UBS Wealth Management Americas announced in an internal memo Thursday it was launching a new wealth planning and investment strategies group to be led by Tony Roth.
According to the memo written by Mike Perry, the head of UBS' wealth management advice and platforms unit, Roth will lead the firm’s manager and fund due diligence, portfolio advisory group and wealth planning teams.
He will also continue to build out UBS’ Private Wealth Investment Office capabilities to create differentiated portfolio, asset allocation, and advanced wealth planning strategies for ultra high net worth clients. The new wealth unit is part of UBS’ “continuing efforts to provide Financial Advisors and clients with differentiated wealth planning and investment strategy guidance,” the memo said.
Kevin Sullivan will continue to manage the day-to-day manager and fund due diligence functions, reporting directly to Roth.
Roth was head of UBS’ private wealth management portfolio advisory group. Before joining UBS, he was co-head of the advisory services division at Bear Stearns & Co., where he managed a team that provided customized and scalable solutions to ultra high net worth, family office, and institutional clients. Before that, he was a director at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., where he established and managed its family wealth group.
UBS is in the process of reorganizing and re-positioning its wealth management division. It experienced major advisor defections in 2008 and 2009 until it had fewer than 6,900 earlier this year. And there were scandals that took a toll on its image, including the sale of controversial auction-rate securities and subsequent $19 billion buyback of those investments. And there was the tax scandal in which UBS was accused of helping U.S. citizens hide assets in offshore accounts.
Last year, it hired Robert McCann to turn things around. In a recent interview with On Wall Street, McCann struck an optimistic chord that UBS could indeed be positioned as more of a boutique-oriented wealth manager, with a sharp focus on the very high-end client.