UBS sells back office unit to Fidelity

SWITZERLAND – Swiss banking giant UBS has agreed to sell its Correspondent Services Corp. division to Fidelity Investments for an undisclosed price.

CSC, part of UBS’s PaineWebber wealth management division, provides clearance, execution, settlement, administrative and management information services to brokers.

“We are pleased to announce the sale of CSC to Fidelity,” said UBS PaineWebber chief executive Joseph Grano. He added: “This transaction reinforces UBS PaineWebber's focus on our primary business - providing wealth management services to affluent individual investors.”

CSC has 150 clients. “Increasingly, this business requires scale, and this transaction enables Fidelity to accelerate the growth of its core clearing business,” said Grano.

Fidelity’s chief operating officer Robert Reynolds said the acquisition was a strategic fit for the fund company.

UBS said that, after taxes of around 120 million dollars and various costs, the transaction would be around breakeven.

UBS posted a 2002 net profit of 3.5 billion Swiss francs (2.35 billion euros), down 29% on the 2001 figure – largely due to a 953 million franc writedown related to the withdrawal of the PaineWebber brand.

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