaboration – and to that end, we have worked to connect like-minded people and organizations for the best possible results.