Home >Companies >News >UBS Optimus Foundation launches India chapter to deepen philanthropic engagement

MUMBAI : Mumbai: Swiss wealth manager UBS has launched the India chapter of its independent philanthropic arm, UBS Optimus Foundation, the firm said in a statement.

The new chapter will give philanthropists and UBS clients a direct channel to participate in some of the work being done by the UBS Optimus Foundation in India and elsewhere. It also deepens UBS’s commitment to the region and to clients seeking to alleviate social inequality and its root causes.

UBS Optimus Foundation is independent philanthropy serving clients and partners with governments and development agencies to address social issues and support the UN Sustainable Development goals. In addition, UBS offers philanthropy advisory services to wealthy clients and family offices seeking to put their wealth to work in socially mindful ways.

Since 2002, the Foundation has granted 350 crore ($47 million) to support causes across multiple social sectors in India. Most of these grants have supported educational interventions, with a growing focus on health and child protection. These programs have benefited 4 million children and helped train nearly 240,000 professionals since 2015, the statement said.

This includes issuing the world’s first development impact bond (DIB) for education in 2018, the Quality Education India DIB, for Indian NGO Educate Girls. It also includes a direct $1.5 million donation from UBS in May, 2021, to support COVID-19 emergency and long-term relief programs, it added.

The India expansion comes as UBS’ philanthropic activities gather pace around the globe, with new initiatives in climate-, health-, education- and child protection issues, and extended activities in social finance.

Phyllis Costanza, head of social impact at UBS and CEO UBS Optimus Foundation, said: “By deepening our presence in India we hope to mobilise capital for systemic, positive change through client advisory, partnerships, innovative philanthropy, and social finance."

Uday Odedra, UBS country head, India and chief digital information officer APAC, said: “Since the time UBS set up its presence in India, we’ve been active within our communities and have built deep and long-standing associations with key NGO partners through financial and volunteering support. The launch of the UBS Optimus Foundation in India gives us the opportunity to multiply our impact by connecting clients and capital to focus on areas that can improve lives and create lasting change."


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