By Ashley Lau
May 3 Swiss bank UBS AG's U.S.
brokerage unit has named a new head for its private wealth
management division, as the company looks to expand its business
catering to clients with $10 million or more in investable
John Mathews, who had been a regional director in the
southeast United States, has been tapped to lead the unit, which
includes about 340 advisers catering to the firm's wealthiest
clients, UBS said on Friday.
"We think it's better served as a separate unit," Mathews
said in an interview, noting that the ultra-high-net-worth
segment is the fastest growing client segment at the firm.
"We're able to dedicate more resources to (the business),
which means it will grow faster," he said.
Mathews takes over the role from Jason Chandler, who had
been overseeing both the unit and the wider Americas force of
roughly 7,000 brokers. Chandler will continue to oversee the
broader adviser group, while he and Mathews report to Bob
Mulholland, head of wealth management and investment solutions
for UBS in the Americas.
UBS Wealth Management Americas, formed out of the old
PaineWebber brokerage, is the fourth-largest brokerage in the
United States, following Morgan Stanley's wealth
management unit, Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch
and Wells Fargo & Co's Wells Fargo Advisors.
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch also have
divisions catering to the firm's wealthiest clients.
"The wealthier the client, the more complex their needs
are," said Mathews, referring to clients' mortgages, tax
planning and insurance needs. He said they have also had an
increased focus on lending for clients.
"We're in a position to help not only with their
investments, but also with their other planning needs," he said.
Advisers need to go through a rigorous accreditation program
before they can join the private wealth group, Mathews said.
Mathews, who started in his new job on April 23, oversees
all of UBS' private wealth offices in the United States, which
include branches in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco,
Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Stamford, Connecticut.
He started his career as an adviser at E.F. Hutton & Co in
Tampa, Florida, later joining PaineWebber in 1994, and
eventually UBS through its acquisition. Since then, he has
worked as a branch manager, complex manager and regional
director for the firm.