November 4, 2009

UBS Down 680 FAs in Q3

After selling some 380 advisors to Stifel Nicolaus, UBS Americas now has 7,286 advisors in its ranks as of September 30, 2009.

A week after announcing that ex-Merrill leader Bob McCann had been hired to run UBS' wealth management operations in the Americas, the Swiss-based bank says that this unit had a pre-tax profit of CHF 110 million, or about $106 million, in the third quarter of 2009. In addition, though, it continued to report negative net new money and a declining number of financial advisors.

The number of financial advisors in UBS Americas decreased by 653, or 8 percent, to 7,286. The loss of 379 FAs was due to the sale of 56 branches, sold to Stifel Nicolaus, and the loss of 274 advisors was related to slower recruiting and "the planned reductions of lower-producing financial advisors," the company says.

On a year-over-year basis, UBS is down 1,059 advisors - 680, if the 379 leaving through the Stifel Nicolaus acquisition are excluded. At the end of the third quarter of 2008, UBS Americas had 8,345 FAs.

Outflows of net new money in Wealth Management Americas increased to CHF 9.9 billion (about $9.5 billion) from a negative outflow of CHF 5.8 billion in the second quarter. The former Wealth Management U.S. business unit saw net new money outflows increase to CHF 8.6 billion from CHF 5.0 billion.

These flows were affected "by financial advisor attrition and reduced recruiting of experienced financial advisors," explains UBS.

In terms of invested assets, the unit now has about $667 billion, down from about $735 billion a year ago. Client assets stand at $706 billion vs. $800 billion in the third quarter of 2008.

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