UBS’s Zeltner Says Private Banking Industry Is in ‘Upheaval’

UBS AG’s Juerg Zeltner, head of the firm’s wealth-management unit, said turbulent financial markets are creating “upheaval” for the private-banking industry.

“Those who wish to preserve or increase their wealth cannot count on rising markets,” Zelter, chief executive officer of the Zurich-based wealth business, wrote today in Le Temps newspaper. Bankers must be “investment advisers,” and monitor more frequently the health of customer portfolios, instead of acting as “classic relationship managers,” he said.

“It’s absolutely necessary to have a presence in growth markets in Asia and emerging markets to enable direct access to opportunities from investment positions to promising yields,” Zeltner said.

UBS told investors on Nov. 17 that it plans to increase the number of client advisers in its wealth unit outside the Americas to 4,700 from 4,252. Switzerland’s biggest bank adjusted its expectations for earnings and new assets as the economic slowdown makes wealthy clients more risk averse.

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