UBS said its wealth management business in the Americas is in the midst of a “convincing turnaround,’’ showing a $573 million pre-tax profit for 2011.

That compares with a loss of $125 million loss in 2010.

Sequentially, however, revenue in the Americas was down 5 percent. In the fourth quarter, the unit reported a pre-tax profit of $125 million. In the third quarter, the profit was $165 million.

Operating income was hurt by “lower fees and commissions as well as a decrease in income from financial investments held in our available-for-sale portfolio,” UBS said.

Results in the Americas operation were “driven by recruiting of experienced financial advisors,” the company said. That brought in net new money of $2.1 billion.

The Swiss financial services firm said that, globally, pre-tax profit in its wealth management business was up 8 percent to $2.9 billion. Worldwide, the company pulled in $54.5 billion of net new money, largely from the Americas, Asia and the Pacific region. Money also was pulled in from emerging markets and “ultra high net worth clients.”

In all its businesses, the company reported a full year pre-tax profit of $6.0 billion.

But its profit has been falling. In the fourth quarter, its net profit was $393 million. In the third quarter, that was $1.1 billion.

The company said bonuses got cut 40 percent and its work force was reduced by 1,101 persons, to 64,820 worldwide.

Third quarter earnings were hurt by a $2.3 billion charge taken as the result of “unauthorized trading’’ by a former trader.


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