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Bank of America, UBS, Wells Fargo Top Wealth Manager Rank

Bank of America Corp. kept its lead in a ranking of the world’s 20 biggest wealth managers in 2011, while UBS AG (UBSN) climbed one place into second position, according to Scorpio Partnership.

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), another of the eight U.S.-based private banks on the list, was third, followed by Morgan Stanley (MS), the London-based research firm said in a survey of 201 companies published today. Assets under management declined at 15 of the top 20 biggest firms in 2011, amid volatile financial markets, the report said.

Business expansion in new regions, particularly Asia, helped firms on the list with at least $20 billion of managed assets increase funds by an average 0.9 percent last year, according to the survey.

“These markets present a significant opportunity to attract new client business,” Scorpio said in an e-mailed statement. “The financial services in these markets are often commission-based and therefore generate higher margins.”

The larger firms boosted net new money by 16 percent on average compared with a 137 percent decline in net flows among smaller banks beneath the $20 billion threshold, according to the survey.

The average cost-to-income ratio across Swiss wealth managers worsened to 83 percent from 81 percent, compared with an industry average of 80 percent. Switzerland has five firms in the top 20. France and the U.K. each have two.

Citigroup Inc. (C)’s private bank jumped to 13 from 20 in the ranking after the firm changed its reporting method to include fee-based accounts greater than $1 million as assets under management. Scorpio also included data for Morgan Stanley that relate to accounts greater than $1 million, helping to explain its decline in the ranking.

The following is a table of the world’s biggest wealth managers based on end-2011 data from the Scorpio survey. The ranking may not be directly comparable with previous Scorpio reports as data may be adjusted each year.

Rank  Firm                      AuM       AuM         Rank
2011                            ($bln)    % Change.   Change

1     Bank of America Corp.     1,671     -2.2        --
2     UBS AG                    1,555     -0.3        +1
3     Wells Fargo & Co.         1,300     -7          +1
4     Morgan Stanley            1,219     -0.8        -2
5     Credit Suisse Group AG    843       -2.5        --
6     Royal Bank of Canada      573       -0.7        --
7     HSBC Holdings Plc         377       -3.3        --
8     Deutsche Bank AG          349       -5.4        --
9     BNP Paribas SA            316       -7.1        --
10    JPMorgan Chase & Co.      291        2.5        --
11    Pictet & Cie.             262       -5.5        --
12    Goldman Sachs Group Inc.  227       -0.9        --
13    Citigroup Inc.            208        48         +7
14    ABN Amro Bank NV          190       -14         -1
15    Barclays Plc              183       -1.7        -1
16    Julius Baer Group Ltd.    179        0.1        -1
17    Northern Trust Corp.      174        12.5       +1
18    Bank of NY Mellon Corp.   168        1.2        -1
19    Credit Agricole SA        164       -4.7        -3
20    Lombard Odier & Cie       151       -1.2        -1

To contact the reporter on this story: Giles Broom in Geneva at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at

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