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UBS brokers' pay could reach all-time high under tweaked bonus plan

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is pictured in front of the Swiss Federal Palace in Bern January 8, 2010. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

By Elizabeth Dilts

NEW YORK (Reuters) - UBS AG's (UBSG.VX) Wealth Management America on Thursday made it easier for brokers to earn a key bonus in 2015 under its revised compensation package, which could boost top advisers' overall pay to an all-time high.

Advisers who bring in $1 million in assets from one new client, or $10 million in net new assets, are eligible for the bonus. In 2015 the benchmark was $5 million in net new assets.

A broker who has worked for UBS for more than 10 years, meets all the new sales goals, and generates $3.5 million or more in revenue could take home as much as 62 percent of that amount, up from 60.15 percent in 2014.

"It's the most we've ever created for advisers to earn," said Jason Chandler, head of UBS's Wealth Management Advisor Group for the eastern United States.

UBS pays advisers a base amount, which is a percentage of the revenue they earn for the firm, under a payout grid system common among securities brokerages.

UBS's grid, unchanged from 2014, starts at a 28 percent payout for advisers who produce less than $200,000 of revenue and rises to as much as a 45 percent payout for advisers who produce $3.5 million or more in revenue.

Bonuses based on wealth management fees, productivity, length of service, net new assets and financial planning awards can add as much as 17 percent to the grid payout, up from 15.15 percent in 2014.

The firm's wealth management award, which is a percentage of advisory, insurance, lending and financial planning fees, gives advisers up to 6 percent of their revenues in the 2015 plan.

While UBS focuses on high net worth and ultra high net worth clients, it will continue to pay advisers for accounts with $100,000, Chandler said.

(Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts; additional reporting by Jed Horowitz)