UBS Wealth Management Americas Shedding Sales Assistants - Report

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 14 August 2014

UBS Wealth Management Americas Shedding Sales Assistants - Report

UBS Wealth Americas, part of the Swiss banking group, is shedding about 75 sales assistants, a report says.

UBS Wealth Americas, part of the Swiss banking group, is shedding about 75 sales assistants, Reuters has quoted it as saying.

The client service associates, handle customer inquiries and prepare paperwork for the firm's approximately 7,000 financial advisors, and are considered fundamental to helping brokers' productivity. Some are paid directly by advisers while others get most of their pay from the firm, the report said.

The layoffs began about a week ago and are ongoing, the news service quoted the US spokesperson as saying. A small number involve employees who are retiring and are not being replaced. The layoffs affect a small number of the firm's approximately 3,000 service associates nationwide, but "are part of our ongoing review of costs and resources," UBS said.

Costs at the business rose by 8 per cent to $1.7 billion on legal, compensation and recruting costs last quarter.

The business has become profitable in recent years after a difficult period immediately after the 2008.
According to results from the Zurich-listed firm in late July, the Wealth Management Americas business at UBS logged record revenues in the second quarter of 2014, while invested assets crossed the $1 trillion mark for the first time. Within WMA, adjusted profit was $246 million, while operating profits fell 13 per cent quarter-on-quarter to SFr211 million ($233 million). Operating income increased 1 per cent to $1.89 billion, reflecting continued growth in managed account fees and higher net interest income.

The Americas business’s operating costs included $44 million of charges related to litigation and regulatory matters. There were $2.5 billion of net outflows in the quarter, mainly as a result of clients taking out money to pay seasonal income tax bills. UBS said this business maintained its adjusted cost/income ratio and its gross income on invested assets within its target ranges. It also logged record invested assets per financial advisor of $143 million, up 13 per cent from $126 million in Q2 2013. Financial advisor headcount is 7,119 for the second quarter, up slightly from 7,099 a year ago.

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