The new initiative will mainly focus on direct investments into early stage fintechs and other relevant tech companies


UBS headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. (Credit: UBS.)

Swiss banking giant UBS has launched a new initiative UBS Next with a portfolio of $200m to invest in fintech firms and the broader tech ecosystem.

The new initiative will be funded exclusively by UBS and will be managed by a dedicated tech venture investment team.

UBS Next will mainly focus on making direct investments in early stage fintechs and other relevant tech companies.

By making equity investments, UBS Next is expected to enable the bank to further strengthen connections to the fintech ecosystem.

Furthermore, the bank has also entered into a strategic collaboration with Anthemis, a venture capital firm, which has experience in identifying fintech companies.

Anthemis is expected to help accelerate investment opportunity identification and deal flow for the Swiss bank.

UBS Europe, Middle East and Africa Group chief operating officer and president Sabine Keller-Busse said: “Connecting to fintechs and tech start-ups through our innovation labs, digital factories, future of finance initiatives as well as project collaborations has always been key to remaining at the forefront of the digital movement to drive client experiences and operational excellence.”

UBS Next will focus on enabling UBS’s strategic priorities

UBS Next is expected to focus on enabling key priorities for the Swiss bank including co-development of digital innovation and ecosystem through partnerships, research and innovation pipeline management with support from centres of excellence.

The priorities also include the use of new technologies such as public cloud, micro-services architecture and AI to modernise and modularise technical estates.

UBS group technology head Mike Dargan said: “UBS Next is a further step to accelerate our innovation efforts as well as to identify and apply the latest technology for our client businesses. With our investments through close collaboration with Anthemis, we widen our access to fintech start-ups.”

Recently, UBS has reported a 99% surge in its net profit at $2.09bn for the third quarter that ended 30 September 2020 compared to $1.04bn reported in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.