UBS Group AG is taking a “close look” at opportunities to grow in the U.S. after the region helped offset a slowdown in its Asian private banking business, chief executive officer Ralph Hamers said in an interview.
The Swiss wealth manager, which in January agreed to buy robo-adviser Wealthfront, saw “a real pickup of demand” in the U.S. and Europe in the first quarter, even as client activity in Asia slowed, Hamers said in an interview on Bloomberg TV.
“It’s a very important geography for us, it is strategic,” Hamers said about the U.S. “So where we can we will certainly keep our eyes open.”
UBS reported better-than-expected profit as its trading unit benefited from clients seeking to shield themselves from the financial impact of higher interest rates and the war in Ukraine. Hamers said uncertainty about gas and oil delivery will continue to weigh on global economies as the war continues.
“On the market side it was a really good quarter, a record quarter,” he said. “It’s just that the equity capital markets side dried up because of the uncertainty in the markets.”
Hamers said the bank had “quite a good book with more senior roles than ever” in that business, though “the timing of these transactions coming to market nobody can predict at this moment.”