UBS wealth managers to open flagship office in Edinburgh

UBS Wealth Management says its new Edinburgh headquarters will become the flagship office for the business outside London. Photograph: Michelle Limina/AFP/Getty Images
UBS Wealth Management says its new Edinburgh headquarters will become the flagship office for the business outside London. Photograph: Michelle Limina/AFP/Getty Images
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The wealth management arm of financial services giant UBS has revealed major investment in Edinburgh as it prepares to move to a larger site in the city where it is looking to double its headcount.

The firm is currently based in Wemyss Place in the city centre, but has signed a ten-year lease on new premises at 1 St Andrew Square as it looks to grow staff from 16 to 30 over the next two years.

The move is expected to take place by May and will see it sit alongside fellow St Andrew Square occupants such as Standard Life Aberdeen and Rathbones.

Scotland regional head Debjani Raffan told Scotland on Sunday that the firm has seen such strong demand over the past ten years that it is now “bursting at the seams” at its current location, amid “ambitious” growth plans.

She added that the focus is on filling client adviser roles, with its customer base including wealthy families, high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs.

Raffan highlighted that some of its clients are in the northeast of Scotland where fortunes are improving after a “slow couple of years”, while it also covers those in the buoyant life sciences and technology sectors, for example, noting some “fantastic” university spin-outs.

She added: “Scotland is brimming with successful entrepreneurs and businesses. Our team has been doing a fantastic job of supporting these individuals and families from wealth-creation and beyond. We are now at the point where we need to scale up substantially and ensure we can continue helping clients in the region meet their financial goals.”

Jonathan Brown, head of regions at UBS Wealth Management, said: “While others see a Brexit-shaped cloud of uncertainty hanging over the UK economy, UBS Wealth Management is looking ahead with confidence. We are steadfastly committed to continuing the growth in our UK regional footprint. We’re proud to already have the largest regional presence of any global wealth manager in the UK. The new Edinburgh headquarters will become the flagship office for our business outside London.”

The wealth manager has been open in Scotland for more than 15 years, and now aims to expand its geographic reach such as targeting the area between Perthshire and Inverness. “There’s a lot of growth potential in Scotland,” Raffan said.

Its growth comes amid a competitive wealth-management market in Scotland, but Raffan insisted that there will always be competition.

“UBS have been around for 150 years doing wealth-management so we know exactly what our business is, we know what we do and we’ve got a really strong history to back that up. Despite competition we’ve always managed to grow.”