Industry news

UBS starts job cuts across wealth, investment divisions

19 May | People

UBS Group has reportedly started job cuts across its wealth and investment divisions as well as in its Swiss business.

The move is said to be part of the bank’s restructuring plan to save $1bn over the next three years.

The move will impact employees ranging from managing director to junior employees, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.

According to the sources, UBS is planning to cut as many as 700 jobs in Switzerland alone.

While most of the redundancies are planned at the corporate cost centre, about 200 jobs are expected to be eliminated across wealth management and Swiss unit for personal and corporate banking.

UBS CEO Ralph Hamers is looking at options to cut costs and digitise the bank’s offering.

Earlier this year, reports emerged about the Swiss bank is planning to shutter 44 of its 239 branches in Switzerland over the next few months to focus on digital channels.

18 May | Security

Goldman Sachs partners with MSCI to offer enhanced risk analytics for institutional clients

Goldman Sachs has teamed up with MSCI to offer enhanced portfolio analytics and more efficient workflows to its institutional clients.

MSCI provides critical decision support tools and services for the global investment community.

The partnership will leverage the expertise of both companies in data and risk management to provide ‘higher quality analytics’ across their institutional client platforms.

Goldman Sachs Marquee, the firm’s digital platform for institutional investors, has enabled accessibility to MSCI’s risk factor models.

Similarly, MSCI clients can now access Goldman Sachs’ volatility data through MSCI RiskManager, for improved precision in risk management.

17 May | Products

Temenos welcomes crypto asset firm Taurus to its marketplace

Banking software firm Temenos has integrated digital asset and blockchain infrastructure fintech Taurus onto its marketplace.

The Switzerland-based fintech recently gained a securities firm license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). This made Taurus the first independent regulated marketplace for digital assets in the would. It can cover cryptocurrencies including Staking and Decentralised Finance (DeFi), any type of tokenised assets on any standard including issuance and full-lifecycle management, and digital currencies.

Now, Temenos banking clients can simply access digital assets. This is through Temenos MarketPlace, a community of fintech solutions.

The collaboration allows banks to provide custody to a wide range of digital assets. In addition, they can create tokenised products of their choice.

17 May | Strategy

Decisive Capital Management taps New Access for integrated global platform

Decisive Capital Management has selected wealth management and private banking software company New Access to enhance its operations globally.

Under the tie-up, Decisive will boost its core capabilities in managing clients’ current and emerging needs by moving its Core system, Portfolio Management System and Digital activity to an integrated global platform.

New Access’ Core-to-its Digital solution, combined with its client lifecycle management system ‘Banker’s Front’, is said to advance process automation and standardisation.

17 May | People

Goldman Sachs ramps up hiring in China, Hong Kong

Goldman Sachs has been reportedly ramping up its employee headcount in mainland China and Hong Kong in the first four months of the year.

The US-based investment giant is in the process of recruiting 320 staff, including 70 resources to focus on investment banking coverage, Bloomberg reported citing a person familiar with the development.

Goldman is planning to hire another 100 employees through the rest of the year, according to the source who asked not to be identified as the matter is confidential.

A majority of the new hires are expected to fill newly created roles at the firm.

Goldman Sachs Todd Leland is said to working to implement a China strategy that looks to acquire 100% of a securities venture and to launch a new asset management unit on the mainland.

Said to be presented to the company’s board in late 2019, this five-year plan outlines doubling its employee count to 600 in China and expanding in advisory, securities, and wealth management.

A media representative for the firm in Hong Kong declined to comment on the new hires.

13 May | Deals

Schroders drops plans to buy M&G over cost concerns

Schroders has reportedly abandoned a plan to acquire investment manager M&G after evaluating the deal for months.

Earlier this year, the British asset manager hired a partner to analyse a potential demerger of M&G by breaking up its asset management operations from its pension and insurance division.

