People Digest: Softbank Fund hires ex-Goldman COO; UBS enlists Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova. Photo from Maria Sharapova's official publication

SoftBank has hired a former Goldman Sachs’ co-chief operating officer of the global technology, media and telecommunications group, to lead its $93 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, Bloomberg reported.

Meanwhile, UBS has enlisted tennis champion Maria Sharapova and other eight prominent individuals to help the bank attract female investors.

Softbank’s Vision Fund new leader

Michael Ronen will join the fund later this year and move from New York to its base in San Carlos, California. He has worked on large technology, media and telecom deals in recent years and has been involved with putting together the Vision Fund this year, Bloomberg said.

Softbank’s Vision Fund is backed by large institutional investors such as Apple Inc, Qualcomm, and the Saudi royal family. The fund is an ambitious vow by founder Masayoshi Son to become the biggest investor in the tech industry over the next few years. The fund will invest in e-commerce and ride-hailing startups around the world, as well as artificial intelligence firms.

UBS gender diversity

Wimbledon and US Open champion Maria Sharapova will join UBS’ new advisory board to help the bank attract female clients.

The board is comprised of “unique business leaders and philanthropists from different walks of life, ages, cultural and geographical backgrounds.” They will provide insights and guidance on how to make financial know-how more accessible to women, support efforts of increasing the financial confidence of women through active advocacy, and contribute thought leadership for UBS Wealth Management wider change agenda with special focus on women.

Other members of the board include South African businesswoman and philanthropist Wendy Appelbaum, Giovanna Forlanelli Rovati, gender studies professor Michael Kimmel, German-Brazilian entrepreneur Angelica Kohlmann, CEO of International Jane Jie Sun, Hyflux CEO Lin Lum Ooi Olivia, Ellen Ringier, and chairperson of Limak Investments Ebru Ozdemir.

The programme, called UBS Unique, was launched earlier this year to help increase the financial confidence of one million women.

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