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UBS bets on investment banking, wealth tie-up in bid for growth

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen in Zurich, Switzerland October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - UBS, the world’s biggest wealth manager, has appointed corporate banking veteran Christian Rosset to lead a new wealth management team tasked with strengthening corporate offerings for entrepreneur clients, the bank told employees this week.

With the new appointment, Swizterland’s biggest lender is seeking to boost business by increasing crossover between its flagship business serving the world’s wealthy with investment and corporate banking capabilities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, banking entrepreneurs and their firms.

“A majority of the new clients we attract are entrepreneurs,” EMEA wealth management head Christine Novakovic told Reuters. “If we set up a small, effective team of people who have come over from the investment bank or corporate banking business, and who know our product offerings inside out, then we can build a bridge over to wealth management.”

Through the initiative, the bank hopes to generate growth in each of the divisions, providing more corporate and investment banking services--including treasury management and currency hedging--to entrepreneurs’ firms, and in turn attracting more well-to-do business owners into its private banking.

“For new clients, it’s about being able to provide all-around services for their firms and having that be an anchor for getting into business... That will help us bring in fresh money and generate growth within wealth management,” Novakovic said.

“We’ll be starting out in certain markets and then gradually expanding the team, building up in other regions.”

Prior to taking on the bank’s regional leadership in wealth management last year, Novakovic headed the Zurich-based lender’s Swiss investment banking and corporate client businesses.

Rosset, who lastly served as head of income-producing real estate for investors within the corporate and institutional clients division, will be making a similar switch.

Reporting by Angelika Gruber; writing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise