In the competition for clients, UBS Wealth Management Americas is focusing on the high-net-worth and ultrahigh-net-worth segment, where it sees the biggest growth opportunity.
The firm is also looking to bring the children of its clients into the fold, Jason Chandler, the head of the firm’s wealth management advisor group, said in a press briefing Wednesday.
UBS’ strategy is to offer advice beyond investing, Chandler said. Clients want objective advice on a wide range of issues from someone they trust.
“Families today want holistic services,” he said.
In order to ensure that its financial advisors meet this challenge, UBS is recruiting the best talent it can find and pouring resources into educating and training.
UBS Wealth Management is changing because investors have changed, and these shifts have become permanent, according to Emily Pachuta, head of client marketing and Investor Insights.
Consider that wealthy investors, irrespective of age, currently hold 20% to 25% of their portfolios in cash. “They use it as a security blanket,” Pachuta said, “and this allows them to engage in the markets.”
Moreover, risk has been redefined, with investors now seeing a loss of assets as permanent. “Financial advisors must understand their clients’ fear of volatility,” the prospect of losing their money forever, she said. Protecting assets is a critical concern.
For boomers, long-term care has become their No. 1 concern. “It far trumps retirement and other issues,” Pachuta said. Boomers are seeing the effects of long-term health needs among their family and friends. They are worried, but often at a loss for what to do.
Retirement, which was the chief concern 15 years ago, has evolved as an issue. Boomers no longer see retirement as a single phase, Pachuta said.
Rather, they now view it in three distinct phases, which could extend over several decades: An active period of work or volunteering, a period of travel and leisure, abd a period of decreasing independence and increasing health issues.
Financial advisors must be prepared to help clients meet the income needs of each phase, she said. Retirees are concerned about outliving their assets.
Millennials present different issues—and are a keen focus of UBS Wealth Management, Pachuta said.