UBS will roll out a full refresh of its US advisor workstation in the summer of 2021. This is one of several announcements made by UBS executives during a conference call with reporters Thursday. The firm also has no plan yet to phase in advisors’ return to work en masse in its branches. In addition, the firm reported that a total of 15,000 US clients had participated in its series of three virtual Election Watch events held over the past few months.
Tom Naratil, co-president of UBS Global Wealth Management and president of UBS Americas, also said that the technology behind the workstation, which is being developed in conjunction with Broadridge, is already being rolled out in portions, or “code drops.” One feature, already released, has enabled advisors to give their clients a more accurate picture of their wealth and how they are being billed. The firm now calculates, on a daily basis, the average AUM in their accounts, as is done in the mutual fund industry.
Naratil said that the American wealth unit has also been hiring more advisors, specifically to bulk up its sports and entertainment units.
Rob Karofsky, co-president of UBS’s investment bank, added that the embedding of investment banking representatives in the company’s wealth management branches, a practice which begin in April was “already showing momentum,” but provided no additional details or metrics. The move is aimed at providing its UHNW clients with more access to global products and opportunities,
Suni Harford, president of UBS Asset Management, noted that UBS had closed on the sale of its majority stake in UBS Fondcenter to Clearstream, on Sept. 30. Fondcenter was combined with Clearstream’s Fund Desk to create the world’s second largest B2B fund distribution platform, with about $290 billion in assets, cementing the two parties in a long-term commercial agreement.
She said that UBS’ asset management platform, which has been adding staff since 2017, now at 2,400 employees on a global basis, and provides access to 70,000 funds through its distributors. Assets put to work in the platforms sustainable strategies, 50% of which are custom-tailored, have grown from $5 billion in 2016 to $76 billion.
The asset manager has launched 70 new funds through the pandemic, she added.