UBS Americas Profit Hits Record-high Level
UBS Wealth Management Americas issued its first-quarter results Wednesday, posting record profit as its efforts to recruit brokers from rival firms led to increased trading activity and boosted the company's bottom line. The report represents a serious rebound for the firm, which increased its number of active brokers to 7,015 during the quarter, its highest number since late 2009, when the entire financial sector was being pressured by the global recession.
In the three months ended March 30th, UBS's American division recorded profits of $209 million, up 76 percent from the same period a year earlier and a record-high quarterly take for the firm. Overall revenue, meanwhile, rose 8 percent on a year-to-year basis to $1.57 billion on the strength of improvements in commissions, management fees, interest income and a boost to the company's portfolio of security investments.
Like other major banks around the world, the US-based branch of Switzerland's UBS suffered massive losses and trimmed staff in trading businesses during and since the global economic downturn. UBS Americas has now added 204 brokers to its trading staff in the past year, a gain of about 3 percent, as investors regain confidence in world markets enough to withdraw funds from safer investments like bonds and seek higher returns in equity and commodity trading.
During the three months through March, UBS America's in-flows of new client funds nearly doubled as compared to the year-earlier period to $4.6 billion. That figure does not include dividends or interest earnings that are reinvested rather than taken as profit. The firm's total client assets, meanwhile, rose 4 percent year-over-year to $851 billion.