15 Jun 2022

UBS tops European prime broker ranking 

Morgan Stanley still top by manadates, but drops behind Swiss bank client assets

UBS has overtaken Morgan Stanley as the leading prime broker in Europe by market share, though the US bank remains top by client numbers. The Swiss bank ended 2021 with a hedge fund book in the region worth $77.6bn in AuM, up 10% from $70.4bn a year earlier. Morgan Stanley rose 4% from $73.9bn to $76.7bn over the 12-month period.

Morgan Stanley has the most client relationships, with 62 sole and 217 shared mandates, ahead of UBS’s 54 sole and 162 shared. UBS increased its mandate numbers from 41 sole and 154 split mandates last year.

Goldman Sachs rose one place to third, with $63.8bn in client assets, up a significant 24% over the year, across 44 sole and 160 shared mandates.

The changes in the rankings reflect recent shake-ups in the prime brokerage world. Credit Suisse, which was third by client assets last year, is closing its prime brokerage business following the implosion of family office client Archegos Capital Management and dropped to sixth in what should be its final appearance on the list. It announced the closure in November and said it would refer clients to BNP Paribas, thirteenth on the latest list. 

The French lender’s position was unchanged despite striking a separate referral deal with Deutsche Bank in September 2019 after the latter said it was pulling back from prime broking. The German bank remains on the list, having dropped from eighth to tenth by client assets, as reporting catches up with the completed transfer of clients, technology and key staff to BNP at the end of 2021.

JP Morgan, the third of the US ‘big three’ in prime brokerage, benefits from Credit Suisse’s drop and rises two places to fourth. It recorded the biggest growth of the main players, with client assets up 46% to $61.1bn in the year. HSBC holds onto fifth position after registering 30% growth. JP Morgan is the top prime broker to new funds by client assets, though its 11 mandates was fewer than Morgan Stanley (14), UBS (15) and Goldman Sachs (16).

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