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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is part of UBP’s DNA: as a family-owned bank, we are naturally building a future for the next generations based on responsibility and long-term commitment, two of our core values.
Ever since the Bank was founded by Edgar de Picciotto, discreet and effective commitment has always been a moral imperative for UBP. At his initiative, and following his example, the Bank has made it a point of honour to embody his sense of social responsibility when carrying out its work. For several years now, UBP has supported a number of diverse projects in the fields of culture, education and research. It also promotes community projects and sustainable development.
UBP has long believed in the importance of responsible asset management. We signed the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) in 2012. More recently, we created the Responsible Investment Committee (reporting to the Executive Committee), whose mission is to define our Responsible Investment Policy and supervise its implementation across the Group. This includes applying environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements to our entire investment universe. An additional, more targeted, approach to meeting the demand from our clients for ethical investments has been the launch in 2018 of two new funds: one is an emerging market corporate bond fund, and the other is focused on companies that have a positive impact on society and the environment. We have also launched our first annual Impact Report, which details our Positive Impact fund’s footprint in 2018, the process UBP has developed for measuring impact intensity, and our approach to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Further consolidating its commitment to responsible investing, UBP became a member of Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) and Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG) in 2018, and also joined the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s (CISL) ‘Investment Leaders Group’, a select global network of pension funds, insurers and asset managers committed to advancing the practice of responsible investment.
Since its creation UBP has helped the community through corporate social responsibility. Our values are reflected in our partnerships with various organisations and charities. We also promote sustainable development actions and reduce our carbon footprint by advocating recycling and cutting back our consumption of electricity, plastic and paper. Individual community engagement is also encouraged at UBP. We cooperate with the network Alaya, an online platform connecting our staff with local and international charities that run projects with a high social impact. Any staff member can sign up and get involved as a volunteer by offering their expertise, their time in the field, or their help with collecting donations. In 2018 over 100 initiatives found volunteers – individuals and groups – in UBP branches.
The projects included the renovation of a primary school by our London colleagues, clothing and toy collections in Geneva, London, Lugano, Monaco and Zurich, a food collection for Food From The Heart in Singapore, packaging of Boxes of Hope in Hong Kong, and an educational programme for deprived children in China.
UBP has always backed cultural, educational, and research projects through donations and sponsorships, putting special emphasis on the next generations. In our support for cultural ventures, our particular focus is on artistic creation and young talent, and the areas we are closest to are theatre, classical music, and cinema.
Our vision is a long-term one and so we invest in helping to train the bankers of tomorrow. Our partnership with INSEAD Business School in Paris and Singapore attests to our commitment to high-level education and the transmission of excellence from one generation to the next. This alliance enabled INSEAD to endow the De Picciotto Chair in alternative investments in 2003. As a family-owned business, UBP believes in assisting and promoting innovation, enterprise and creativity in new businesses, in particular in the area of fintech. We are also active in healthcare and contribute to cancer research.
In 2013 UBP adopted a Code of Conduct and Ethical Behaviour based on our core values. It sets out the principles that govern how all of UBP’s management bodies, staff and representatives are to conduct their activities. The code is divided into three parts – Business Responsibility, Professional Excellence, and Commitment to Sustainability – and covers in particular the protection of assets under management, prevention of illicit activity, client confidentiality, compliance with laws and regulations, transparency, and avoidance of conflicts of interest. Internally, UBP pays particular attention to equal rights, environmental protection, and health & safety at work. As part of our strong belief in investing in the future generations, we offer extensive in-house training. Every year, in addition to the continuing professional development programmes it offers to its staff, UBP takes on a number of young students to give them their first immersive experience of the world of work.