Announced last December, the fund was co-founded by U2 frontman Bono, Skoll Foundation founder Jeff Skoll, and Bill McGlashan, founder and managing partner of TPG Growth, a growth-capital fund run by private equity firm TPG Capital; McGlashan also manages the $2 billion fund. One-third of the funds raised by UBS came from its North America wealth management division, with the rest provided by its international division, including strong interest among investors in Asia. As of December, investors in the fund included Emerson Collective president Laurene Powell Jobs; Virgin Unite founder Richard Branson; LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman; Ariel Investments president Mellody Hobson, the wife of filmmaker George Lucas; Lynne Benioff, wife of Salesforce.org founder and CEO Marc Benioff; Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur Mohammed "Mo" Ibrahim; and eBay and Omidyar Network founder Pierre Omidyar.
The fund will focus its investments on seven sectors — education, energy, food and agriculture, financial services, growth infrastructure, health care, and technology, media, and telecommunications. Its first investments have included $120 million in EverFi, an education technology startup, and $50 million in Dodla Dairy, which works with small farmers in India.
"The interest in impact investing and these kinds of opportunities among the clients we speak to actually far exceeds the supply of the available opportunities," Simon Smiles, UBS Wealth Management's chief investment officer for ultra-high-net-worth clients, told Reuters.