UBS adviser count continues to decline

Firm to merge U.S., global wealth management units on Feb. 1

Jan 22, 2018 @ 2:31 pm

By Bruce Kelly

With the recent overhaul of its wealth management business taking shape, UBS Wealth Management Americas continued to see a decline in its overall number of advisers, reporting on Monday morning a net decrease of 203 in 2017, or 2.9%.

Meanwhile, on Feb. 1, UBS will create a unified Wealth Management and Wealth Management Americas business division, called Global Wealth Management.

Martin Blessing, President Wealth Management, and Tom Naratil, President UBS Americas and Wealth Management Americas, have been appointed co-presidents of the combined unit.

At the end of last year, UBS Wealth Management Americas reported 6,822 financial advisers, according to its earnings report. That's down from 7,025 at the end of 2016 and from 7,140, or 4.5%, at the end of 2015.

A spokeswoman for the firm, Maya Dillon, declined to comment.

The decrease in headcount is likely not surprising after, in the middle of 2016, UBS Wealth Management Americas signaled a shift in its recruiting and retention strategy.

Specifically, the firm launched a new adviser compensation plan to boost payouts for advisers with the largest books of business and incentives for advisers to form teams. It also said it was reducing adviser recruiting by 40%.

At the time, UBS Wealth Management Americas said its new operating model — which took effect January 1, 2017 — would drive organic growth through an increased focus on adviser retention.

In November, UBS dropped out of broker protocol, which has made it easier for advisers to move from one firm to another.

On Monday, UBS Wealth Management Americas reported record annual profits of close to $1.4 billion and annualized revenue per adviser of $1.23 million. Recruitment loans to advisers fell 14% year over year, according to the company.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video


How to improve productivity

Expanding your business can be a challenge for advisers. Tim Welsh of Nexus Strategy offers some helpful strategies to take your practice to the next level.

Latest news & opinion

Fight for New Jersey fiduciary rule yields doomsday rhetoric from both sides

Stakeholders warned of a 'crisis' and 'decimation of our financial system' at a public meeting held by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities.

The Women’s Issue

News, video and expert opinion about women in financial advice

Meet the 2018 Women to Watch

These female financial advisers and other industry leaders are recognized for their successes and support of other women in the financial advice business.

Some good news about female recruitment in financial advice

Each of four core advisory positions tracked in InvestmentNews' benchmarking study has seen an uptick in women entrants.

10 ETFs that are up more than 35% this year

Amid the stock market carnage, there are still some funds posting big gains.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print