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08 December 2019

UBS weighs fund platform sale in asset management revamp

UBS Fondcenter provides access to over 65,000 funds from hundreds of providers of mutual funds, ETFs and alternative investment funds.

Shutterstock/Mino Surkala

UBS Group’s asset management unit is considering a sale of its fund platform, as new head Suni Harford tries to turn around the underperforming division, reported Bloomberg.

The Swiss-based lender has been talking with potential buyers for the business, known as UBS Fondcenter and a possible sale could fetch at least CHF 500 million ($506 million).

The Swiss bank has been exploring options for its asset management business over the past year including a merger with Deutsche Bank’s DWS. After going through restructuring under former Chief Ulrich Koerner, the unit repeatedly missed a key profitability target. Like other bank-owned asset managers, the division is under pressure from new regulations such as MiFID II and a protracted shift toward passive investing.

The sale of Fondcenter could be another step to improve profitability at the asset management unit. UBS’s biggest competitor, Credit Suisse Group, did a similar deal earlier this year when it combined its fund platform InvestLab with private equity backed Allfunds.

Iqbal Khan, Credit Suisse’s Head of International Wealth Management at the time, was personally negotiating the deal shortly before he left the Swiss bank and joined UBS.


RELATED STORIES: UBS Group Deutsche Bank Credit Suisse MiFID II





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