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 pressing social issues. But we know that solving social problems 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, improving health, education and child protection systems – as this is the best path to solving a wide range of the world’s most pressing social issues.

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 to social issues, 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 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 ensure programs are delivering, as well as seeking out other innovative ideas that have the potential to bring transformative, scalable and sustainable benefits to the lives of even more children.

Phyllis Costanza
CEO UBS Optimus Foundation

Our management

Phyllis Costanza
CEO UBS Optimus Foundation

Phyllis was appointed CEO of the UBS Optimus Foundation in 2011. Phyllis has been instrumental in reshaping the Foundation's strategy and introducing 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). She also has more than a decade of experience as a management consultant, and has worked in the public sector as the Manhattan Representative for New York State Governor Mario Cuomo, advising on policy and politics in Manhattan. In addition to her role as CEO of the UBS Optimus Foundation, Phyllis is also a member of the Boards of both the Power of Nutrition and the Micronutrient Initiative. She holds a Master's in 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.

Sally Faiz
Head Philanthropic Programs

Sally works with the bank and private clients to support high impact philanthropy in the areas of child protection, health, early childhood development and education.

Previously, Sally worked at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) where she managed large scale programs in global health, education and nutrition in India and sub-Saharan Africa. She was also a strategy consultant at McKinsey and Company serving private sector and non-profit clients in Europe, US and Africa, and a humanitarian aid worker. She has an M.B.A. from INSEA‎D.

Tom Hall
Head Philanthropy Services

With over 12 years' experience working with and advising private clients, Tom leads our UK 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 Social Finance

Maya is responsible for leveraging 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 in Education and has been supporting the potential of public private partnerships. 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.

Rong Xiao
Head Philanthropy Services, Greater China.

Before joining UBS, Rong worked with Give2Asia as Vice President and China Chief Representative, building up China program and office, leading grant-making and philanthropy advisory services in China. Rong also served in the Institute of American Studies, China Academy of Social Sciences, and The Asia Foundation.

Rong holds her master’s degree in law and bachelor’s degree in law from Peking University; and she is a visiting scholar at George Washington University as Ford Fellow.

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