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UBS Wealth Unit launches group to focus on inclusive investing

(Bloomberg) — The asset management arm of UBS Group AG launched a group for investment strategies related to diversity and inclusion that aim to generate both societal benefits and returns.

The Zurich-based bank’s asset management unit said Thursday that the team will offer investments that focus on promoting equity, expanding opportunities and improving outcomes for underrepresented or marginalized groups.

The inclusive investment group, led by Karen Sundaram, will offer clients ways to steer their money toward asset-management firms that are partly owned by products led by minorities and portfolio managers who specialize in women, racial or ethnic minorities. including self-identification. , veterans, people with disabilities and LGBTQ individuals.

Wealth managers like UBS are seeing a growing demand among clients for investment options that align with personal values ​​and social good. Firms are responding with products tailored to environmental, social and governance factors, leading to a boom in the ESG market, which Bloomberg Intelligence estimates will surpass $50 trillion by 2025.

Whether retail investors or ultra-high-net-worth individuals, “they told us what they wanted,” Lynette Jefferson, head of sustainable and inclusive investment solutions at UBS Global Wealth Management, said in an interview. “They are very specific about the type of investment they are looking for to promote social objectives.”

Other large banks have also created groups within their wealth-management divisions that invest with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

A year ago, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s US wealth management arm formed an inclusive investment team led by general manager Jeanne Sun that seeks to better serve women and other underrepresented groups.

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