UBS To Partner With Wachovia?


Another possible brokerage JV to keep on your radar… UBS has held talks with Wachovia, which is part of Wells Fargo (WFC), on a plan to create a wealth management JV, according to the New York Post.

Such a venture would combine UBS’ wealth-management shop, which has more than 8,000 retail brokers in the US, with Wachovia Securities’ 16,000 financial advisers… The combination could be similar to a partnership formed between Citigroup’s Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley to combine their respective wealth-management operations into a 20,000-strong behemoth.

It sounds pretty preliminary, but possible, especially in light of UBS’s legal troubles in the United States on charges that it actively helped clients illegally evade taxes.

Elsewhere this morning, there were reports that UBS tried, last year, to sell its brokerage arm, the old Paine Webber business, to Morgan Stanley.