SWITZERLAND – The margins on UBS Global Asset Management’s institutional business rose to 35 basis points in the second quarter, up from 29 basis points in the first quarter of the year.

The division, the sixth largest manager of European pension fund assets, had net new institutional money of 1.1 billion Swiss francs (700 million euros) in the quarter, down from 3.9 billion francs in the first quarter and 1.7 billion francs a year ago.

Total institutional inflows in the year-to-date period amount to five billion francs, compared to a net outflow of two hundred million francs a year ago.

Institutional assets under management at GAM as at the end of June were 297 billion francs, down two percent on a year ago but a 13% rise on the end of the first quarter.

“Inflows into alternative investments, equity and fixed income mandates more than offset outflows from lower margin money market funds,” said UBS in a statement.

Pre-tax profit at GAM doubled to 89 million francs while revenue was up 16% - driven by higher asset-based income due to market moves and increased performance fees.

GAM has around 67.5 billion euros in European pension assets under management.

Meanwhile, UBS’ private equity operation lost 85 million francs in the second quarter, compared to a loss of 519 million francs a year before.

The Swiss bank reported an overall second quarter net profit of 1.6 billion francs, 155 up on the prior year figure.

"We do believe that the downward pressure on our industry from the business and market environment is easing, and that the worst is behind us,” said chief executive Peter Wuffli.

“However, as three months ago, our optimism is tinged with caution: investors remain concerned about future economic prospects and confidence in the financial markets has not yet been fully restored."