"ZURICH (Reuters) - UBS has no plans to sell its U.S.-based wealth management arm, the former Paine Webber brokerage, Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said on Wednesday.
"It has always been my view that it would be a terrible strategic mistake for UBS not to have a significant presence in what is arguably the most important financial center and wealth management market globally," Ermotti told a gathering of business people.
There has periodically been speculation that UBS might sell the U.S. wealth management business as its broker-based model is different from UBS's larger private bank.
The U.S. arm was losing money and shedding brokers before Robert McCann joined as chief executive in 2009 from Merrill Lynch. In the fourth quarter of 2012, its pretax profit increased 36 percent from a year ago to $216 million."
UBS brokerage has an inherent conflict of interest with wealth management. UBS is competing against their wealth management clients.