Our strategy

Who we are

The world’s largest and only truly global wealth manager

Our strategy is centered on our leading Global Wealth Management business and our premier universal bank in Switzerland, which are enhanced by Asset Management and the Investment Bank. We focus on businesses that have a strong competitive position in their targeted markets, are capital efficient and have an attractive long-term structural growth or profitability outlook. We are the world’s largest and only truly global wealth manager. We have a strong presence in the largest market, the United States, and a leading position in the fastest-growing regions, including Asia Pacific and the other emerging markets. Our wealth management business benefits from significant scale in an industry with attractive growth prospects and increasingly high barriers to entry, and from its leading position across the attractive high net worth and ultra high net worth client segments. We are the preeminent universal bank in Switzerland, the only country where we operate in all of our business lines: wealth management, personal & corporate banking, asset management and investment banking. Our leading position in our home market is central to UBS’s global brand and profit stability. The partnership between our wealth management business and our other business divisions is a key differentiating factor and a source of competitive advantage.

Strong capital position and capital-efficient business model

Capital strength is the foundation of our strategy and provides another competitive advantage. We are well positioned to meet the fully applied Swiss too big to fail capital and total loss absorbing capacity requirements when they become effective on 1 January 2020. Our capital-accretive and capital-efficient business model helps us adapt to changes in regulatory requirements, while pursuing growth opportunities without the need for significant earnings retention. We believe that our business model can generate an adjusted return on tangible equity (excluding deferred tax expense / benefit and deferred tax assets) of around 15% in normal market conditions.

We have an attractive and flexible capital returns policy

Our earnings capacity and capital efficiency support our objective to deliver sustainable and increasing capital returns to our shareholders. We aim to increase our ordinary dividend per share at a mid-to-high single-digit percent per annum. We may also return excess capital, after accruals for ordinary dividends, most likely in the form of share repurchases, after considering our outlook and subject to regulatory approval.

Our priorities

1. Drive profitable growth in Global Wealth Management

In Global Wealth Management, we target 10–15% adjusted profit before tax growth annually over the cycle, while growing net new money at 2–4% per annum and aiming to operate within an adjusted cost / income ratio range of 65–75%. The creation of the integrated business division on 1 February 2018 aims to further enhance the client experience and our product offering in line with an increasingly global client base. We expect to more effectively capture the purchasing power of Global Wealth Management’s CHF 2.3 trillion invested asset base and generate greater synergies across technology, innovation and other areas of investment. Regional variations in the clientservice model will be maintained, while middle- and back-office functions will be more closely aligned and integrated.

2. Maintain focused leadership and grow profits in Asset Management, Investment Bank and Personal & Corporate Banking

Our strength in Global Wealth Management also relies on the stand alone strength of our other businesses. Together, they make a significant contribution to earnings, diversify revenues and generate high-quality returns.

3. Enhance diversification by capturing superior growth in Asia Pacific and the Americas, leverage our Europe, Middle East and Africa capabilities and reinforce our leadership position in Switzerland

From a geographic standpoint, we aim to grow in the Americas and to reinforce leadership in our home market in Switzerland. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, we want to leverage our capabilities to grow our market share during likely consolidation. Asia Pacific, and particularly China, presents a significant growth opportunity, given the economic expansion and rate of increase in the number of billionaires. UBS’s competitive position in Asia Pacific is strong and we are well positioned to capture opportunities in the region across our businesses.

4. Invest in technology with a focus on superior client experience, product capabilities, efficiency and effectiveness 

We will continue to invest in technology to drive growth, better serve our clients and improve efficiency and effectiveness. We intend to secure our position as a leader in the digital age by maintaining expenditure on technology of at least 10% of the Group’s revenues for the foreseeable future.

To find out more about our strategy for UBS Group and our business divisions, please see our 2018 Annual Report.