Who we are

We are the only foundation linked to a global wealth manager staffed with philanthropy experts. With an approach that takes advantage of our unique network, we’re taking a leading role in driving impactful philanthropy that delivers breakthrough solutions to social and environmental issues. We know that solving these issues requires collaborative initiatives that make real impact on a large scale. So, we’re taking smart risks on evidence-based, scalable solutions with diverse partners. Together we're improving health, education and child protection systems as well as tackling environmental degradation and climate change – as this is an important path to a sustainable future.

Philanthropists choose to work with us because we take their passions personally, providing a variety of giving options and taking that journey with them. And they know that because of our expertise, innovation and network, we’re successfully finding bold solutions, giving them the powerful impact they want.

We’re proud that an ever growing number of UBS clients and employees see us as their philanthropic partner of choice. Their passion combined with our expertise has made a fundamental difference to our environment and so many children’s lives. But, we are far from satisfied and want to do even more, even better.

To that end, we will continue to work closely with our donors and frontline partners to make sure programs are delivering, as well as seeking out other innovative ideas that have the potential to bring transformative, scalable and sustainable change.

Phyllis Costanza
CEO UBS Optimus Foundation

Our management

Phyllis Kurlander Costanza
Head UBS in society and CEO UBS Optimus Foundation

As Head UBS in society, Phyllis is committed to making UBS a force for driving positive change in society and the environment for future generations. The UBS in society team ensures the firm is creating long term positive impact for clients, employees, investors and society.

She's also dedicated to finding innovative ways to tackle some of the world's most pressing social and environmental issues. In her role as CEO UBS Optimus Foundation she applies an investment-based approach, making it simpler for clients and their families to manage their philanthropy and maximize their impact.

Since starting at UBS in 2011 she's been instrumental in reshaping the UBS Optimus Foundation's strategy, helping clients fund impactful philanthropic programs that improve children's lives and fight climate change globally. Together with her team, she has introduced innovative financing vehicles, like the first Development Impact Bond in education.

Prior to UBS, she was a senior executive and board member of the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), a UK-based philanthropic organization, linked to the hedge fund TCI. She also has more than a decade of experience as a management consultant, and has worked in the public sector as the New York City Representative for New York State Governor Mario Cuomo, advising on policy and politics in Manhattan.

Phyllis is a board member of Nutrition International, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), UBS Optimus Foundation UK, an advisory board member to the Education Outcomes Fund for Africa and the Middle East, and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. She was also a co-founding board member of the Power of Nutrition from inception to 2019.

She holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Nina Hoppe
COO UBS Optimus Foundation

Nina joined the UBS Optimus Foundation in July 2012 as Deputy CEO. For 10 years, Nina has been working for UBS in Zurich in different positions including Risk and Business Management, Relationship Management and Investor Relations.

Prior to this she worked for 5 years in London as an analyst in the M&A Department as well as an Associate in a small Private Equity boutique. She holds a dual German-French master's degree in Business Administration from ESCP Europe. Nina speaks several languages including German, English, French and Spanish.

Tom Hall
Head Philanthropy Services

With over 16 years' experience working with and advising private clients, Tom leads our Global Philanthropy services to help clients identify and achieve their philanthropic and impact investing strategies. Prior to joining UBS in 2013, Tom spent his career in the non-profit sector.

As Director of Philanthropy and Social Investment at the disability charity Scope, he pioneered the use of social investment structures, including the Scope Bond which was the first listed bond issued by an operational charity in the UK. Tom also worked with the cabinet office on the development of the new Social Investment Tax Relief. Earlier in his career, Tom was the first UK employee of the Microloan Foundation securing the investment for the charity to expand into sustainable microfinance.

Tom is a Politics graduate from Exeter University and has professional qualifications in marketing (CIM), fundraising management and financial planning.

Maya Ziswiler
Head of Program and Social Finance

Maya's team develops high impact philanthropic programs in education, health, child protection and the environment. She also develops innovative social finance solutions to mobilize private capital in new and more efficient ways.
She spearheaded the Foundation's work on the first Development Impact Bond and impact linked loans.

Prior to this role, she was the Foundation's Program Director for Education and Early Childhood Development. She joined the Foundation from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria where she was responsible for managing partnerships with the private sector. Previously, Maya worked for UNICEF in Peru and Procter and Gamble's development and export markets.

Maya holds degrees from McGill University and the University of Geneva.
She speaks French, English, Spanish, German and some Mandarin Chinese.

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