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UBS Cuts Recruiting, Triples Training Budget

October 12, 2017

Next year UBS will slash trainee advisor recruiting by 30% — but the brokerage plans to spend two to three times more on training the ones it hires, Reuters reports.

UBS Wealth Management Americas president Tom Naratil tells the newswire his firm will seek more experienced advisors as new recruits whom he plans to pair up with senior advisors. The new strategy is a bid to serve existing wealthy clients and a younger clientele.

As the older advisors retire, the firm hopes the younger trainees can take on the next generation who’ll inherit the wealth from UBS’s older clients, according to Reuters.

Trainees will be paid for the first two years of the new three-year program, as opposed to the seven-month salary UBS currently pays trainees, according to the newswire. The firm told its advisors about its new recruiting strategy Wednesday, Reuters writes.

“Others are still playing a scale game,” Naratil tells Reuters. “Our success relies on improving the productivity of our advisers because if we improve their productivity we see better results.”

UBS already has the country’s most productive advisor force, according to the newswire. Its 6,915 reps earned $1.2 million on average as of the second quarter, Reuters writes. Advisors at UBS rival Morgan Stanley produced $1.05 million on average, while Merrill Lynch advisors brought in $1.04 million on average, according to the newswire.

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UBS’s move is indicative of an industry trying to ensure aging advisors can relate to the next generation of investors, expected to inherit more than $30 trillion from baby boomers, according to the newswire. High net worth clients control a third of liquid assets in the U.S. but 67% of them are over 60 years old, Reuters writes. Meanwhile, half of U.S. brokers are over 55, according to Cerulli Associates data cited by the newswire, and UBS’s advisor ranks are similar, according to Reuters.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Reuters article cited in this story, click here.