Hong Kong, 7 May 2013
The UBS Optimus Foundation ("the Foundation"), today opened a regional office in Hong Kong to spearhead and expand its operations in Asia Pacific. The Foundation, which supports 127 projects globally including 45 across Asia, will use the new office to engage UBS clients and nurture interest from Asian families seeking philanthropic opportunities which focus on improving the lives and the potential of children.
Established in 1999, the UBS Optimus Foundation is a charitable grant-making foundation dedicated to ensuring children are healthy, safe and ready for their future. To date, it has received 18,000 donations, totaling CHF 200 million, and supported more than 300 projects in 75 countries and regions, including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Philippines. As an independent grant-making foundation, the Foundation offers UBS clients a range of options to support projects that can generate positive change for children. Because UBS bears all administrative costs of the Foundation, 100% of client donations go directly to improving children's lives.
"Young children are the most vulnerable members of society, yet represent our future. Despite Asia's rapid growth, the family remains a primary building block in Asian societies. Family values include an exceptionally strong sense of responsibility towards the well-being of future generations," said Kathryn Shih, CEO, APAC, of UBS Wealth Management. "We are proud to be opening the UBS Optimus Foundation office here to give our clients the opportunity to practice these Asian values. Good teachers, engaged parents, and access to high-quality healthcare for children are priorities for the Foundation."
The UBS Optimus Foundation supports innovative and needs-based projects, with a professional funding strategy ensuring the optimum use of donations. The Foundation works with experienced partner organizations around the world to identify, monitor, and supervise the programs, and provides regular updates to clients to ensure that they remain properly informed of the impact of their support.
"The UBS Optimus Foundation has been investing in hope since 1999," said Phyllis Costanza, CEO of the UBS Optimus Foundation. "It is our responsibility to invest donations wisely, so we only fund projects that guarantee a return: a measurable improvement in the lives of children. Our clients know that their donations will make a positive, tangible and lasting difference. Our clients in Asia have a strong sense of social responsibility and an appetite for practical philanthropy, so we seek to provide them with a range of practical opportunities to support children in need. To help us achieve our goals in Asia, we are proud to announce the appointment of Wei Wei as our Director for Asia Pacific."
"I am excited to be taking up this important position. Asia's High and Ultra High Net Worth clients who want to get involved in philanthropy have many ways to participate and achieve more through the UBS Optimus Foundation," said Wei Wei, Director, APAC, UBS Optimus Foundation.
As one of the leading service providers to High and Ultra High Net Worth clients worldwide, UBS is very active in philanthropy advisory through its dedicated Philanthropy & Values-Based Investing team. Over 30 in-house experts cater globally to all aspects of philanthropy, strategic charitable giving as well as investing with social impact in a "one-stop" professional approach, offering UBS clients a broad range of services spanning from philanthropy advisory, selection and execution of philanthropic projects in the name of and for UBS clients through the UBS Optimus Foundation, and investment solutions focusing on combining social change with financial aspects.
"The UBS Optimus Foundation is integrated in UBS's philanthropy offering and gives clients the opportunity to support the well-being of children across the world. We are proud to establish this important pillar of our philanthropy efforts in Asia as elsewhere, for the benefit of both our clients and of children," added Shih.
Programs supported by the UBS Optimus Foundation in Asia include: Magic Glasses in China and the Philippines; Western Sunshine Kindergarten in China; Right to Play in China; Teach for the Philippines; and rabies elimination projects in Asia.