2019 in review

In 2019, we met many milestones and continued to demonstrate the strength of our diversified business model. Here are our events.

January

Progressive in gender equality

For the fourth year in a row, we were listed in Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index, proving our commitment to gender equality. The index includes around 100 firms and provides investors with comparative information on gender equality.


Drawing roadmaps in Davos

We published our World Economic Forum white paper, warning that the lack of private funding is putting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at significant risk and also outlining a new investment roadmap. Read excerpts from this report and others.
 

February

French court judgment issued

On 20 February 2019, the Paris Court of First Instance imposed fines of EUR 3.7 billion on UBS, and awarded the French state civil damages of EUR 800 million. This judgment was issued in connection with a litigation matter related to cross-border business activities with French residents between 2004 and 2011 / 2012. UBS has appealed the decision of the Court of First Instance, and it will still take time for this matter to be finally concluded.


Our peers rank us No. 1

We were ranked first in nine out of twelve global categories in Euromoney’s Private Banking Survey 2019 – including Best Private Banking Services Overall. Other first-place rankings included: Philanthropic Advice; Ultra High Net Worth Clients (>USD 30 million); High Net Worth Clients (USD 5–30 million); Super Affluent Clients (USD 1–5 million); ESG / Social -Impact Investing; International Clients; Succession Planning Advice and Trusts; and Technology.

March

Girls Take Wall Street launched

This initiative inspires teenage girls to consider careers in financial services and supports women in business and finance. Read more about it.

April

17 colors for a brighter future

On World Earth Day, we, together with BOTTLETOP, launched the #TOGETHERBAND campaign to raise public awareness about the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). At the heart of the campaign are wristbands in the 17 colors of the UN SDGs that come in packs of two: one to wear and one to share. All net profits will be donated to projects aligned with the goals. Take our quiz to find your goal. 


Sustainable exchange-traded funds

Our Asset Management division was involved in launching a new sustainable exchange-traded fund that combines S&P 500 performance characteristics with environmental, social and governance screening principles.

May

Investing in health

We raised more than USD 93 million for a closed-end growth equity fund from a leading sustainable investment firm that focuses on planetary health, people health and financial inclusion. 

June

Joint venture in Japan

We established a strategic wealth management partnership with Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Inc. The joint venture, majority-owned by UBS, will expand the offering of products, investment advice and services, creating Japan’s first one-stop shop for all of the needs of high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals.

Best Private Bank, Americas

We were named Best Private Bank, Americas for structured products at the 2019 SRP Americas Conference in Chicago. Award finalists included Citigroup, Desjardins Group, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley. SRP is a research firm based in London, New York, Hong Kong, and Sofia that focuses on all aspects of structured products.

Happy birthday, Topsy!

Our mascot, Topsy, celebrated 30 years of helping countless children save and manage money. Anyone who opened an account for a child back in 1989 received a cuddly toy and a piggy bank.

July

A+ in sustainability

The UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) scores of our Asset Management division for 2019 outranked the peer median in every category. Sustainability continues to move from niche to mainstream, with the UN PRI now having 2,200 signatories, representing over USD 80 trillion. Asset Management is proud to have been a signatory for the last 10 years.

August

Our Kids Cup finalists win gold

Swiss Junior Athletics enjoyed even more success. At this year’s European U20 and U23 Championships in Sweden, the team won a total of 12 medals, of which five were won by former UBS Kids Cup participants. This sponsorship program discovers and supports talented young athletes.

September

Over USD 2 billion in Climate Aware strategy

Our Climate Aware strategy, launched in 2017, topped the USD 2 billion mark in terms of assets under management. The investment strategy is aligned to the Paris Agreement’s objectives and is designed to help institutional investors capitalize on companies transitioning to a low greenhouse gas emissions economy.

Committed to climate action and corporate responsibility

We were proud to sign the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative. The global framework specifies roles and responsibilities for leading banks. Signatory banks hold a collective USD 47 trillion in assets, representing one-third of the global banking sector.

October

Sustainable Development Alliance

UN Secretary-General António Guterres invited 30 leaders from across the globe to join the CEO Alliance on Global Investors for Sustainable Development, among them our Group CEO Sergio P. Ermotti. The Alliance aims to harness the insights of private sector leaders to develop ways to implement solutions for scaling long-term investment into sustainable development, in line with the UN SDGs.

November

New office in Singapore

We celebrated the handover of 381,000 square feet of prime property at 9 Penang Road. We plan to move more than 3,000 employees across our wealth management, investment bank and asset management businesses into the location in the second half of 2020.


Strategic partnership in South America

We signed a binding agreement to establish a strategic partnership with Banco do Brasil. The jointly owned lender will provide investment banking services and institutional securities brokerage in Brazil and selected countries in South America. Together we will combine the strengths of two complementary players with local and global resources.

December

Grants awarded to cancer research pioneers

Our Oncology Impact Fund delivered its first two scientific research grants to institutions that could help develop new therapies to fight cancer. The fund is a unique collaboration between our Global Wealth Management division, healthcare investment firm MPM Capital, and the American Association for Cancer Research.

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