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UBS targets wealth management opportunity in major overhaul

by Dylan Lobo on Oct 30, 2012 at 08:03

UBS targets wealth management opportunity in major overhaul

UBS has said wealth management will be a key growth area as it unveiled a major overhaul of its investment bank.

As widely predicted the Swiss bank is cutting 10,000 jobs, reducing its headcount to 54,000 by 2015.

UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti told the market: ‘This decision has been a difficult one, particularly in a business such as ours that is all about its people. Some reductions will result from natural attrition and we will take whatever measures we can to mitigate the overall effect.’

Following the restructure the group will focus on its traditional strengths in advisory, research, equities, FX and precious metals, with Andrea Orcel heading the new investment bank.  

Meanwhile Carsten Kengeter will oversee the exit a number of businesses, predominately those in fixed income, which the firm said have been rendered uneconomical by changes in regulation and market developments.

Through the restructure UBS is targeting an additional Chf3.4 billion (£2.3 billion) of savings on the top the Chf2 billion announced in August 2011.

The bank said its reduced complexity and size will enable a simplify things at the group, where excess management layers will be removed and spans of control increased. It also said a reduction its real estate footprint and more focused technology requirements will result in additional cost savings.

In a statement the bank said: ‘UBS's investment bank will be focused on its traditional strengths in advisory, research, equities, FX and precious metals. In order to be successful, the Investment Bank must first be strong and successful in meeting the needs of its clients.

‘It will continue to serve its corporate, sovereign, institutional and financial sponsor clients. It must also support sustained growth in the Group by acting as a strong partner to all of UBS's business divisions including wealth management. Achieving this will give the group a competitive advantage.’

Ermotti added: ‘We will continue to deliver the very best of UBS to all our clients and, to support this, over the next three years, we will make investments totalling Chf1.5 billion across all of our businesses. The investment bank will continue to be a significant global player in its core businesses, and we intend to forcefully compete to increase our market share in these areas of strength.'

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