11 January 2022
Private and institutional investors invest in a wide range of companies traded on stock markets. Often these companies are part of financial indices and are included in different products. This also explains why financial institutions such as UBS holds positions in a variety of companies across different business units on behalf of clients worldwide.
UBS is actively working with other financial institutions to improve the integration of environmental and social issues into financial products. This cooperation is in line with UBS's commitment on sustainability throughout its business. We believe this is a responsible approach underlining our goal of reducing potentially negative impacts on society. Together with our clients, we work on innovative investment solutions in sustainability themes. We aim to take sustainability risks (including human rights) into account when evaluating investment decisions. We also conduct ongoing reviews of our business relationships to assess whether they might lead to potential negative impacts on rights holders. Moreover, client relationships that are considered important from a human rights point of view are subject to enhanced due diligence.
UBS considers numerous legal and regulatory requirements wherever it operates to ensure compliance with the sanctions currently imposed by Switzerland, the UN, the EU, and the USA, including those relating to Myanmar. As a general rule under UBS Group Sanctions Policy, no business is permitted if a Sanctioned Individual or Regime is involved.
UBS Asset Management also actively engages with selected portfolio companies to influence their performance on sustainability-related issues – including human rights. We conduct stewardship activities, comprising both engagement and proxy voting, in connection with the integration of material ESG issues in the investment process. Dialogue with corporate management is conducted around specific issues related to the business strategy, capital allocation, operational management and/or ESG risks and opportunities. Our engagements are generally held confidentially in collaboration with corporate representatives, although we provide aggregated statistics and case study examples in our annual stewardship report. In the same report, we highlight our expectations on corporate management in relation to corporate culture, climate change, people, and controversies.