Displaying items by tag: UBS

Saturday, 11 May 2024 08:06

UBS Affirms Commitment to Wealth Management

There have been constant rumors swirling that UBS intends to sell its US wealth management unit. In part, it’s due to the bank’s North American wealth management unit delivering lower returns than its peers and UBS’ wealth management units in other geographies. 

Another factor is that European regulators are reportedly looking to impose increased capital requirements for banks with foreign subsidiaries. The unit has also been underperforming, with profit declining by 31% in Q1 and its cost-to-income ratio more than 20% above UBS’ other geographies. Advisor headcount also declined from 6,147 to 6,079. 

During UBS’ Q1 earnings report, CEO Sergio Ermotti dismissed reports that a sale was on the horizon despite these challenges. He sees a presence in North American wealth management as integral to UBS’ ambitions of being a global bank, adding that “shrinking back to greatness is not a strategy.”

Instead, UBS plans to keep investing in its North American wealth management business, identifying it as a ‘key… growth market’. It believes that over the next 3 years, UBS can shrink the profitability gap with its competitors. Part of its growth strategy is to more aggressively refer investment banking customers to wealth management. 

Finsum: Despite middling results from its North American wealth management unit, UBS dismissed speculation that the unit could be sold. Instead, it plans to invest in the unit and hopes to narrow the profitability gap with peers over the next 3 years.

Published in Wealth Management
Thursday, 21 March 2024 12:05

UBS Late to Wealth Management M&A

This time last year, UBS was embarking on its takeover of the distressed Credit Suisse. Understandably, this slowed its pursuit of other M&A targets. However, the bank is now ready to target larger wealth management firms.

UBS CEO Sergio P. Ermotti recently spoke at the Morgan Stanley European Financials conference. He sees the bank targeting US wealth managers for acquisitions in an effort to boost the profitability of this division. His goal is to narrow the gap between UBS and its rivals following a 72% decline in the unit’s Q4 earnings. 

However, many are skeptical about UBS’ strategy given the aggressive moves made by competitors in the last few years. According to Larry Roth, the managing partner at RLR Strategic Partner, “UBS could be late to the M&A party, which already has significant, well-run firms that are having success in this area.” Further, attractive targets are likely to have multiple bidders and rich valuations. 

Another concern is that there is no guarantee that these large acquisitions will work. A recent example is UBS’ attempted purchase of Wealthfront for $1.4 billion in January 2022 with the intention that it could help the bank recruit Wealthfront’s younger clients. The deal was scrapped by regulators and shareholders. 

Acquisitions are essential for UBS to fuel growth, given its challenges in retaining talent. UBS's advisors generate more than $1 million in average annual revenue and fees. This makes them an appealing target for RIAs or independent broker-dealers with more earnings potential. 

Finsum: UBS is betting on a more aggressive M&A strategy to bolster its US wealth management division. Yet, many believe that the bank’s efforts may not succeed given higher valuations for attractive targets and recruiting challenges.

Published in Wealth Management

Following the collapse of First Republic, many believed that there would be a negative impact on financial advisor recruiting. However, this concern was unfounded as more than 9,600 experienced advisors switched firms last year, which was a 7.5% increase from 2022 according to a report from Diamond Consultants. 


Jason Diamond, executive VP of Diamond Consultants, authored the report. He considers an experienced advisor to be one with a minimum of 3 years of experience. He believes that the healthy recruiting figures reflect that advisors are ‘taking a long-term view of the business in terms of what move will best position them for the next five years, not just today.” 


The two biggest moves were a team from UBS, managing $5.5 billion in assets, moving to RBC, and a private banking group at Bank of America, advising on $4.5 billion in client assets, joining Fidelis Capital, an independent wealth management practice. 


Most moves were within the same channel, such as wirehouse to wirehouse, even though many headlines focus on large teams going independent. For 2024, expectations are for another strong year of recruiting, although weakness in financial markets could lead to less activity. Many wealth management firms now offer multiple affiliation channels for incoming advisors. Additionally, private equity has also been getting more involved which has also pushed valuations higher. 

Finsum: Many thought that financial advisor recruiting would drop off in 2023 following the collapse of First Republic. However, this was incorrect as recruiting was up 7.5% compared to 2022. Expectations are that recruiting in 2024 should be strong as well.  


Published in Wealth Management

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s brokerage unit recently lured a Miami team from UBS Wealth Management USA with $4.8 million in revenue, while also picking up a solo advisor from Goldman Sachs who produced $2.3 million in Boston. The Fernandez Cabrera Group, which is led by Pedro Fernandez and Jesus (J.C.) Cabrera joined J.P. Morgan Advisors on Friday and had overseen $700 million in assets as of year-end at UBS. Fernandez and Cabrera moved along with client associate Charlene Meizoso. They report to Rick Penafiel, regional director for Boston, Miami, and Palm Beach Gardens. Fernandez started his financial career at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in 2004 and joined UBS in 2014. Cabrera started as a broker in 1984 at First Investors Corporation and only stayed at the company for a year. He registered again in 2012 when he joined Bernstein. In addition, Brent Herbert joined J.P. Morgan in February after overseeing around $445 million in assets at Goldman. He has 13 years of experience and joined Goldman in 2017 from Mizuho Securities. Herbert also reports to Penafiel. JPMorgan is close to two years into a campaign to double its headcount from the roughly 450 at its traditional brokerage.

Finsum:J.P. Morgan lured away a $4.8 million duo from Miami, while also adding a $2.3 million solo advisor from Goldman Sachs.

Category: Wealth Management

Keywords: JPMorgan, UBS, Goldman Sachs, recruiting

Published in Wealth Management
Wednesday, 08 March 2023 04:41

UBS Lures Away $4 Million Merrill Team in Florida

UBS Wealth Management lured away a team generating $4 million in revenue from Merrill Lynch in Sarasota, Florida, as the wirehouse continues to keep up its recruiting efforts. The group, led by advisors Brian Mariash and James Barton “Bart” Lowther, had overseen around $640 million in assets. Their practice, called Mariash Lowther Wealth Management, joined UBS on February 24th and includes advisor Jesse Perez and client associates Shannon Murphy, Dionysios Skaliotis, and Sovanna Sok. Mariash had been with Merrill for the last 14 years. He started at the now-defunct firm GunnAllen Financial, moved to Wells Fargo predecessor A.G. Edwards after less than one year, and then joined Morgan Stanley in 2008. Lowther started his career at Merrill in 2010. According to the UBS announcement, Mariash and Lowther had been partners for the last 10 years. As part of the announcement, Greg Kadet, UBS’s Florida market director stated, “The team’s experience, dedication to clients, and passion for philanthropy are a great addition to our business as we look to continue to expand and enhance our ability to serve clients in this growing market.” UBS has been accelerating its recruiting efforts with a special bonus last summer and continues to court million-dollar-plus producers. For instance, it previously landed a Morgan Stanley team, led by Peter E. Black, who generated $3 million in annual revenue in Princeton, New Jersey.

Finsum: UBS continues its recruiting efforts with the announcement that it lured away a Merrill Lynch team generating $4 million in revenue in Sarasota, Florida.

Published in Wealth Management
Page 1 of 4

Contact Us



Subscribe to our daily newsletter

We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…