| NEW YORK, July 31
NEW YORK, July 31 UBS Wealth Management
Americas, the U.S. brokerage arm of Swiss bank UBS,
reported a 28 percent increase in second-quarter earnings,
fueled by investment portfolio gains and higher asset-management
UBS said the brokerage generated $211 million in quarterly
pretax profit as revenue rose 5 percent to $1.59 billion from a
year earlier. Increases in management fees offset lower
commissions, as client trading activity slowed, and a decline in
net interest income.
Operating expenses rose 3 percent to $1.38 billion at UBS
Wealth Management Americas, fueled by higher broker compensation
and the lingering impact of recruiting bonuses. Nonbroker
compensation and other general expenses fell.
The ranks of UBS brokers have been expanding in the past
year after being gutted in 2008 and 2009 by departures triggered
by the bank's financial crisis losses and by several regulatory
setbacks. During the second quarter, they rose by just six
advisers to 7,021 from the end of March, but were up 2 percent
from 6,862 a year earlier.
Customers added $3.8 billion of net new money during the
quarter, excluding interest and dividends on investments already
in accounts. Overall client assets slipped 2 percent to $838
billion, though, reflecting falling stock prices during a period
of renewed worries about the outlook for the U.S. economy and
Europe's debt crisis.
Still, UBS said annualized average broker production had
risen 1 percent to $905,000 from the first quarter, while client
assets per adviser slipped by $1 million to $114 million. Bank
of America Corp's Merrill Lynch, by comparison, reported
average production had fallen 5 percent to $915,000 in the
UBS realized $63 million of gains during the quarter from
selling securities to rebalance its own investment portfolio.