The deal, which would have formed a UK fund powerhouse managing over $1trn of assets, has been ditched by Schroders over cost concerns, Bloomberg reported citing undisclosed sources.

Schroders did not initiate any formal discussions with M&G over a potential deal, the sources said.

The M&G is said to have a market value of £5.7bn currently, after its shares more than doubled from their low in last March.

The firm offers equities, bonds, and property funds, in addition to providing infrastructure and alternative investment.

It also provides a range of pension, retirement, and insurance products in the UK and Europe.

12 May | Distribution

BlackRock secures licence for wealth management venture in China

BlackRock has reportedly secured licence in China for a majority-owned wealth management venture with a China Construction Bank (CCB) unit and Singapore state investor Temasek.

The venture will leverage the US asset manager’s investment expertise and CCB’s distribution network, according to a report by Reuters.

BlackRock owns a 50.1% holding in the venture while 40% stake is held by CCB’s wealth management unit.

BlackRock CCB Wealth Management is expected to bolster the company’s presence in China’s evolving asset management space.

BlackRock chairman and CEO Laurence Fink said that BlackRock will support China in building a sustainable ecosystem for investing.

19 May | Deals

Candriam picks stake in investment platform IZNES

Asset manager Candriam has purchased an undisclosed stake in investment platform Iznes to boost international growth of the fund distribution platform.

IZNES was launched in 2017 by a consortium of French asset management companies to serve asset managers and their clients.

Utilising blockchain technology, the platform enables firms to manage KYC processes, subscriptions and redemption instructions, settle transactions and record positions.

The addition of Candriam to its list of shareholders, is expected to extend the reach of IZNES to international markets.

The asset manager, which has been contributing to the project for over two years, said the move is part of its commitment to develop the platform in optimising transaction costs and processes in France and Luxembourg.

Candriam COO Fabrice Cuchet said the stake purchase in IZNES underscores the company’s determination to invest in cutting-edge technologies and new operational solutions that will benefit its clients.

Cuchet added: “We are also thrilled to contribute to the development of innovative solutions offered by IZNES and to support a French fintech with a promising international future.”

18 May | Technology

Goldman Sachs to offer automated investment management in UK next year

Goldman Sachs is reportedly gearing up to offer automated investment management to its UK clients by the first quarter of next year.

The bank is also set to launch an app for the customers of its digital bank Marcus in the following weeks, according to an exclusive report by Reuters.

Marcus UK head Des McDaid told the news agency that the bank has added more than $30bn in UK deposits since the roll out of a savings account in 2018. It is said to make up for 30% of Marcus’s deposits internationally.

McDaid told Reuters: “We are pivoting more into an investment and wealth provider rather than a full-service digital bank.

“We have been delighted with how fast and how quickly we have grown. The challenge now is how do we repeat the formula we used for savings to offer our customers an accessible platform for investing products.”

Goldman is said to be adjusting the focus of Marcus UK to wealth management in order to stay within the UK banking rules that require retail deposits totalling over $35bn to be ring-fenced.

Ring-fencing would need Marcus UK to become a separate legal entity and limit the size of the capital that can be shared with Goldman’s other business in the country.

14 May | Products

DBS Private Bank launches trust solution for cryptocurrencies

DBS Private Bank has revealed Asia’s first bank-backed trust solution for cryptocurrencies via DBS Trustee.

As a result, private banking clients can invest, customise and manage digital assets in a safe, secure, and structured manner. It has built on the DBS Digital Exchange (DDEX) that was launched in December 2020.

The trust offering only applies to cryptocurrencies hosted on DDEX, either Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash or XRP, and clients and work with the bank to integrate these assets into wealth succession plans.

In addition, it builds on the existing DDEX proposition for private banking clients, which provides security and transparency for crypto-assets.

Everything is kept confidential after a client’s passing as trusts are kept out of the probate process and do not normally become part of public record. Furthermore, the prevents clients’ beneficiaries from having to deal with potential complexities.