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UBS Wealth Management Wants Fresh Faces For UK Expansion

Josh O'Neill

21 February 2018

and there is wealth continually being generated.”

Offering examples of sectors showing the most promise, Raffan said: “Technology, life sciences, oil and gas… the list could go on. We like to get a real understanding of each sector,” she added, admitting this can “often take many years”. UBS Wealth Management, however, is “very sector-agnostic when it comes to where we source our clients,” she said. 

Raffan echoed Julius Baer’s head of UK regions, Calum Brewster, who recently told WealthBriefing that Scotland’s growing pool of small-and medium-enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs are driving liquidity events, creating significant regional opportunities for wealth managers. Julius Baer, a rival Swiss private bank, also this month announced it would enter the Scottish market by setting up shop in Edinburgh.

“The SME sector is exactly our kind of focus,” Raffan said. 

Scotland’s universities also play a key role in the country’s wealth cycle, acting as a pipeline for future entrepreneurs, Raffan explained, which has led UBS Wealth Management to “align itself” with some of them.

“We work with universities to widen people’s networks,” Raffan said. “We host events so they ,” Brown, head of regions, said. "We have recently recruited in Newcastle, Leeds and Birmingham, and we have a new joiner in Manchester, too.”

When asked what regions he is particularly bullish on, he said: “I wouldn’t necessarily select any particular region. Our internal growth rates are similar at each location.”

Last year, Sergio Ermotti, UBS’ chief executive, indicated that the Brexit blow would be far from fatal, as the bank would likely move some 250 jobs from London as opposed to the 1,000 it initially feared. 

Brown is confident that “UBS will not lose that many jobs to Europe” and that he does not see “any implications at all” for its wealth management business. 

“Politically, there is some uncertainty. But we are still seeing buoyant markets in terms of liquidity events and we will grow accordingly,” he said. The group’s clients are also optimistic on local economies, he said, especially those outside London. “The nearer to London you are, the more Brexit is considered. Further away from the capital, the less it is talked about.”

Raffan also offered her take on Brexit.

“Irrespective of Brexit, there are always going to be political risks, just as there are risks with markets and volatitlity,” she said. “But it doesn’t stop us managing wealth for our clients in the long term – it is simply another hurdle to overcome.”