UBS brokerage gains on rivals in tough quarter

Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:17pm EDT
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By Joseph A. Giannone

(Reuters) - UBS Wealth Management Americas said on Tuesday third-quarter earnings rose slightly in U.S. dollars, as the smallest of the four major Wall Street brokerages bested rivals on several fronts during the toughest markets since the financial crisis.

The Swiss bank said the U.S. brokerage unit earned almost $170 million in the third quarter, swinging back from a $47 million loss in the year-earlier period. Total operating income was fueled by higher interest income, offset by lower fees and commissions.

Third-quarter profit rose about $5 million or 3 percent, from the second quarter.

Revenue rose 16 percent to $1.54 billion from the year- earlier period, and was up 2 percent from the second quarter as higher income was offset by expenses, muted client trading and restructuring charges.

Clients added $4.8 billion of net new money during the quarter, compared with $3.1 billion in the second quarter and just $300 million a year earlier.

These net additions, which exclude interest and dividends, were the most since former Merrill executive Robert McCann took over as the unit's chief executive in late 2009.

The ranks of financial advisers increased by 51 to 6,913 during the quarter and were up by 117 this year, continuing a the unit's recovery after years of mass departures.


<p>The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen on a building in Zurich July 8, 2008. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann</p>