UBS Wealth Management has promoted John Mathews to head its Private Wealth Management division as it sharpens focus on its fast-growing ultrahigh-net-worth segment.

The firm is bisecting the role previously held by Jason Chandler, who was also head of the Wealth Management Advisor Group. Mathews will now directly oversee the 342 advisors in the private wealth segment who work exclusively with clients with more than $25 million in assets. He will work alongside Chandler in the firm’s office in midtown Manhattan.

“The ultrahigh-net-worth segment is the fastest growing segment at our firm and has been for the last few years,” Mathews says. “We think by separating it we can dedicate resources and focus on the business and we can make it grow faster.”

In the first quarter, the Wealth Management Americas division, comprised of more than 7,000 advisors, reported a record profit of $251 million, with net new assets increasing 99% from a year ago to $9.2 billion. In his new position, Mathews will look to build on that momentum by expanding the firm’s holistic financial planning offerings for its wealthiest clients.

“In this particular segment, the wealthier the client [and] the more money they have, their issues become more complex,” Mathews says. “Part of my job is to match all of the resources across the organization to make sure we bring the best to our clients.”

Mathews will help oversee new initiatives, such as the firm’s plan to place 50 financial planning associates on its largest advisory teams, and also work to leverage resources across the investment banking, lending and asset management division.

“Our clients want more,” Mathews says. “They demand more from us, and they want an advisor or a firm that can offer them solutions on all of their issues. That’s really how the business is evolving.”

Mathews, who has 20 years of experience as an advisor, branch manager, complex director and regional director at UBS, spent the past eight years recruiting advisors and managing high-net-worth clients as Southeast director of the firm.

“I spent a lot of time particularly in the past three years with clients and advisors helping them with those complex situations,” he says. “It’s what I like to do, and the best part of my job.”

Although the firm has slowed hiring of new advisors in order to focus on training planning associates, Mathews will continue to look for experienced advisory talent in his new role. The firm does not have specific targets for recruiting, he says: “We’re in a quality business, not a quantity business.”

Mathews, who took on the role officially on Tuesday, will relocate from his office in Tampa, Fla. A new regional director for the Southeast has not yet been named, the firm said on Friday. 

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