UBS Keeps Top Spot in Ranking of World’s Wealth Managers

UBS AG led a ranking of the world’s biggest wealth managers for a second straight year as asset growth more than doubled among the top 209 firms, a study showed.

Assets under management at the Zurich-based lender rose 15 percent to $1.97 trillion, cementing its No. 1 spot in the ranking by Scorpio Partnership, a London-based consultancy. Bank of America Corp. was second with $1.87 trillion, followed by Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group AG and Royal Bank of Canada, all unchanged from a year earlier.

It was “a healthy year for wealth managers across the industry,” Sebastian Dovey, founder of Scorpio Partnership, said in an e-mailed statement today. “Good performance in the financial markets contributed to assets under management increases, as did strong net new money.”

The wealth-management industry oversaw $20.3 trillion at the end of December, compared with $18.5 trillion a year earlier, Scorpio Partnership said in the statement. The companies surveyed by Scorpio accounted for $14.9 trillion of the total.

The top 209 private wealth managers saw client assets advance 20 percent on average last year, after securities investments rallied and millionaires handed over more money to private banks.

HSBC Holdings Plc dropped two places to eighth position after pulling out of markets it deems incompatible with its strategy. Julius Baer Group Ltd., the third-largest Swiss wealth manager, climbed three places to 12, after the acquisition of Bank of America’s non-U.S. Merrill Lynch businesses helped boost managed assets more than 40 percent.

Companies surveyed reported an average 11 percent gain in income, while expenses surged 14 percent, increasing the average cost-to-income ratio to 83 percent, from 80 percent.

Scorpio Partnership said where possible it excluded deposits, loans and client assets held in custody -- versus those being managed -- from its annual ranking.

Rank  Firm                      AuM         AuM        Rank
2013                            ($bn)       % Growth   Change
1     UBS AG                    1,966.9     15.4       --
2     Bank of America Corp.     1,866.6     12.5       --
3     Morgan Stanley            1,454       17.5       --
4     Credit Suisse Group AG    888.2       9.5        --
5     Royal Bank of Canada      673.2       5.6        --
6     BNP Paribas SA            395.1       11.4       +1
7     Deutsche Bank AG          384.1       13.7       +1
8     HSBC Holdings Plc         382         -4         -2
9     JPMorgan Chase & Co.      361         13.5       --
10    Pictet & Cie. Group SCA   338.1       12         --
11    Goldman Sachs Group Inc.  330         12.2       --
12    Julius Baer Group Ltd.    282.5       40.7       +3
13    Barclays Plc              233.2       15.8       +1
14    ABN Amro Group NV         231.7       8.9        -2
15    Northern Trust Corp.      221.8       12.2       +1
16    Wells Fargo & Co.         218         7          -3
17    Cie. Lombard, Odier SCA   198         12.8       +1
18    Banco Santander SA        196.5       14.9       +2
19    Bank of NY Mellon Corp.   185         3.4        -2
20    Credit Agricole SA        182         5.6        -1
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