Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

The best and worst jobs at UBS in Asia so far this year

UBS’s investment bankers and traders in Hong Kong and Singapore may be casting an envious eye at their high-performing colleagues in wealth management. While redundancies are on the cards in IB, UBS’s Asia-based private bankers are managing more assets per head than they did a year ago, according to UBS’s third quarter results.

UBS is culling about 40 jobs from its markets and investment banking teams in Asia Pacific, including in Hong Kong and Singapore, according to a Bloomberg report at the weekend. Today UBS announced a new plan to reduce CHF90m in global costs, which CFO Chris Whelan described as 90% about “personnel costs”.

Profits at UBS’s investment bank fell 62% year-on-year globally in Q3, and UBS cited its focus on the weaker markets of Asia and Europe as one of the reasons for the fall. A spokesperson for UBS declined to comment on Asian investment banking job cuts, although we understand from one source that Asia will be less affected by the forthcoming layoffs than the US or Europe will be.

There are also likely to be pockets of recruitment in Asian IB at UBS. The bank is selectively hiring in China, having won regulatory approval to take a majority stake in its mainland joint venture last November, David Chin, APAC head of corporate client solutions told us in August, without providing headcount numbers or a timescale.

If you want a comparatively secure front-office job at UBS in Asia, however, wealth management  is arguably the division to work in. UBS employed 1,068 client advisors (its name for relationship managers/private bankers) at the end of Q3. This is down 42 year-on-year, but there haven’t been mass layoffs – the decline was mainly due to bankers deciding to leave, says a private banking headhunter with knowledge of UBS. The Swiss firm remains by far the biggest private bank in Asia by front-office headcount.

Moreover, Asian private bankers at UBS have become more productive as regional assets under management (AUM) reached $420bn for the third quarter. About 68% of UBS’s $16bn in global Q3 net new money came from Asia, according to the Swiss bank’s financial results.

In Q3 last year, UBS’s Asian private bankers were each managing about $340m on average (i.e. AUM divided by headcount). They now have around $393m under their control (per head), a year-on-year rise of 16%.

In other words, UBS has slightly fewer private bankers than last year, but its current crop are bringing in more money. This potentially bodes well for 2019 bonuses for UBS’s Asian private bankers, says the headhunter.

Image credit: ClaudineVM, Getty

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Email: smortlock@efinancialcareers.com or Telegram: @simonmortlock

We are on Telegram! Join us now 

author-card-avatar
AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Latest Jobs
AIA Singapore Private Limited
Strategy & Planning, Principal
AIA Singapore Private Limited
Singapore
AIA Singapore Private Limited
Customer Planning, Reporting & Analytics, Consultant
AIA Singapore Private Limited
Singapore
Target Partners Executive Search
Regional CFO/Deputy CFO
Target Partners Executive Search
Singapore
Charterhouse Partnership Singapore
Solution Engineer Lead
Charterhouse Partnership Singapore
Singapore
Charterhouse Partnership Singapore
Risk Manager (AVP/ VP)- Asset Management
Charterhouse Partnership Singapore
Singapore

Sign up to Morning Coffee!

Coffee mug

The essential daily roundup of news and analysis read by everyone from senior bankers and traders to new recruits.