Union Bancaire Privée

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Union Bancaire Privée
Industry Financial services
Founded 1969
Founder Edgar de Picciotto
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Area served
Key people
Daniel de Picciotto
Guy de Picciotto
Products Private banking
Asset management
Alternative investments
AUM CHF 118.3 billion[1]
Number of employees
Website www.ubp.com

Union Bancaire Privée (UBP SA) was founded in 1969 by Edgar de Picciotto. It is one of the most highly capitalized private banks, and a major player in the field of wealth management in Switzerland with CHF 118.3 billion of assets under management.[1][2]

UBP is a full-scale wealth-management bank for private and institutional clients. The bank is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and has 1,665 employees.[3]


Edgar de Picciotto established the Compagnie de Banque et d’Investissements (CBI) in Geneva on 11 November 1969. CBI acquired TDB-American Express Bank in 1990, which led to the creation of the current entity, Union Bancaire Privée. UBP developed further with the takeover of the Discount Bank and Trust Company in 2002.[4][5]

In 2011, UBP acquired the Swiss arm of Dutch state-owned ABN Amro Bank, a pure Swiss private bank.[6][7] The same year, UBP also broadened its operations in Asia by establishing two joint ventures in Hong Kong and Taiwan with TransGlobe.[8] In 2012, UBP acquired Paris-based fund of hedge funds Nexar Capital Group, which has offices in London, Jersey and New York.[9]

In May 2013, UBP announced the acquisition of Lloyds Banking Group’s International Private Banking business.[10]

On 26 March 2015, UBP signed an agreement with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) to buy the international private banking activities of RBS's subsidiary, Coutts & Co International.[11] These assets meant that UBP assumed control of their entities in Switzerland, Monaco and the Middle East.[12]

In May 2016 UBP announced it signed an agreement with SEB, a Nordic financial services group, enabling UBP to distribute SEB's Luxembourg fund range to institutional clients and third-party distributors.[13]

In January 2017, UBP announced a partnership with Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager.[14]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Private banking[edit]

Union Bancaire Privée has over 300 private wealth managers in different countries and offers various management mandates and types of advice.[15]

Wealth planning[edit]

UBP has built a team of experts that are specialized geographically in order to offer a global approach to wealth structuring. The team supports and steers clients towards appropriate wealth structuring strategies. As no structures are sold in-house, the team co-operates with an international network of specialists.[16]

With the services of FOSS Family Office Services Switzerland (FOSS), UBP offers a multi-family office intermediary service. FOSS helps wealthy families in their search for and selection of a multi-family office in Switzerland.[17]

Asset management[edit]

UBP is a full-scale asset manager, providing a large range of investments specifically geared towards its institutional clients' needs. The bank offers a wide range of capabilities in asset allocation, equities, bonds, diversification strategies and alternative fund of funds.[18]

Alternative investments[edit]

UBP has been active in the alternative investment industry since the 1970s. Over the years, it has built up a strong hedge fund advisory service and runs several pooled funds and personalized mandates. With the acquisition of Nexar in 2012, UBP demonstrated its "ongoing commitment" to the alternative industry.[19]

In April 2013, UBP announced a partnership with Guggenheim Fund Solutions (GFS), which is specialized in managed accounts within the full spectrum of hedge fund strategies. Together, they launched a new hedge fund platform.[20]

Sales and trading[edit]

UBP services include: advisory, structured products, equity trading and brokerage, equity arbitrage, currency and precious metal trading, forwards and derivatives, treasury management and bond trading. UBP has over 40 specialist traders working with private wealth managers.

Investment philosophy[edit]

Every year, UBP publishes an annual outlook with an overview of macroeconomic events that occurred during the past year and its investment convictions for the year to come.[21]


As of the end of June 2016, UBP's balance sheet total reached CHF 30.8 billion. By pursuing a conservative approach to risk-management, UBP has maintained a solid financial base and a strong balance sheet with a high level of liquidity. With a Tier 1 capital ratio of 24.3% (as of 31 December 2016), UBP is one of the best-capitalized banks in Switzerland.[1]

Settlement with Investment Securities Trustee[edit]

Despite being a victim of Bernard Madoff's fraud, the bank offered in March 2009 to compensate eligible investors 50 percent of the money they initially invested with Madoff.[22]

On 6 December 2010, UBP announced it had reached a settlement with the Trustee when it agreed to pay $500 million. UBP was the first bank to settle Madoff trustee's claim.[23] With this settlement, the Trustee has agreed to discharge his "clawback" claims against UBP, its affiliates and clients.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "UBP reports a solid net profit of CHF 176.4 million". UBP. 24 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "UBP reports 12% yoy rise in assets under management". InvestmentEurope. 31 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Press Area". UBP. 
  4. ^ "History". UBP. 
  5. ^ "Edgar de Picciotto Interview" (in French). Radio Télévision Suisse. 8 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "ABN Amro purchase boosts UBP assets". Reuters. 25 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "UBP to buy Swiss arm of ABN Amro". Citywire. 16 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "UBP launches two Asia focused joint ventures". Citywire. 3 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "UBP to buy Paris-based alternatives group Nexar". Reuters. 29 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Lloyds Sells International Private Banking Business to UBP". Bloomberg News. 29 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "RBS sells Coutts International to UBP". BBC News. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Union Bancaire Privee completes its acquisition of Coutts activities in Asia". 
  13. ^ "UBP expands its asset management offering". UBP. 10 May 2016. 
  14. ^ "Investment Alliance Across Language Barrier". Finews.com. 17 January 2017. 
  15. ^ "In Brief". UBP (Q2 2013). 
  16. ^ "Wealth and estate planning". UBP. 
  17. ^ "We help you find the right Family Office". FOSS Family Office Services Switzerland. 
  18. ^ "Asset Management". UBP. 
  19. ^ "Union Bancaire Privée to acquire Nexar Capital Group". UBP. 29 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "UBP picks Guggenheim Fund Solutions to power hedge fund platform". InvestmentEurope. 22 April 2013. 
  21. ^ "Union Bancaire Privée: Outlook 2013: "Keep On Pushing"". Business Wire. 17 December 2012. 
  22. ^ "UBP Makes Offer to Madoff Victims". The New York Times. 13 March 2009. 
  23. ^ McCool, Grant (6 December 2010). "HSBC fights Madoff claim; new settlement reached". Reuters. 
  24. ^ "Madoff Trustee Announces Approximately $500 Million Recovery Agreement With Swiss Bank Union Bancaire Privee". PR Newswire. 6 December 2010. 

External links[edit]