As private banks increasingly court the lucrative family office market, a peer-reviewed survey has ranked UBS the top provider for the lucrative customer segment.
The Euromoney Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey placed UBS’s Swiss-rival Credit Suisse second, while JPMorgan, Pictet and HSBC rounded off the list.
Helen Avery, private banking editor at Euromoney, says family offices have always been a focus for the big private banks, and this has become increasingly so since the financial crisis.
"As private banks are pressured with increasing regulatory costs and lower margins they have been looking to the more profitable customer segments of ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices."
Avery says, at the same time, wealthy individuals and family offices are looking for new investment opportunities due to a low yield environment.
"It could be a win-win. The days where banks take good ideas and use them for their own investments first before sharing with clients is over," Avery says.
Increasingly complex legal, tax and investment issues mean family offices are relying more and more on external advisers, like private banks, according to Campden Wealth’s 2013 European family office report, Return to growth: family offices plan for a brighter future.
Multi family offices surveyed in the report ranked UBS the top bank, but when it came to single family offices the majority did not work with the big institutions, but instead preferred banks with a strong local presence.
Meanwhile, in Asia, costs, financial strength and communication with customers were the most important factors family offices looked for in a bank, according to Campden Wealth’s report Coming of Age: Asia-Pacific’s family offices find their footing, released last year.
The Euromoney survey ranked UBS the top private bank and wealth manager overall, followed by Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, Citi and HSBC. The report said the top five banks were all looking to asset management to drive market share.