UBS Tops Estimates on Strong Wealth Results

Net new money in the Americas unit was $9.2 billion vs. $4.6 billion a year ago and $8.8 billion in the prior quarter

UBS headquarters in Zurich. (Photo: AP) UBS headquarters in Zurich. (Photo: AP)

UBS (UBS) said early Tuesday that its first-quarter net profit was 988 million Swiss francs ($1.06 billion), or 0.26 Swiss francs ($0.28) per share, down slightly from 1.035 billion Swiss francs ($1.11 billion) a year ago, or 0.27 Swiss francs ($0.29) per share—beating analysts’ estimates.

The company says the Wealth Management Americas unit “achieved another record profit and strong net new money inflows. In addition, asset inflows into the global wealth management businesses were nearly CHF 24 billion ($25.8 billion).

"While it is too early to declare victory, we have shown our business model works in practice,” said UBS Group CEO Sergio P. Ermotti, in a press release. “Although markets improved, we still saw challenges, so I am very pleased with our performance.”

Wealth Management Americas

The unit, which is led by Bob McCann, had profits before tax of $251.5 million compared with a profit before tax of $216 million in the prior quarter and about $215 million a year ago. Operating income was largely unchanged year over year at $1.7 billion, an 11% improvement from the earlier quarter.

The Americas operations reported adjusted quarterly profits before tax of $262 million in the first quarter of 2013 compared with an adjusted profit before tax of $219 million in the prior quarter.

Net new money for the first quarter of 2013 was $9.2 billion versus $4.6 billion a year ago and $8.8 billion in the prior quarter. The company says this increase can be attributed to both newly recruited advisors and interaction with its Global Family Office operations.

Including dividends and interest, net new money was $14 billion in Q1’13 versus $9.3 billion a year earlier and $16.7 billion in Q4’12.

The number of UBS financial advisors in the Americas stands at 7,065, up 6 from the prior quarter and 50 from a year ago.

Client assets under management total $936 billion versus $885 billion as of Dec. 31, 2012, and $851 billion as of March 31, 2012.

The average level of assets per advisor is $126 million, an increase of 5% from $119 million in 4Q'12 and a jump of 10% from $115 million in 1Q'12.

Yearly fees and commissions per rep were $984,000 as of March 31, down 2% from $1.001 million in the prior quarter but up 10% from $897,000 a year ago.

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