Tapping Tokyo

UBS was a relative latecomer to the Japanese wealth management sector, but is gradually gaining traction in this nascent market. Joe Marsh talks to Jean-Claude Humair, head of the Swiss bank's wealth management division in Tokyo


UBS Wealth Management (UBS WM) oversees more assets than any other private banking operation in Asia - 200 billion Swiss francs ($180 billion) as of December, just $5 billion of which are in Japan. But it was a relative latecomer to the Japanese wealth management market, opening an office there in September 2004, while SG Private Banking did so in 2002 and HSBC Private Bank in 1996, to name two of its big rivals.

Yet others have been even slower to act. Merrill Lynch started private banking

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