UBS wealth management Americas nabs assets, looks to digital

Like its competitors, UBS global wealth management closed out 2021 with a bang, reporting Tuesday that in the Americas region, it added $21.9 billion in net new fee-generating assets for the quarter ending Dec. 31.

That’s a big leap when compared to $11.8 billion in net new assets for the third quarter and just $1.4 billion in what the global bank referred to as “net new money” for wealth management in the Americas region for the same period in 2020.

Meanwhile, UBS said in its earnings release that like its competitors, it is looking to continue expanding its franchise. That’s quite a different tune for large financial institutions like UBS, many of whom were rocked by the 2008 financial crisis and then for years faced restrictions imposed by banking regulators on their stock buybacks and dividends.

Just last week, UBS Group said it was buying leading independent robo-adviser Wealthfront Corp. in a deal valued at $1.4 billion, ending months of speculation over the fate of one of the industry’s largest automated-advice platforms.

“We will leverage digital to expand our reach starting in the U.S., where we’ve announced our plans to acquire Wealthfront to deliver a digital wealth management offering to millennial and Gen Z affluent investors,” the company said. “Together, we can expand our wallet share, access new clients, lower the cost to serve, and drive long-term growth. Looking ahead, we are planning similar models in the rest of the world.”

As InvestmentNews has noted, despite last year’s political and social turmoil, 2021 turned out to be an incredibly healthy year for the broad financial advice industry, from large broker-dealers to burgeoning registered investment adviser networks.

The S&P 500 repeatedly hit record highs during 2021, benefitting brokerage firms and banks like UBS immensely. The index ultimately posted a total annual return, including dividends, of 28.7% — almost twice its annual median return of 15.4%.

UBS global wealth management Americas delivered a pretax profit of $2 billion for 2021, which was a record and marked a 47% increase year over year, the company reported. The performance was supported by an 18% increase year over year in revenue per adviser and record loan volume of $92 billion, according to the company.

Financial adviser head count of 6,218 dipped slightly during the quarter but was within the range that large concerns like UBS wealth management Americas typically target. That total is down 1.4%, or 87 advisers, compared to the end of 2020, and was a decline of 48 advisers, or less than 1%, when compared to the total in the quarter ending in September.

It must be time for active management to shine. Or not

The post UBS wealth management Americas nabs assets, looks to digital appeared first on InvestmentNews.

Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.

Andrew Vincent
Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He's also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.
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