UBS aims to enter the country’s $3.9 trillion retail fund market, sources said, and the bank’s asset management arm has begun hiring key personnel.
Ralph Hamers, UBS chief executive since November 2020, is willing to make new bets in China partly due to the success there of Dutch lender ING, which he ran previously.
The new activity will expand a UBS presence in China that already includes a mutual fund joint venture and a private fund business.
It comes amid intensifying competition in the fund industry in the world’s second-largest economy, heightened by the scrapping of foreign ownership caps two years ago.
BlackRock launched a wholly-owned fund unit in China in June 2021. Global rivals, including Fidelity International and Schroders, are in the process of doing the same.
Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan are moving towards full control of their existing China fund joint ventures.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell