UBS AG pushed ahead with its integrated bank model by starting a unit that will move its investment bank closer to its business catering to extremely rich clients, according to an internal memo seen by Dow Jones Newswires.
The Global Family Office Group unit, a joint venture of the Swiss bank's global ultra-high-net-worth segment and its investment bank, will be led by Joe Stadler and Jerry Wattenberg.
Stadler also heads the bank's ultra-high-net-worth segment.
Wattenberg, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., is joining UBS from JTW International, an investment consultancy that serves extremely rich clients.
According to the internal letter, UBS set up the unit to focus primarily on its largest institution-like or professional family office prospects and clients. It has as many as 250 such clients.
"These clients often have highly complex and specialized requirements, and many of them want the direct access to [investment banking] services which we can offer via the new unit," Juerg Zeltner, the company's chief executive of wealth management, said in the letter.
The letter was also signed by Carsten Kengeter and Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, co-chief executives of the company's investment bank.
The clients in question account for roughly 2% of UBS's ultra-high-net-worth client base around the world, UBS said.
"The [new unit] is an expression of UBS's commitment to the integrated bank strategy," Zeltner said. It will be staffed "by dedicated and experienced relationship managers and specialists from both wealth management and investment banking," and "will leverage the synergies of one single cross-divisional team working globally to bring the best of UBS's resources to meet the needs of this particularly exacting and sophisticated clientele."
The unit was launched Monday.