Investors today face a fundamentally changed financial reality. Markets display previously unknown levels of complexity, volatility and uncertainty. The debt crisis continues to rumble on.
Political factors are affecting the portfolios of investors whether in Dubai, Sao Paolo, or New York. And central bank intervention is a constant worrying factor.
Even investments perceived as safe in the past — such as gold and government bonds — can now be quite dangerous, not least in light of future inflation. In short: any element of investment predictability has finally disappeared.
No time to do it all alone
One effect of this is that it now takes far more time to keep up-to-date with the latest market developments.
Time that most people simply don’t have. So investors are increasingly looking for a trusted ‘co-pilot’ to help them navigate the new global investment environment — ideally while also pro-actively managing risks and seeking out interesting opportunities.
Reacting to the new challenges
After the shock of 2008, banks have also had to adjust to the new financial landscape.
This is why UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager, has spent the last three years building a completely new investment process, which has transformed the firm’s investment research organisation into a global intelligence network that reacts 24/7 to economic and financial developments.
Risks and opportunities are tracked, analysed and stress-tested, then developed into clear market views and recommendations — the UBS House View — and systematically fed into clients’ portfolios.
Portfolio management: the choice is yours
There are two basic choices for clients when it comes to running their portfolios: discretionary and advisory.
Those who wish to delegate the day-to-day management of their assets can do so using a discretionary investment mandate.
This means the client gives the bank discretion to manage their portfolio in line with their investment strategy, asset and currency allocation, and risk profile.
Drawing on the latest investment house view, the portfolio’s risks are controlled at all times, and any adjustments necessary swiftly and efficiently implemented to deliver the best performance possible.
This option frees up the investor’s precious time to spend more profitably and enjoyably on their business or family — while leaving it up to the experts to protect and grow their wealth.
Powerful advisory support
For clients who want to keep full control of their portfolios while still benefiting from the UBS investment process, there is a brand new offering: UBS Advice.
This offers full access to the firm’s worldwide chief investment office and extensive product shelf, with personalised advice delivered by the client advisor, and a clearly set-out contract listing the services offered.
Systematic risk surveillance: sleep well at night
Advisory clients also benefit from the industry-leading automatised risk-control system, which systematically scans their portfolios and generates alerts based on risk criteria, for example a sale recommendation, or breach of the portfolio’s asset allocation bands.
If this happens, the client advisor swiftly contacts the client with advice on how to re-set the portfolio, and of course ensures reliable execution of the client’s decisions.
All-in fees mark a new departure
UBS Advice also features an innovative all-in fee structure, which means clients can be assured of a mutually aligned interest when their client advisor will contact them to present new investment opportunities or to discuss significant risks.
Furthermore, since the fee is related to the value of the portfolio (and not to transactions), clients can trust that the advice they receive is exclusively driven by their investment goal to grow their wealth.
Global expertise for a new global reality
UBS’s new investment process and advisory portfolio offering take personalised investment services to the next level.
Challenging times demand innovative responses that truly walk the talk and deliver clients with superior advice and solutions for their wealth.
In a world more globalised and fast-moving than ever before, only a truly global player can deliver this.
*Ali Janoudi is head of Wealth Management MENA and Group CEO MENA at UBS AG.