Interview with Beat Blattner – Head of Business Development for UK and Northern Europe, White Labelling Solutions

Portrait of Hubert Zeller

What has changed in UBS FM's past year strategy that made the institution overtake BlackRock and now ranks on forth position in the Monterey Survey?

UBS: There are three main reasons of the increased AuM of UBS Fund Management (“UBS FM”) over the last 12 months; our reinforced strategy combined with consolidation, innovation and increased market penetration.

On the strategic side UBS Asset Management has repositioned the Fund Management as a central pillar of its Global Strategy underpinned by a strong organic growth and a consolidation across fund locations. Consequently, the Senior Management of the Luxembourg Fund Management Company has changed and embedded a new agile culture. In line with these changes our White Labelling Business Model has been repositioned in the market by leveraging the best in class solutions in place for UBS Funds which are now accessible for our White Labelling Clients. These positive developments are backed by continuous  investments in IT technology and strongly increased substance of our ManCo.

UBS Fund Management Company Luxembourg (“UBS FM”) has become a Super-Manco allowing to  passport and hence efficiently manage foreign domiciled funds through our Luxembourg ManCo. In addition, we decided to consolidated our White Labelling Assets (approx. EUR 30bn) which were booked until know with UBS Third Party Management Company into UBS FM. Hence, UBS FM acts now as ManCo for UBS funds and the White Labelling value proposition, which is well positioned in the Wholesale and Institutional space.

Our innovative and concise product shelf combined with increased sales activities resulted in a significant organic growth making our model more scalable.

All those fundamental adjustments generate the right platform for growing our UCITS and AIFM business models consequently and efficiently.

These parameters giving our clients the comfort of a strong and long-term partnership with a clear focus in White Labelling which supports their growth strategy while allowing them a result driven focus on their own core competences.

What will be your growth strategy for the coming years?

UBS: UBS AM will continue to develop actively its product shelf to meet investors needs and UBS FM will continue to expand its Super-ManCo foot-print in several European countries strengthening our local distribution activities of UBS Funds and simultaneously promote our White Labelling Platform which allows us to combine the best of both worlds; longstanding ManCo, Structuring and Distribution know how combined with Asset Management Content for Wholesale and Institutional Clients (e.g. customized ESG funds). Furthermore our White Labelling Platform allows a well-proven set of scalable solutions while flexibly meet the need of Third Party Managers and Distributors which is represented in more than 160 counterparties on boarded with UBS FM in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Ireland.

What are the findings of the Covid-19 real-life stress-test?

UBS: UBS has learned a lot from the last months in terms of changing an operating model, accelerating the adoption in digital technology while benefiting from a robust business continuity framework. As one of the results from this adoption, today around 90% of the employees may work efficiently from home with a stable connectivity and access to all relevant systems. It has been proved that you don’t need to be physically present at all times to deliver the expected quality. In parallel the situation underpinned the importance of a strong team player culture and trustful client relationships. Towards our clients this crisis has demonstrated that UBS offers a robust infrastructure enabling our white labelling clients to focus on their core competencies and not worry about Business Continuity matters related to Governance, NAV calculation or monitoring of risks and delegates.

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