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UBS Confident Wealth Management Americas Can Reach Target

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UBS AG’s wealth management Americas division is “confident” it can achieve a $1 billion pretax profit target, according to Brian Hull, vice chairman of the unit.

“We believe we can do this without any help from the market,” Hull said at a presentation to investors in London today. “We had very modest expectations of the market when we set this goal.”

The division of the Zurich-based bank, headed by Robert McCann, reported a pretax profit of $420 million in the first half of this year. It can boost earnings by increasing lending and providing the right advice to clients, Hull said.

“Our advisers have been working hard to deliver the right advice to clients,” he said, adding that investing in relationships rather than just selling products positions the bank well to profit in the future.

While customers’ risk appetite is still low, judging from internal and external surveys the mood may be improving, Hull said.

“At the margin, we get the sense that investors are slightly more positive than they were a year ago,” he said.

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