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UBS Mulls Re-Establishing Indian Wealth Management

Tom Burroughes

21 May 2018

is considering re-forming its wealth management business in India, a senior executive has said. 

The Swiss group also intends to double its staffing numbers in India to 3,000 by the end of 2018, shifting from outsourcing to creating captive centres in the country to deal with certain processes, Kirt Gardner, group chief financial officer, is quoted by the Economic Times (of India) as saying. UBS confirmed the accuracy of the report to this publication when asked about the story.

“India is a significant part of our talent and technology strategy. We are setting up more captive centres here with the addition of a new one in Pune,” Gardner said. 

The Zurich-listed bank did not elaborating on details about its ideas for re-establishing a wealth business in India. 

India’s regulator Sebi, in a memo on 15 February, had said it will permit wealth management parts of private banks to invest in securities on behalf of offshore clients.

As noted in a report last year about a Knight Frank Wealth Report, India had at the time of publication around 2 per cent of the world’s millionaires (13.6 million) and 5 per cent of world’s billionaires (2,024). Between 2015 and 2016, the country has witnessed a 12 per cent increase in ultra-high net worth individuals, seen rising by 150 per cent over the next decade. The Capgemini World Wealth Report for 2017 noted that in 2016, India had 219 HNW individuals, up from 200 in the previous year.

Among recent developments in the country, India-based Waterfield Advisors in January explained it took on a raft of senior figures over the past three months as it builds out its family office business. Separately, a new family office is being created by the family of Uday Kotak, the managing director of India's Kotak Mahindra Bank. 

India-based Equirus Capital, the investment bank, has made a “foray” into wealth management, appointing former Citibank senior executive Ankur Maheshwari as  CEO for this business segment. More hires in this space are planned.