16 October 2016

KWM Firsts - Advising on breakthrough impact investments

King & Wood Mallesons advised UBS Wealth Management, the world’s largest global wealth manager, on the final closing of its $471 million UBS Oncology Impact Fund.

UBS’ Oncology Impact Fund is the first of its kind in the healthcare sector and the largest global impact investing opportunity that’s come to market to date. It is an initiative aimed at developing new cancer treatments, financing academic research and access to cancer care in developing countries.

Oncology is a perfect theme for social impact requiring a large investment. The market for cancer drugs is expected to grow faster than for any other disease, due to populations ageing in developed countries and an expanding middle class in emerging markets with better access to care. Oncology is the largest and fastest growing therapeutic area in terms of drug development activity, representing approximately a quarter of total research spend.

Impact investing aims to generate a defined positive social impact as well as a competitive return. It is an attractive area for investors who wish to align their portfolios with their values. It is potentially a highly significant source of capital for oncology, given cancer's wide-ranging social implications.

The technical innovation of this fund is ground-breaking. It will make a substantial impact to the research and development of cancer treatments and improve access to cancer care around the world. Moreover, the success of the fundraising shows the increasing appetite among investors in investment opportunities that can have a tangible social impact and deliver financial returns at the same time.

Our International Funds team has been at the forefront of the market since its inception, and we have acted as legal counsel on many of the largest and most complex funds transactions in recent years. The record sum raised for the Fund is a milestone for the bank’s work in sustainable investing and for the impact investing industry as a whole.

Lead partner

Ajay Pathak, KWM London

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