Swiss bank UBS reported its highest assets under management (AUM) in a decade, partly with the help of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) investing in the gender-equality theme.
The bank said in its third quarter financial statement that assets under management had reached 815 billion Swiss francs (€716 billion) though net new money excluding money market funds was only “marginally positive”.
Asset management produced a 120 million Swiss francs profit before tax, while the overall UBS group profit was up 32% to 1.2 billion Swiss francs.
Higher invested assets boosted the asset management profit figure, but the bank said the impact of a business sale in the previous quarter and pressure on margins offset the number.
UBS said the UBS Global Gender Equality ETF launched earlier this year by UBS global wealth management and asset management had surpassed the $100 million. This reflected the growing importance of sustainability goals such as gender equality for clients, the bank said.
UBS recently said that the ETF, which is listed in Switzerland, had reached $140 million eight months after launch. Five per cent of the ETF’s management fees are channelled into philanthropic projects supporting gender equality.
Global economic growth prospects and monetary policy normalisation continue to provide a supportive backdrop to the UBS business, but ongoing geopolitical tensions, rising protectionism and trade disputes have “further dampened investor sentiment and confidence”. The bank expects these trends to continue to affect transactions by global wealth management clients in the fourth quarter.
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