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ubs_400ZURICH: UBS has no plans to sell its US-based wealth management arm, the former Paine Webber brokerage, Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said on Wednesday.

"It has always been my view that it would be a terrible strategic mistake for UBS not to have a significant presence in what is arguably the most important financial centre and wealth management market globally," Ermotti told a gathering of business people.

There has periodically been speculation that UBS might sell the US wealth management business as its broker-based model is different from UBS's larger private bank.

The US arm was losing money and shedding brokers before Robert McCann joined as chief executive in 2009 from Merrill Lynch.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, its pretax profit increased 36 percent from a year ago to $216 million.

Average revenue generated by the US business's approximately 7,000 advisers topped $1 million in the quarter, a record for the US unit, compared with $686,000 in the quarter before McCann arrived.

Copyright Reuters, 2013

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