February 5, 2013

UBS Reports Loss of $2.1B as Advisors Top $1M in Average Production

Wealth management unit in the Americas added nearly 30 advisors in the fourth quarter

UBS reported early Tuesday a net loss (after taxes) of 1.89 billion Swiss francs (about $2.08 billion), or 0.50 Swiss francs per share, vs. a gain of 323 million Swiss francs, or 0.08 Swiss francs, a year ago and a loss of 2.14 billion Swiss francs, or -0.57 Swiss francs, in the third quarter. Equity analysts polled by Reuters had expected the loss to be 2.08 billion Swiss francs, while those tracked by Bloomberg had anticipated the loss reaching 2.16 billion Swiss francs.

The bank said it had 6.22 billion Swiss francs in operating income in the fourth quarter of 2012 vs. 5.86 billion Swiss francs last year and 6.29 billion Swiss francs in the prior quarter. Due to the LIBOR troubles and related issues, the investment bank reported operating loss before taxes was 1.82 billion Swiss francs vs. a gain of 481 million Swiss francs a year ago and a loss of 2.53 billion Swiss francs in prior quarter.

Sergio Ermotti“We made decisive progress in executing our strategy last year and started 2013 in a strong position,” said Group CEO Sergio Ermotti (left), in a press release. “Our financial strength, our attractive and unique business mix and our enviable global client franchise give us a competitive advantage.”

Strong Americas Results

UBS Americas says its wealth-management operations had invested assets of $843 billion, up 1% from $832 billion in the prior quarter and up 12% from $756 billion in the year-ago period.

Revenue for the unit grew 7% sequentially and 16% year over year to $1.75 billion vs. $1.63 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively. The group’s pretax profit was $216 million, however, down 7% from $232 million in 3Q ’12 but up 36% from $159 million in 4Q ’11.

Its advisor headcount stood at 7,059 on Dec. 31, up 27 from 7,032 in 3Q ’12 and an increase of 92 from 6,967 in 4Q '11.

Net new money in the fourth quarter was $8.8 billion, a jump of 84% from $4.8 billion in 3Q ’12 and an increase of 312% from $2.1 billion in 4Q ’11. Including dividends and interest, net new assets were $16.7 billion, up 70% from $9.8 billion in 3Q ’12 and an improvement of 93% from $8.6 billion in 4Q ’11.

Yearly average revenue—or fees and commissions—per advisor was $1,001,000, up 8% from $927,000 in 3Q ’12 and an uptick of 15% from $869,000 in 4Q ’11. “Our revenue per advisor puts us ahead of our peers on this metric for yet another quarter and demonstrates our achievement of our goal of million-dollar-producing advisors,” the company said in a statement.

Invested assets per advisor were $119 million, an increase of 1% from $118 million in 3Q’12 and up 10% from $108 million in 4Q’11.

Check out AdvisorOne's Q4 Earnings Calendar.

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