1. Newsroom
  2. UBP is ready for all Brexit eventualities
Menu
UBP in der Presse 26.03.2019

UBP is ready for all Brexit eventualities

UBP is ready for all Brexit eventualities

AWP (25.03.2019) - Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) anticipated the uncertainties surrounding future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union. By expanding in London with the acquisition of ACPI and maintaining a strong presence in Luxembourg, the Geneva bank is prepared for any outcome, as its CEO Guy de Picciotto explained to AWP.


With UBP having just expanded in London, are you concerned about Brexit, which to date is due on 12 April?

I don't believe financial activities in London will be fundamentally affected. The City will remain a choice financial centre for very wealthy people. If the UK keeps hold of its European passport, we will be able to run our activities in Europe out of London. If not, it’ll be out of Luxembourg. We will adapt.

Last year UBP made two acquisitions – ACPI in London and Carnegie in Luxembourg. Are you going to keep up that pace in 2019?

Acquisitions aren't something you plan ahead. However, I do think that the consolidation of the banking sector in Switzerland is coming to an end. Partly because the banks that had to pull out have done so. And partly because financial markets are currently favourable for wealth management and the wave of new regulations has passed. At least until the next one.

Does that mean you're looking to make acquisitions abroad?

Not necessarily. We had been wanting to grow our footprint in London for a while. In ACPI we found an investment management company that met all our criteria. As regards Carnegie in Luxembourg, it was more an opportunity to grow in a financial centre that is going to play an increasingly important role as a European hub, and Switzerland has yet to obtain access to that market.

Was the Carnegie acquisition a contingency plan in case of a hard Brexit?

No, it was a way of strengthening our European hub in Luxembourg. But both London and Luxembourg are indeed contingency plans in case Switzerland does not gain access to the European market.

Do you see any further acquisition opportunities in the current context?

There are always openings. We go through each case and consider it if we find the candidate complements us well. We focus particularly on deals of between 5 and 30 billion in assets, depending on the location. So the scope is broad. I would like to make an acquisition in Asia but there are very few opportunities there.

Why is that?

The local players are well established and are developing their businesses. Some foreign groups left Singapore and Hong Kong but at the time we were busy integrating the Coutts teams and clients (acquired in 2016). We did not take those opportunities, but they were also perhaps a little too expensive.

What resources do you have for such transactions?

We have a lot of capital, easily enough to pay the goodwill (added value in an acquisition) if we were taking over clients or a company. We also have the capacity to perform an IT integration fast, which is a clear advantage.

Have you adjusted your strategy since the stock market turmoil last December?

There wasn’t just the fall in December, which was surprising and unpredictable. The downturn started in September and at the time we cut back risk by gradually reducing our portfolio allocation to equities. However, it would be very difficult not to invest in equity markets given that they have been posting 10% performances since January. If we don't make those returns now, I don’t know when we will.

Going back to Asia, you were recently granted a wholesale licence in Singapore. Does that market have high potential?

To me Hong Kong and Singapore go together. They are two hubs on a continent which is undoubtedly where most of the world’s wealth is being created, and where China has the appeal that the US had a few years ago. Asia is undeniably the continent of the future.

When you bought Coutts, you were managing CHF 8 billion in assets in Asia. How much is it now?

We have a total of CHF 23 billion in private and institutional clients’ assets under management in Asia. Private banking now accounts for over CHF 15 billion. As a new pure player there, we were able to attract top teams to strengthen our existing workforce and that has enabled us to substantially broaden our footprint in the region.

The Middle East is also one of your priorities. How much in assets do you manage there?

We do not give out details by market, but the region is our second- or third-fastest growing market. We recruited seven new staff at our Dubai office at the end of last year.

What is the outlook for 2019?

Market volatility and the rebound in January and February meant clients took profits at the start of this year, but I expect a slowdown in the coming months. The big investments we made in 2018 should pay off this year. As for our budget, it's in line with last year’s.

Read the article
Insight

Navigating wealth succession in Asian families

Wealth succession is complex, emotional and can be costly if not managed properly

Read more

Meistgelesene News

UBP in der Presse 02.04.2019

Zürich ist ein zentrales Standbein für die UBP

Le Temps (29.03.2019) - Vor genau vier Jahren hat die UBP die Privatbank Coutts übernommen. Heute verwaltet UBP 25 Milliarden Franken in der Wirtschaftsmetropole der Schweiz und hat damit ihre Kundenvermögen innerhalb von fünf Jahren verdoppelt. Wir haben Adrian Künzi, Leiter der UBP Zürich, getroffen.

UBP in der Presse 03.04.2019

Taking on more credit risk

Option Finance (21.03.2019) - With economic growth returning to normal, the end of central-bank monetary tightening and an upturn in volatility, bond management could benefit from three main approaches: gradually taking on more credit risk, increasing duration, and seeking liquidity.

UBP in der Presse 19.02.2019

Das Szenario einer sanften Landung wird glaubwürdiger

Le Temps (18.02.2019) - Dem chinesischen Volksglauben zufolge dürfte das soeben begonnene Jahr – das im Tierkreiszeichen des Schweins steht – für den Finanzsektor erfreulich ausfallen, steht dieses Tier doch für Wohlstand.

Auch lesenswert

UBP in der Presse 10.07.2019

Impact Investing - investiere und tue Gutes

Sphere (07.2019) - Die Finanzbranche hat wichtige Aufgaben zu erfüllen – nicht nur in der Wirtschaft, sondern auch in der Gesellschaft, um zur Lösung ihrer dringlichsten Probleme beizutragen. Die Vereinten Nationen haben die zu erfüllenden Ziele in einer detaillierten Liste zusammengefasst. Ihre Umsetzung erfordert beträchtliche Investitionen. Eine besondere Anlageform vereint Rendite mit sozialer Wirkung.

UBP in der Presse 28.06.2019

The wealthiest families are the biggest risk-takers

Le Temps (24.06.2019) - Family offices keep multiplying in Switzerland and elsewhere. They are drawing in financial investments from entrepreneurs with a riskier strategy than pension funds, and are also being entrusted with other key tasks.

UBP in der Presse 17.06.2019

Investing in disruptive innovation

Forbes Middle East (06.2019) - Whereas the financial markets have always tended to focus on the short term, investors need to think beyond that horizon and look further ahead.