Awards for Excellence 2012: Best Wealth Manager
The financial crisis prompted wealth managers to focus more on investment advice. Such firms are winning back high net-worth clients. None more so than UBS Wealth Management.
Best Wealth Manager: UBS Wealth Management
Also nominated: Citi Private Bank and Credit Suisse Private Bank
In the first quarter of this year, UBS’s pre-tax profit in wealth management was up more than 23%. Net new money more than doubled to SFr6.7 billion ($7 billion). Gross margin was up two basis points to 93bp. It marked the confirmation of the turnaround for the Swiss bank. UBS’s reputation was damaged during the crisis, with big write-downs, a bailout from the Swiss government, and allegations of helping US clients evade taxes. Competitors picked up UBS’s market share, and it was doubtful that the wealth manager would be able to come back. But over the past 12 months, the firm has done just that, and it has reinvented itself to become a more modern and client-focused business.
The fact that the entire bank has strengthened its balance sheet and returned to a position of stability has been crucial for clients. Jürg Zeltner, chief executive of UBS Wealth Management, says: "To be able to talk about the environment we are in with clients without the question of where UBS will be is very important.