bridging the gap

LOcom_AuthorsLO-POD.png   Patrick Odier
Senior Managing Partner

What makes the World Economic Forum so valuable is its unique role in bringing together governments, NGOs, academic institutions, businesses and civil society in a spirit of collaboration and innovation. If we are going to succeed in ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’, it is imperative that we build bridges between all of these different parties.

So how can investors help, for example, in addressing major health challenges? I think the answer is to invest in our society. Governments cannot do this on their own. As investors and philanthropists, we have a vital role to play.

Educating girls, for example, is one of the most powerful weapons against HIV.

The Global Fund, which finances initiatives to decrease gender inequality in education and help girls stay in school, calls this a “social vaccine”.

Investment, in turn, can offer a kind of “social injection”, in the form of capital contributions, that could enable the Global Fund partnership to reach more people, keep more girls in school and save more lives by increasing the positive impact it is able to have.

Since its foundation in 2002, the programs supported by the Global Fund have saved 22 million lives.

Eleven million people are receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV, 17.4 million people have been treated for TB and 795 million mosquito nets have been through its partners in more than 100 countries.

I believe we can win the fight against epidemics. The number of deaths caused by malaria globally, for example, declined 50% between 2000 and 2015, saving over 6 million lives. This is one of the biggest success stories of the 21st century.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done. Nearly 7,500 young women still become infected with HIV every week. Every year 10.4 million people contract tuberculosis (TB), an entirely preventable and curable disease, but over 4 million of those affected are not diagnosed, treated or reported.

This is where our capital comes in. A funding gap of $20 billion stands in the way of the Global Fund and its partners being able to implement the approved strategies to tackle the diseases between 2017 and 2019.

To keep moving forward, we need to find more ways to help the private sector contribute in bridging this gap, and in increasing the effectiveness of every dollar.

This is why Lombard Odier and the Global Fund have forged a strategic partnership – to look for innovative ways to let more people engage in the fight against these three diseases by making it easier for investors to share their financial gains with organisations like the Global Fund.


And it is in our interests to do so, not just as global citizens, but also as the influencers of capital.

The Global Fund estimates the projected economic gains from investing $10.3 billion over three years could be as much as $230 billion. Every dollar we can add to this total means an even greater impact not just for the people and communities affected by these diseases, but also to the global economy.

I am hugely encouraged to see that, as an investment community, we are increasingly recognising that what is good for social sustainability can also be good for financial sustainability.

This is great news because it means it is also becoming easier for investors to do well and do good at the same time.

These stories are often best told by the people who participate directly in the programs your investment can support. In this video 14-year-old Zulu Siphiwe and her mentor demonstrate the importance of keeping girls in school to build bright futures and fight HIV.

1 Based on current and static costs for patented drugs
Source: The Global Fund, UNAIDS, Stop TB Partnership, Roll Back Malaria Partnership, For illustrative purposes only.


Important information

This document is issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document. This document was not prepared by the Financial Research Department of Lombard Odier.

Read more.