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Thread: UBS to train 5,000 private bankers by 2010

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    Default UBS to train 5,000 private bankers by 2010

    Published April 14, 2007

    UBS to train 5,000 private bankers by 2010

    And it'll all be done at its own wealth management campus in S'pore

    By GENEVIEVE CUA


    UBS has raised the bar for the competition by setting up its own wealth management campus in the picturesque and historic Command House, through which it aims to train 5,000 private bankers by 2010.

    UBS head of wealth management (Asia Pacific) Kathryn Shih said yesterday the campus will train relationship managers and other support staff and 'provide an edge and thought leadership' in wealth management. 'It is a beacon of our commitment to talent development. It is a cornerstone of our strategy,' she said.

    With the supply of experienced bankers very tight, UBS aims to position itself as the employer of choice. It estimates that liquid assets held by the wealthy in the region ex-Japan will grow 9.7 per cent a year until 2009, compared with less than 6 per cent globally.

    The bank's wealth management business in the Asia-Pacific doubled its invested assets to 151 billion Swiss francs (S$189 billion) between 2004 and 2006, translating to a compounded annual growth rate of 37 per cent.

    The wealth management campus is expected to serve also as a venue for clients to familiarise themselves with the latest investment approaches.

    UBS has received accreditation under the Financial Industry Competency Standards framework, spearheaded by the Institute of Banking and Finance, for all job roles under the category of relationship management for high net worth clients.

    Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said the establishment of the campus is timely. It will not just add to the number of private bankers but 'produce a new high breed of high-calibre private bankers who can manage increasingly complex and sophisticated demands from a younger and more savvy generation of wealth transfer beneficiaries, entrepreneurs, professionals and investors joining the pool of wealth owners'.

    UBS Group chief executive Peter Wuffli said UBS's business is about relationships and its primary asset is human capital. 'The critical success factor is ultimately the quality of the relationship between the client and the representative of the firm.'

    The financial industry used to earn its pay through transactions, but margins on transactions alone are thinning, he said. 'Where we can add value is dependent on the human factor, the relationship factor - how can we help a client make the right decision, whether he is planning for his retirement or estate planning for future generations?'

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    Default UBS opens S'pore campus to train wealth managers

    April 14, 2007

    UBS opens S'pore campus to train wealth managers

    Swiss bank's clients can also take courses at historic mansion off Dunearn Road

    By Grace Ng



    GROOMING MORE LEADERS: Opening the UBS training centre at the historic Command House at 17 Kheam Hock Road are (from left) Ms Shih, Mr Wuffli and Mr Lim. The campus will be used to train 5,000 existing and future wealth management staff by 2010 to serve the booming numbers of wealthy clients in Asia. -- PHOTO: DOMINIC WONG


    A HISTORIC site that once served as the British military headquarters in Singapore will now be the training ground for some of the top financial guns at Swiss bank UBS.

    The private banking giant yesterday opened the UBS Wealth Management Campus - Asia Pacific at the historic Command House at 17 Kheam Hock Road, which was once home to World War II hero Lord Louis Mountbatten.

    The mansion off Dunearn Road will be used to train 5,000 existing and future wealth management staff by 2010 to serve the booming numbers of wealthy clients in Asia.

    UBS clients will also be able to take day courses on the latest investment instruments at the campus.

    UBS declined to reveal how much it invested in setting up the campus, but it said it has leased the site for three years with an option to extend the lease for another two years.

    Liquid assets held by the well-heeled in Asia excluding Japan is expected to grow by almost 10 per cent a year until 2009, well above the global average of less than 6 per cent over the same period, said Ms Kathryn Shih, the head of UBS wealth management in the Asia-Pacific.

    UBS will use the campus to 'groom the next generation of leaders', which may include one or more of the bank's future chief executives, said UBS global chief executive Peter Wuffli.

    Financial institutions used to earn their pay by transacting businesses, he said.

    But margins are now thinning with the entry of new players and the use of technology.

    'Where we can add value now is dependent on the human factor, the relationship factor,' said Mr Wuffli.

    So UBS has 'no option but to train and develop' its talent pool to meet clients' diverse needs for advice on making the right financial planning decisions, he said.

    UBS has a 'deep regard for Singapore...which ranks second only to Switzerland as a wealth management centre of choice for the bank's international clients', he added.

    The Singapore campus will also be a research and innovation centre for wealth management areas such as philanthropy.

    UBS's visionary move marks 'an important milestone' in Singapore's efforts to become a financial training and research hub in the region,' said Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang, who is also deputy chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

    He was guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the campus.

    The establishment of the campus is 'timely' as it supports the surge in demand for professional wealth managers, and also produces 'a new breed of high-calibre private bankers' to serve the complex needs of a younger and more savvy generation of rich people, he said.

    UBS will offer courses ranging from number-crunching financial sessions to 'softer' topics such as etiquette and interpersonal skills, said Mr Markus Tanner, UBS head of education and development for the Asia-Pacific.

    More than 200 experienced staff from UBS' global operations will train the students at the campus. New staff are given about 90 days of training.

    UBS also provides an average of 10 training days for each of its wealth management staff, above the industry average of just four days, said Mr Tanner.

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