McCann reorganises UBS in the

UBS has reorganised its US retail
brokerage from three market regions down to two, and Jason Chandler
has been appointed head of private wealth management, according to
a company memo.

David McWilliams will lead the UBS east
division and Michael Schweitzer will head the western business
unit. Chandler replaces John Straus, who will become head of
strategic client relations.

The private wealth advisory business, which
caters for high net worth individuals with $10 million or more in
investable assets, was seen as a key area of focus last year. UBS
sold 55 retail brokerage branches to St Louis-based Stifel
Financial in April last year as it looked to shift its wealth
management offering to wealthier clients.

Paul Santucci has been named chief operating
officer of the business. Details of the changes were revealed in a
memo written by Bob Mulholland, head of the bank’s wealth
management advisor group.

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Fund managers’ surprise at
Dubai crisis

Middle East fund managers were
caught off-guard by the debt crisis in Dubai, with many fully
invested after a period of holding larger cash reserves.

The problems in the emirate, sparked by a debt
default from state-owned Dubai world, “came as a surprise to just
about everyone,” according to Standard & Poor’s (S&P) lead
analyst Roberto Demartini.

S&P, in an annual report on fund services
in the region, said the managers it interviewed during November and
December last year expected markets to rise.

“A common view was that with the oil price at
$70 a barrel, the economies in the region were poised for some
stability and growth,” said Demartini.

A crisis of confidence was likely to keep some
investors out of the region, according to the report, but there is
a case for looking at other countries where prospects are

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are seen to
have good prospects because of the current price of oil.

“The recent announcements about Dubai have
clearly had an impact on volatility and opened up some
opportunities,” said Demartini.


WealthTouch expands with $11m

Wealthy families have provided part
of an $11 million package to expand WealthTouch, a US-based data
aggregation tech provider to ultra high net worth families.

The business, which has around $15 billion in
reporting assets, is aiming to become the performance reporting
leader for family offices, according to its CEO Norman Jones. Jones
added the business had several landmark deals underway.

“Ultra-high net worth investors are demanding
greater control and clarity from their family office managers and
investment professionals,” said Charlie Willhoit, president of IWP
Wealth Management, a Denver-based wealth management firm.

“WealthTouch provides a powerful solution for
managing the complexity and variety of high net worth portfolios.
The platform combines a secure, user-friendly online interface with
detailed, accurate portfolio information to provide managers and
clients with anytime access to information they can trust.”

Competitors in the market include Rockefeller
& Co’s Rockit Solutions, Private Client Resources and Fidelity
Investments’ family office services group.


Third-generation ETFs

ETF Securities, an independent
provider of exchange traded funds (ETFs), has launched a platform
to address client demands for transparency, liquidity, risk and
counterparty management.

Its product, ETF Exchange (Europe), is being
termed the world’s first third-generation ETF because it
diversifies counterparty risk across multiple providers.

ETF Securities is initially working with Bank
of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Rabobank International and Barclays
Capital on the initiative. They will act as distribution partners,
authorised participants and swap providers.

Liquidity will be concentrated in a single
platform issued by ETF Securities.

“The issuance model is among the most
efficient and risk averse available today,” said a spokesman.

The new platform offers 21 equity ETFs and can
be traded in up to three currencies.

“This is an important milestone in the
development of ETF Exchange. Working with banks of this calibre
will provide investors with an unparalleled quality of service,
across an innovative range of products,” said ETF Exchange CEO Mark

“The ETFX platform is truly market-changing.
We believe the evolution of ETFX will make redundant the current
single bank issuance models.”