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2.6 trillion to think green: UBS, the first major manager to prioritize sustainable investment


The fight against climate change has a new ally, 2.6 billion, specifically. UBS Group becomes the first major manager to advise its clients (some of the richest personalities in the world) to invest first in sustainable securities (or based on ESG criteria) than in more traditional alternatives.

The Swiss firm believes that a 100% sustainable portfolio is possible and can offer similar (and even higher) returns. In addition, UBS defends that these types of portfolios are usually highly diversified, one of the basic qualities when investing.

"The coronavirus crisis has put the exclamation point on one of the most important changes in financial services of this generation," he acknowledged Tom naratil, co-chair of UBS Global Wealth Management and president of UBS Americas. "The pandemic has brought vulnerability to our interconnected societies and demonstrated that sustainability cannot continue to be ignored," he added.

The last word will remain with the client, of course. "They will have a wide range of options and, after talking with their advisor, they can choose the approach that best suits their needs," he says. Andrew Lee, head of sustainable investment at the Swiss management company. According to data provided by UBS itself, its clients currently have nearly $ 500 billion invested in sustainable assetssuch as green bonds or low carbon index funds.


So far this year, most sustainable stocks have outperformed their traditional equivalents, especially in the face of the decline in oil (rebounds aside). The green revolution is still far from reaching the US. This same week, banks, managers and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have released a joint statement to warn about the risks of the country's current financial system.

"As consumer preferences and policy goals pivot toward sustainability, new opportunities are created," says Lee. "The most robust sustainable investments incorporate these considerations into more traditional analytics and metrics (such as valuations or profit growth), so instead of seeing it as a sacrifice (investing in 'green' in exchange for doing it in a company with profitability in focus), from a pure financial perspective, we consider both aspects at the same time".

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