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Alternative Market Briefing

UBS acquires Wealthfront for $1.4bn to reach young affluent American investors

Friday, January 28, 2022

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

Swiss lender UBS Group has agreed to acquire California-headquartered digital-only wealth platform Wealthfront as part of a wider plan to target scalable growth in the affluent investor space across the world.

The all-cash agreement to acquire the U.S.-focused automated wealth management provider, which has over $27bn of assets under management and more than 470,000 clients in the US, valued it at $1.4bn.

"UBS will accelerate its growth ambitions in the U.S., broaden the firm's reach among affluent investors and expand its distribution and capabilities," a joint statement from the two companies said.

Wealthfront will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of UBS and will operate as a business within UBS Global Wealth Management Americas, they added.

Wealthfront's primary focus is on millennial and Gen Z investors, a client segment with significant domestic growth potential. With more than 130 million investors in the US alone, millennials and the Gen Z population together comprise a high growth segment that will own an increasing share of the world's wealth.

"Adding Wealthfront's capabilities and client base to our global investment ecosystem will significantly boost our ability to grow our business in the US," said Ralph Hamers, Group Chief Executive Officer of UBS. "Wealthfront complements our core business in the US providing wealth management to high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors through trusted relationships ......................

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