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Why UBS Has Big New Plans to Poach Advisors from Morgan Stanley and Others

October 24, 2018

Swiss-based UBS is set to announce an aggressive pitch to lure ultra high net wroth clients and family offices in the U.S., which includes going after “relationship managers” and financial advisors at U.S. wealth management firms, according to the Financial Times.

The announcement is expected Thursday, when chief executive Sergio Ermotti is scheduled to lay out the bank’s five-year growth plans, the FT writes.

As part of its push into the U.S. market — which comes nine years after the Department of Justice fined UBS $780 million for helping its clients dodge taxes — the company plans to bring on “dozens” of advice professionals from its U.S. competitors, people familiar with the matter tell the newspaper.

The company hopes to lure clients from firms such as Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs with its access to global markets and international products, the FT writes.

UBS also plans to entice wealthy American expats in Hong Kong and Singapore, according to the paper.

UBS’s push for U.S. clients is due to what the firm sees as a safer regulatory environment when it comes to American expats, who were avoided by many banks following the Justice Department fine, the FT writes.

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In part, this has to do with the 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which lets U.S. financial authorities get information about Swiss bank accounts automatically, according to the paper.

UBS declined comment to the FT.

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