CIO OFFICE OF THE YEAR
Market uncertainty and a slow but steady decline in self-directed investing in Asia have only increased clients’ dependence on their private bank to provide house views for strategic and tactical guidance, whether to gain insight, to select investments from a pre-screened universe, or for the simple fact that they have delegated management responsibilities. Indeed, in an environment where long-term returns are expected to moderate, rates, growth, and earnings dispersion continue to rise, and geopolitical uncertainties loom large, risk management and diversification matter more than ever.
In 2017, UBS’s CIO Office, backed by an army of 200 analysts globally covering more than 1,800 stocks and 800 bond issuers, outshone its peers in this highly competitive space, delivering strategic asset allocation guidance that not only ranked first in terms of performance but also consistency.
Rather than attempting to gamble with concentrated lucky bets and thereby increasing the propensity for major swings between over and underperformance, UBS’s CIO office delivered minimal long-term deviation between real and projected annualised performance.
Tactically, the bank made key calls in an already strong bull market to further enhance performance. These included an early overweight call on US and EM equities, a 12-month call on oil for US$60 per barrel amid scepticism around a supply cut agreement, and a key contrarian call for a stronger EUR against USD despite market-wide expectations that the dollar would strengthen.
But even the most robust CIO office risks irrelevance if the firm is unable to communicate its views with bankers and clients alike. On this front, UBS is an unrivalled leader in content generation and distribution.
In 2017, the private bank conducted 2,000 media presentations and 1,000 media appearances and produced 900 publications, all distributed through multiple traditional and non-traditional channels in the Asia Pacific. The Swiss bank’s deep content shelf not only includes reports covering the full spectrum of asset classes, themes and security selection but also timely thought leadership covering some of today’s most germane topics, including cryptocurrency, “The Belt and Road Initiative” and wealth management for women.
“UBS Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Office is core to the bank’s transformation to an Investment Manager. With over 200 analysts present in 10 key financial hubs in all major regions of the world, we set the investment backdrop for about CHF 2.3 trillion of assets under management. Our mission is simple – to help our clients preserve and grow their wealth. Drawing on our proprietary models, round-the-clock investment analyses, and access to the world’s top asset managers, we produce one concise global investment view – the UBS House View. Importantly, CIO-aligned investment solutions have also had a strong track record, with scope to enhance and complement traditional portfolio strategies in areas such as quant-driven strategies and sustainable investing.”
The ‘Excellence’ award is handed out on merit alone. It recognises an institution with private banking facilities that has demonstrated industry-leading and quality business growth, a strong sense of value proposition, fiduciary responsibility and a willingness to innovate.