World Economy

UBS, Morgan Stanley Lead Wealth Managers

UBS, Morgan Stanley Lead Wealth ManagersUBS, Morgan Stanley Lead Wealth Managers

UBS Group AG and Morgan Stanley increased the assets they manage for the world’s wealthiest people to more than $2 trillion for the first time, according to a study.

Assets under management at Zurich-based UBS rose 3.5% to $2.04 trillion last year, the most globally, according to an annual study by Scorpio Partnership, a London-based consulting firm. Morgan Stanley ranked second with $2.03 trillion as assets grew 6.1%, Bloomberg reported.

“The global wealth management industry had a solid business year in 2014 in terms of financial results for the operating model,” Scorpio said. “In spite of financial market uncertainties and currency volatility, most lead players experienced overall growth in client volumes.”

The wealth-management industry managed $20.6 trillion in investible assets of high net worth individuals at the end of December. The top 10 managers accounted for 47% of the market, with UBS controlling 9.9%, Scorpio said. While UBS ranked first for the third straight year, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased assets 19% to $428 billion, the fastest-growing of the top 10 managers. BMO Financial Group of Canada jumped 10 places to 11th, as acquisitions helped assets surge 80% to $326.4 billion.

Average growth in assets under management for more than 200 firms in the study climbed 3.4%, compared with almost 15% in 2013.

Cost to income ratios rose 90 basis points, or 0.9 percentage point, to 84.4% as operating efficiency declined.

A number of firms, mostly based in Europe, were adversely affected by the euro’s weakness, Scorpio said. BNP Paribas SA and HSBC Holdings Plc, ranked eighth and ninth globally, saw assets shrink by 6.2% and 4.5%, respectively.