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UBS Wealth Management announces Advisory Board as part of five-year plan to better serve women

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Business leaders and philanthropists join program to help increase the financial confidence of one million women

Zurich, 11 July 2017 – Business leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists have joined an Advisory Board for UBS Wealth Management as part of its five-year plan to significantly scale its expertise in serving female clients.

The creation of the Advisory Board follows UBS’ announcement earlier this year, which included a commitment to help increase the financial confidence of one million women.

The Advisory Board will work closely with UBS’ senior wealth management executives to scale the program, called UBS Unique.

Research suggests that compared to men, women are less confident when it comes to investing. Globally, fewer than half describe themselves as financially confident1. The rewards could be significant however if the financial industry gets this right, with female investors expected to invest USD$2.3 trillion in socially responsible investments by 20212.

The Advisory Board includes:

  • Wendy Appelbaum, Owner and Chair, De Morgenzon Wine Estate
  • Jane Jie Sun, CEO, International Ltd
  • Michael Kimmel, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University 
  • Dr. Angelica Kohlmann, Chairman and CEO, Kohlmann & Co AG
  • Olivia Lum, Executive Chairman and Group CEO, Hyflux Group
  • Ebru Özdemir, Chairperson, Limak Investments
  • Dr. Ellen Ringier, President, Stiftung Elternsein
  • Giovanna Rovati-Forlanelli, General Manager, Rottapharm Biotech
  • Maria Sharapova, international tennis player, entrepreneur and investor

The Advisory Board held its first meeting on 27-28 June 2017, joined by speakers Jude Kelly CBE, Artistic Director of London's Southbank Centre, and Founder of globally renowned WOW Women of the World festivals, and Joelle Tanguy, Director of UN Women’s Strategic Partnerships Division, to discuss the potential for gender lens investing. The Board will meet regularly to assess the progress of the UBS Unique program and identify further opportunities to enable more women to increase their financial confidence.

Dr. Mara Harvey, Managing Director UBS Wealth Management and head of the program, said: “The amount of private wealth controlled by women is set to grow faster than men’s year-on-year for the next five years. This changing dynamic requires the industry to change with it. We have set ourselves an ambitious task which we cannot do alone. The Advisory Board will play a pivotal role in helping us shape the future of our business; one that supports women in all their investment needs. We want to provide women with the knowledge and confidence to make the best financial decisions for them and to achieve the social impact they want.”

Olga Miler, Co-founder of the program and Global Program Architect, said: "Meaningful and lasting change can only happen when it is done in partnership with the people who can influence that change. The breadth of experience of the Advisory Board means they will be able to challenge us and bring a fresh perspective to our ambitious five-year plan to bring about change in the financial industry”.

Joelle Tanguy, Director of UN WOMEN’s Strategic Partnerships division said: “Growing the pool of women investors and the reach of gender lens investments can be a transformative move for women empowerment and gender equality worldwide, an ambition at the core of the UN goals. At UN Women, we’re looking to leverage the power of investors in innovative ways. I was delighted to engage with UBS Unique’s Advisory Board to explore how to drive further that agenda across the industry. Impact investments that target women will be essential to achieve many goals faster, including poverty eradication, zero hunger, education, health and economic growth.”

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