LONDON, April 12 UBS has hired JP
Morgan veteran Bryan Crawford for its global family
office, a joint venture between investment banking and wealth
management that aims to bring Asian and Middle Eastern
billionaires more investment options in Europe.
Launched last year and expected to be rolled out globally,
the unit will bring together investment banking clients in need
of finance and wealthy families looking to put cash to work,
said the joint head of the business Jerry Wattenberg.
Crawford's role is a new one for the firm and is designed to
make sure billionaires get better access to corporate finance
transactions including initial public offerings.
"The premise is that a large selection of very wealthy and
sophisticated clients need and want services beyond what the
average private banking model can provide," said Wattenberg, who
declined to name his clients because the relationships are
Wattenberg said that ultra high net worth individuals or
family offices could often invest over $25 million in a single
deal. UBS is also investigating whether it can create pools of
capital from these clients to invest in a range of deals.
"We have had approaches from families asking to look at a
particular bank's assets or asking if we have bank assets for
them to look at," he said.
"There are jewels within distressed bank portfolios these
families would like to own. It is an extra source of capital for
the banks, every bit helps."
Family offices like clean, unleveraged assets, notably
hotels and luxury brands, UBS said.