“Above all, we have to get the asset management business up and running and achieve an improvement in margins there,” said UBS Chairman of the Board of Directors Colm Kelleher in the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”.
“It is also clear that we will not expand the investment bank,” said Colm in an interview published on Saturday. The added value of the bank lies in looking after wealthy to very wealthy private customers. “That’s what we need to focus on, especially in the US.” The bank wants to attract long-term investors, especially institutional investors in the US to buy their shares.
The bank will continue to buy back shares, but there will be no acquisitions in the US for the foreseeable future. It is also conceivable to report the performance targets of the US areas separately. “There will be no major strategic changes. We also have no desire to buy Credit Suisse,” said Colm. In addition to the USA, the bank also wants to intensify its business in Asia after the end of China’s zero-Covid policy.
Swiss core business: “Engine is elsewhere”
The Swiss core business is great, said Colm about the home market of UBS. “But the engine is elsewhere. In a country of 8.7 million people, by definition, we can’t expand the business significantly.” He wants to make the bank the most important wealth manager in the world. “I believe that UBS, with its Swiss roots, can become the leading global player that represents European interests.”
Colm also wants to simplify structures and processes within the bank. “The bank is complex and sometimes too bureaucratic,” he said.
UBS President Kelleher Wants to Harvest “Low-Hanging Fruits” First
Colm Kelleher, Chairman of the UBS Board of Directors, who has been in office for around nine months, sees the bank on the right track, but at the same time also sees further potential. In global wealth management, the UBS brand is “phenomenal,” he said in an interview with the “NZZ” (14.1. edition). The investment bank also surprised him positively.
But he also sees opportunities there. “I see room for improvement, but the area can build on a very good stock business,” says Kelleher, looking at the investment area. “We still have to work on the consulting business. UBS can always use good investment bankers, too.”
He was negative about the bank’s complexity and that it was “too bureaucratic in places”. However, the processes and procedures are currently being simplified. There are also “business areas, especially in the USA, whose potential we have not yet fully exploited. These are
UBS is the only non-US bank that has a real brokerage unit in the US. “We are concentrating on better integrating and expanding the American business. (..) There are synergies with the rest of the company. We can do even more with that.”
With regard to possible acquisitions, he said: “You can never rule out acquisitions. But our strategy today is an organic one.” UBS has enough substance to achieve the goals. “Of course we will consider smaller acquisitions in asset management,
if they make sense. There will be no major strategic changes. We also have no desire to buy Credit Suisse.”
This article is originally published on finanzen.ch