Former UBS Australia Wealth Managers Move Closer To Commencing Business

Reports out of Australia suggest that Crestone Holdings has taken a key step in its acquisition of UBS Wealth Management's local operations, forging partnerships with a number of wealth management firms.

Crestone’s shareholders are UBS Wealth Management client advisers, senior management and employees who have committed to move to Crestone. The majority of the current directors and management team were also previously at UBS Wealth Management.

Swiss giant UBS decided to sell its local Australian wealth business to staff instead of shutting it down. The bank was assumed to have struggled with profitability and technology costs.

Crestone will begin life with 70 advisers, the majority of which have equity in the firm. They are rumoured to have circa $15 billion in invested client assets from high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals and families.

Crestone has now firmed commercial relationships with firms including Commonwealth Bank of Australia, UBS, Avaloq and Credit Suisse ahead of the predicted opening date next year.

The soon-to-be independent firm confirmed that it will turn to Commonwealth Bank of Australia for services including transactional banking and foreign currency trade execution. UBS will provide global equities research, execution services, and access to capital markets offers.

The advisers and Crestone management remain UBS employees until the changeover date in April next year, but the structure of the transaction was changed from a spin-off to an acquisition several months ago ahead of a targeted October launch. That saw Crestone delay its start until next year as it looked to put in place structures and systems to fully transition the unit over.

Crestone will have offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

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