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(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG is reorganizing its wealth management business in Europe and emerging markets, expanding the role of managers to oversee the new structure, according to a memo to employees.
Whenever practicable, cross-border operations will be combined with domestic businesses in major markets, starting in Germany, the U.K., Italy and Spain, Paul Raphael, head of wealth management for the region, said in the memo seen by Bloomberg and confirmed by the bank. Thomas Rodermann, head of the German business, will now also oversee teams serving clients from Switzerland.
“Converging client needs and regulatory trends across EEM represent a unique opportunity to better align ourselves to serve our clients,” Raphael said in the memo. “The ‘One Market’ approach will allow the whole wealth management organization to improve the strategy for the respective markets.”
UBS is reducing the number of booking hubs for its cross-border business to three countries -- Switzerland, Germany, and the U.K. -- from about 10 at present. European onshore businesses will be integrated in the bank’s new continental hub for wealth management in Frankfurt.
The changes come as clients who once favored their home market are increasingly looking for global investment opportunities. Banks meanwhile are preparing for new European Union rules that will require them to be more transparent about their operations. The so-called Mifid II rules take effect next year, when Switzerland starts implementing an agreement to turn over information on bank accounts held by foreigners to tax authorities in other countries.
Raphael is responsible for Europe and emerging markets outside of the Asia-Pacific region -- a territory that accounted for about 24 percent of client assets managed by UBS, or about 523 billion francs ($544 billion), at the end of March. His unit posted the second-biggest growth of invested assets in the first quarter.
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