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Jul 31, 2012

UBS reports record U.S. brokerage profit on fees, gains

NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) – UBS Wealth Management
Americas, the U.S. brokerage arm of Swiss bank UBS,
reported a 28 percent increase in second-quarter earnings,
fueled by one-time investment gains and higher
account-management fees.

UBS said the brokerage generated a record $211 million in
quarterly pretax profit as revenue rose 5 percent to $1.59
billion from a year earlier. Increases in management fees offset
lower commissions, as client trading activity slowed, and net
interest income declined.

Jul 31, 2012

LPL profit tumbles 13 pct, shares dive

July 31 (Reuters) – LPL Financial Holdings Inc
second-quarter earnings tumbled 13 percent, far short of analyst
expectations, as aggressive recruiting and a series of expansion
efforts pushed expenses higher.

Shares of LPL, the largest U.S. independent brokerage, were
down 13 percent in midday trade on the Nasdaq. They slid as much
as 25 percent earlier, hitting their lowest since September.

Jul 31, 2012

Merrill lands duo 4 months after joining Barclays

July 31 (Reuters) – Brokerage Merrill Lynch says it has
hired a team of former Morgan Stanley private wealth
advisers who jumped from Barclays’ U.S. wealth management arm
after working just four months at the British bank.

Matthew Celenza and Lawrence DiGioia, who joined Merrill
earlier this month, had joined Britain’s Barclays PLC
in March after about 11 years at Morgan Stanley and predecessor
firm Smith Barney. At the time, the duo was part of Barclay’s
broader expansion in the Los Angeles area.

Jul 31, 2012

UBS says fees, gains boost U.S. brokerage profit 28 percent

NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) – UBS Wealth Management
Americas, the U.S. brokerage arm of Swiss bank UBS,
reported a 28 percent increase in second-quarter earnings,
fueled by investment portfolio gains and higher asset-management
fees.

UBS said the brokerage generated $211 million in quarterly
pretax profit as revenue rose 5 percent to $1.59 billion from a
year earlier. Increases in management fees offset lower
commissions, as client trading activity slowed, and a decline in
net interest income.

Jul 30, 2012

Morgan Stanley rejiggers brokerage regions, cuts 4 top jobs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) has eliminated four regional manager jobs in a reorganization of its brokerage joint venture that trims the number of regions, the second time in eight months it has reduced its manager ranks.

The Morgan Stanley Smith Barney brokerage, the largest in the United States with nearly 17,000 financial advisers, will have four regional managers reporting to three divisions led by Richard Skae in the Northeast, Arnold “Bill” McMahon in the Midwest and South, and Douglas Kentfield in the West.

Jul 27, 2012

TD hires private banker Leto to court New York area’s rich

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Canada’s Toronto-Dominion Bank has hired former Standard Chartered Bank Americas private banking chief John Leto as part of a broader plan to expand its wealth management business in the United States.

Leto, a former chief administrative officer for Citigroup Inc’s private bank, joined Standard Chartered in 2009 to repair and expand a high-net-worth business spanning the United States and Latin America. Standard Chartered sold its Americas private bank to Banco Santander earlier this year, and Leto departed in March.

Jul 26, 2012

Specter of higher US taxes may not spur family-business deals

NEW YORK, July 26 (Reuters) – Private bankers say the
prospect of expiring U.S. tax cuts makes 2012 an opportune time
for wealthy families to sell their businesses. But a host of
obstacles will likely prevent a flood of deals.

Wealth managers to the rich are telling clients who are
considering selling a family business, they’d better act fast.
Capital gains taxes will rise to as high as 25 percent from 15
percent if Congress does not extend cuts set to expire Dec. 31.
The cuts were enacted under President George W. Bush in 2001.

Jul 26, 2012

Pulte swings to 2nd-qtr profit as orders jump

July 26 (Reuters) – PulteGroup Inc on Thursday
posted quarterly profit that beat market expectations and
reported a sharp jump in new orders as home buyers took
advantage of record affordability and rock-bottom interest
rates.

Pulte, the nation’s second largest home builder, said new
orders jumped 32 percent to 5,578 units in the second quarter.

Jul 26, 2012

Pulte’s profit beats expectations, orders jump

July 26 (Reuters) – PulteGroup Inc on Thursday
posted a quarterly profit that beat market expectations and
reported a sharp jump in new orders as home buyers took
advantage of affordability and rock-bottom interest rates.

Pulte, the nation’s second-largest homebuilder, said it saw
new orders jump 32 percent to 5,578 units in the second quarter.

Jul 11, 2012

LPL lowers investment minimum to boost managed portfolio sales

NEW YORK, July 11 (Reuters) – Independent brokerage LPL
Financial is lowering account minimums for managed portfolios of
mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, the latest example of
Wall Street firms making money management accessible to a
broader group of investors.

LPL, the largest U.S. independent brokerage network with
about 13,000 advisers, on Wednesday reduced the minimum needed
to invest in its “model wealth portfolios” program to $25,000
from $100,000. The change makes LPL among the lowest minimums in
the business and half the amount required for similar programs
at rivals like Fidelity.