March 28, 2018 / 3:55 PM / 24 days ago

UBS begins global wealth management shift by merging teams

ZURICH (Reuters) - UBS (UBSG.S) has begun adopting a unified global wealth management structure by merging teams responsible for its private banking products.

FILE PHOTO - A UBS advertisement is displayed on top of a commercial building in Hong Kong, China May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

The world’s largest wealth manager said in January it would combine its businesses servicing American and international clients into one global division.

UBS is now combining the regional teams responsible for managing products and services related to alternative investments, investment mandates and partnerships, an internal memo seen by Reuters and confirmed by the bank said.

“We are confident that our new set-up will enable us to capture the many new opportunities that our worldwide wealth management business offers,” Jason Chandler and Christian Wiesendanger, who jointly lead wealth management’s Investment Platforms and Solutions (IPS), told UBS employees on Tuesday.

Wiesendanger and Chandler were named global co-heads of IPS a year ago, in a move that presaged the merger of Wealth Management Americas and the separate international Wealth Management unit which took effect in February.

While the North American and international wealth management businesses will maintain distinct business models, with the United States continuing to service clients through a brokerage model, the Swiss-based bank said the unification would better serve ultra-wealthy clients while cutting costs.

    By combining IPS reporting lines, UBS hopes to give clients access to its full product suite across wealth management.

    Jerry Pascucci — hitherto alternative investments head in America — will lead the global alternatives team offering hedge fund and private market investments, including investments in private equity, real estate and impact investment, with effect from April, according to the memo.

    Roman Berri and Jake Elmhirst will assume responsibility for private markets and hedged strategies respectively out of Zurich and London.

    UBS will also align its mandates business under global investment management head Bruno Marxer and expand offerings in the United States through a new American subdivision.

    A global partnerships team under Greg Toskos will provide a single contact point for third-party partners as well as the bank’s asset management and investment banking divisions.

    Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Alexander Smith

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