Our strategy

We are committed to providing our clients with superior financial advice and solutions while generating attractive and sustainable returns for shareholders. Our strategy centers on our leading wealth management businesses and our premier universal bank in Switzerland, enhanced by our strong asset manager and investment bank. These businesses share three key characteristics: they benefit from a strong competitive position in their targeted markets, are capital-efficient, and offer a superior structural growth and profitability outlook. Our strategy builds on the strengths of all of  our businesses and focuses our efforts on areas in which we excel, while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the businesses and regions in which we operate. Capital strength is the foundation of our success.

Our strategic transformation

In 2011, we laid out three critical objectives for UBS: executing our strategy, delivering for our clients and unlocking our growth potential. We accelerated the execution of our strategy in 2012 and have since made substantial progress focusing our activities on a set of highly synergistic, less capital and balance sheet-intensive businesses dedicated to serving clients and well-positioned to maximize value for shareholders. We have reached our targeted Basel III CET1 capital ratio of 13%, significantly reduced risk-weighted assets and costs, while simultaneously growing our business and enhancing our competitive positioning. We have successfully grown our unrivaled wealth management businesses and transformed our Investment Bank to focus on its traditional strengths in advisory, research, equities, foreign exchange and precious metals. At our Investor Update on 6 May 2014, we provided information on the progress of executing our strategy. By the end of 2014, we completed our strategic transformation process. Through the continued successful execution of our strategy, we believe we can sustain and grow our business and maintain a prudent capital position. While our strategy remains unchanged going forward, we updated and extended several of our annual performance targets, which are outlined on page 41 of our 2014 Annual Report.
Achieving greater effectiveness and efficiency is imperative for the success of our strategy. We remain fully committed to achieving the cost reductions announced at the 2014 Investor Update, with a net cost reduction target of CHF 1.4 billion versus full-year 2013 by the end of 2015, including CHF 1.0 billion in Corporate Center – Core Functions and CHF 0.4 billion in Corporate Center – Non-Core and Legacy Portfolio. After that, we target additional net cost reductions of CHF 0.7 billion as we exit our Non-core and Legacy Portfolio.
Our commitment to a prudent capital position is based on maintaining a fully applied CET1 capital ratio of at least 13% and a post-stress fully applied CET1 capital ratio of at least 10%. From 2014 onwards, our deferred contingent capital plan awards will qualify as additional tier 1 capital under Basel III requirements. Through our compensation programs, we intend to build approximately CHF 2.5 billion in additional tier 1 capital over the next five years, which will eventually replace the high-trigger loss-absorbing capital recognized as tier 2 capital. Additional tier 1 capital is an important component of our future capital structure and we have also started building additional tier 1 capital through external issuance from UBS Group AG. An optimized capital structure enables us to meet regulatory requirements while targeting optimal shareholder returns.
We continue to adapt our legal structure to improve UBS’s resolvability in response to evolving too big to fail (TBTF) requirements in Switzerland and other countries in which UBS operates. The changes to our legal structure do not affect our strategy, our business and the way we serve the vast majority of our clients. 

Delivering attractive shareholder returns 

We are committed to delivering sustainable performance and attractive returns to shareholders. We have delivered progressive capital returns in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2014, we achieved our capital ratio target of a fully applied CET1 capital ratio of at least 13% and met our objective of maintaining a post-stress fully applied CET1 capital ratio of at least 10%. Subject to maintaining our CET1 capital ratio target and our objective for the post-stress CET1 capital ratio, we are targeting a total payout ratio of at least 50% of net profit attributable to UBS shareholders. In addition, following the successful completion of the squeeze-out procedure, we expect to pay a supplementary capital return of CHF 0.25 per share to be paid to shareholders of UBS Group AG. This supplementary capital return is separate and in addition to the ordinary dividend  and will also be paid out of capital contribution reserves.

To find out more about our strategy and targets for UBS Group and our business divisions, please see pages 39-41 of our 2014 Annual Report.