UBS names group head to advance data push

Swiss bank is known to be exploring commercial potential of client data

UBS

In the latest evidence of banks expanding into the data business, UBS has named its head of research to a new role as group head of data analytics.

Juan-Luis Perez will retain his existing role as group head of research, adding the data analytics role on top. In that new capacity, he will report directly to Sergio Ermotti, the bank’s chief executive.

The role will cover the bank’s existing ‘Evidence Lab’ product, in which it undertakes custom analysis for its own analysts and sells alternative data, but UBS is also known to be exploring the idea of selling anonymised client data. 

An internal email from Ermotti announced the promotion on November 27: “As Group Head Research, Evidence Lab and Data Analytics, Juan-Luis and his team will be responsible for working across the group to understand business demands and will focus on co-ordinating, refining and scaling our efforts in order to meet these demands efficiently and effectively. He will leverage existing structures in the firm, but will drive focus and co-ordination on this critical topic.” It adds that Perez will focus on “collaboration and client-facing outcomes”.

UBS recently transferred its Evidence Lab from the bank’s research division to become a central repository for data services for all its investment banking businesses. In his expanded role, Perez will also “explore how this unit can be used to service all business divisions”, the email says.

The promotion comes at a time when banks across the board are considering both how they make use of alternative data in their business and how they potentially monetise data they generate in-house.

Risk.net reported earlier this year that Goldman Sachs had put together a team selling data – including the bank’s own proprietary data – to clients. Goldman has declined to say what precise data that might include. But the wish list for bank data from investment managers is a long one.

Buy-siders are hungry for information on things like order flows, leverage and margin use, the duration and credit ratings of fixed income holdings, short interest data, historical data on volatility surfaces or credit default swap pricing, derivatives transactions data and positions exposure.

Risk.net also reported in September that banks, including Citi, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and UBS, were considering ways to monetise data generated from their own business, though none of the banks would confirm this at the time. 

Banks could make “tens of millions, maybe even hundreds of millions” of dollars from selling the information they generate in-house, Tammer Kamel, founder and chief of Quandl, a platform for alternative data, has said.

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