UBS Wealth Management Americas trended higher in the second quarter as fee revenue boosted results and productivity per advisor topped $1 million for a second time this fiscal year.
The firm improved on records set in the first quarter as revenue in the division rose to $1.792 billion, up 3% from the previous quarter and 13% from $1.587 billion in the second quarter last year. Similarly, earnings jumped to $258 million, up from a prior record of $251 million in last quarter and up 21% year-over-year.
Wealth Management Americas achieved another record profit as well as record revenues, invested assets and productivity per financial advisor, the firm wrote in a letter to investors.
Revenue per advisor leapt back up above the $1 million mark for the second time. Average production on those assets was $1,012,000, besting the previous record of $1,001,000 set in the fourth quarter last year.
Increases were mostly driven by higher managed account fees on higher average invested assets as the gross margin from recurring income, including fee and interest income, rose three basis points.
The firm said it was finding success in its push to diversify its wealth management business by offering more banking and lending services to its high net worth client base.
The business continued to make progress with its lending initiatives, with increases in both average mortgage balances and average securities-backed lending balances, Axel Weber, the chairman of the board of directors, and Sergio Ermotti, the groups chief executive officer, wrote in a statement.
Meanwhile, invested assets per financial advisor were flat from last quarter at $126 million. Assets under management were also mostly flat, rising about $1 billion over the quarter to $892 billion. Net new money in the division had decreased for the second quarter this year, falling from $9.8 billion to $2.8 billion, partly reflecting client withdrawals of around USD 2.5 billion associated with annual income tax payments.
The Americas division faced some additional headwinds in the second quarter as transactional revenue slowed and there were lower realized gains from the sales of financial investments the firm had in an available-for-sale portfolio. Operating expenses also rose to $1.534 billion from $1.486 billion.
UBS Wealth Management Americas added 34 advisors in the second quarter, bringing total headcount to 7,099, up from 7,021 last year.
Globally, the firms wealth management division reported a slight drop in profits as gross margin fell to 90 basis points from 91 basis points in the first quarter. The firm said that it was contending with changes in a Swiss-UK tax agreement and continued volatility in Europe, but that it was drawing new assets from ultra-high-net-worth clients in emerging markets and Asia-Pacific regions.
For more on the firm-wide results, click here.
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