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UBS Launches Pilot Program to Support Employment of Individuals with Autism

Nashville, TN – UBS today announced the launch of a pilot program that aims to provide employment opportunities to adults with autism. The program, formed in collaboration with The Precisionists, an organization that creates jobs for individuals across a broad range of disabilities, will begin in the Compliance and Operational Risk Control division of UBS in Nashville, TN. UBS is the first organization to partner with The Precisionists in Nashville.

"With the launch of this pilot program, UBS is strengthening its commitment to workplace inclusion and to creating career opportunities for an often underutilized talent pool," said Julian Fry, Managing Director and Americas Head of Monitoring, Surveillance & Controls in Nashville. "I am thrilled that UBS is engaging in such a worthwhile undertaking and confident it will demonstrate the talent and contribution that people on the autism spectrum can make.”

Individuals taking part in the pilot program, also called the "Nashville Model," will be employed by The Precisionists and will carry out project-based work for UBS on a contract basis. They will be provided with four weeks of training, utilizing the methodology of Specialisterne, a nonprofit launched by Thorkil Sonne that offers programs for talent and career development to individuals with autism. The ultimate goal will be to expand this autism employment model to other UBS locations globally. The Precisionists envision employing 10,000 people with disabilities in the US by 2025.

“When properly assessed, trained and employed, people with autism are extremely high performing employees in critical and challenging jobs such as email analysis, software testing and data analytics," said Ernie Dianastasis, CEO of The Precisionists. "When you consider that more than 70% of people with autism in the country are either unemployed or underemployed, we are making a true difference in engaging a significant untapped, high-performing labor force right here in Nashville.”

UBS initially connected with The Precisionists in 2016, following its first annual Global Autism Innovation Roundtable, which was hosted by UBS Client Philanthropy, the Kirby, Calvani & Walker Group at UBS Private Wealth Management, and philanthropists Billy and Jennifer Frist. Each year, the event brings together a diverse set of UBS clients, accomplished professionals, activists, parents, educators, inventors, technologists and organizations to tackle some of the difficult questions related to autism.

This year, the Global Autism Innovation Roundtable took place from April 18-19, 2017 in Jupiter, Florida at the Els Center for Excellence, established by PGA golfer Ernie Els. The event focused on providing meaningful employment and solutions for independent living to individuals on the autism spectrum. Last year, the Roundtable focused on leveraging technology to help individuals on the spectrum communicate.

"While we still have a long way to go, we've made significant progress since our first Global Autism Innovation Roundtable," said Bill Sutton, Head of Client Philanthropy at UBS. "With 70 million people in the world affected, supporting people with autism is increasingly important to our community and clients. We are proud to launch this pilot program with The Precisionists and to continue our efforts through the Global Autism Innovation Roundtable."

About UBS

UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. The operational structure of the Group is comprised of our Corporate Center and five business divisions: Wealth Management, Wealth Management Americas, Personal & Corporate Banking, Asset Management and the Investment Bank. UBS's strategy builds on the strengths of all of its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels, while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the businesses and regions in which it operates, in order to generate attractive and sustainable returns for its shareholders. All of its businesses are capital-efficient and benefit from a strong competitive position in their targeted markets.

UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in 54 countries, with about 34% of its employees working in the Americas, 35% in Switzerland, 18% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 13% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs approximately 60,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

About The Precisionists

The Precisionists, Inc. (TPI), a B-Corporation, is a national company focused on providing industry best practices for delivering administrative and technology services by building teams which include individuals with disabilities. This approach enables The Precisionists to meet each customer’s specific needs, and to deliver projects with the highest degree of productivity. The Precisionists is dedicated to creating jobs for individuals with disabilities in all the markets it serves. Learn more at

Media Contact:

Kristen Fitch

Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing