UBS Plans $164 Million Investment in Education, Research Center

UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, plans to invest 150 million Swiss francs ($164 million) over a decade in education projects aimed at different age groups, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti said.

The bank, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, would profit from “clever heads” as would the financial center and Switzerland, Ermotti said at an event in Zurich today.

As part of the education initiative, the firm will finance the creation of the UBS International Center of Economics in Society at the University of Zurich. The center will conduct research into topics related to economics and financial markets, as well as promote practical application of its findings, the bank said.

The Zurich-based company will also support educational projects for primary and high-school students, create additional apprenticeship and internship positions, support entrepreneurs and jobseekers over the age of 50.

“This is an investment in the only resource of our resource-poor country -- in the ‘grey cells,’” Chairman Kaspar Villiger said. “Because of the relentless competition between countries in a globalized world, we can only preserve our prosperity if we’re among the best. Conditions especially for the financial industry have become tougher; I’m thinking about the erosion of banking secrecy, stricter regulation, political headwinds and the difficult market environment.”

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