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  1. Wealth
April 1, 2010

WSJ: UBS has big hopes for US arm

By Spear's

UBS’s wealth-management division will aim to earn $1 billion in annual pretax income within the next three to five years, the unit’s chief told employees at a town-hall meeting Wednesday afternoon.

UBS’s wealth-management division will aim to earn $1 billion in annual pretax income within the next three to five years, the unit’s chief told employees at a town-hall meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The unit, which employs about 7,000 brokers and 17,000 people, will also refocus its efforts on gaining more wealthy clients in large markets like New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, said people who attended the meeting.

The strategy was laid out by Robert McCann, a Merrill Lynch veteran hired by UBS CEO Oswald Grübel last fall to turn around the struggling unit.

Mr. McCann said that the unit would remain an important part of UBS’s overall turnaround strategy. The bank has been hammered in recent years by credit and mortgage losses as well as an investigation over allegations it helped clients evade taxes.

Those problems have contributed to struggles in its U.S. wealth-management business, and have caused speculationthat it might be spun off or sold. The brokerage unit has basically broken even in recent quarters, but has lost client assets and brokers.

To read the full story, visit wsj.com

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