UBS Wealth Management
In 2015, a third quarter plunge in the A-share market wiped out nearly US$4 trillion in value, sending shockwaves through China’s high net worth community, a large proportion of whom hold local equities. Despite the predicament however, UBS Wealth Management not only weathered the storm and but also substantially grew its book of business in the world’s second largest economy.
The bank first launched the China division in the early 2000s with relationship managers spun off from the Hong Kong team. The number has since ballooned to 160, with the division seeing robust CAGR growth of more than 20%, across multiple metrics including invested assets, net revenue and net new money.
The bank has also successfully penetrated 75% of provinces, including the oft-neglected far-flung tier-4 cities. This potent client acquisition capability is owed to a diversified approach to hiring talent. Sourced from a variety of channels, the business’ client advisers hail from various walks of life including rival private banks, non-financial institutions as well as the bank’s wealth management associate program.
Asset acquisition aside, UBS Wealth Management continues to deliver solutions in China across investment, family and business needs, leveraging from its neighbouring investment banking and asset management arms. Of note in 2015 was its ability to source exclusive private equity deals globally, which resulted in strong inflows particularly in the IT sector.
Despite the travails that are bound to occur in China’s equity markets as the country transitions toward a consumption-driven economy, the future looks bright for the Swiss wealth manager as it continues to realise its ambitions, which include growing an onshore presence through its branches in Beijing and Shanghai.
In a competitive space where private banks continue to battle for the assets and trust of wealthy individuals from the Middle Kingdom, UBS Wealth Management has pulled away from the rest and is the deserved winner of the Best Private Bank – China International 2015 Award.