SWITZERLAND –UBS said its Global Asset Management arm reported a pre-tax profit increase of 64% in 2004 and that institutional business almost doubled.

“For full year 2004, new money inflows in the institutional business stood at CHF23.7bn (€15.2bn), almost doubling from CHF12.7bn a year earlier,” UBS said in a statement.

The group said that “strong” inflows were recorded in the alternative and quantitative investments, as well as equity and fixed income mandates.

UBS Global Asset Management posted a profit of CHF544m in 2004, compared 2003’s CHF332m.

The increase was largely due to higher performance fees and lower operating expenses.

The group stated: “2004 showed that UBS’s wealth and asset management business can provide both growth momentum and earning quality even if trading conditions fluctuate.”

“We will continue re-investing in our growth business and expect 2005 to be the next exciting step,” said chief financial officer Clive.

UBS as a group reported yearly net profits of CHF8.08bn, with its financial business accounting for CHF8.04bn.

“This is the best annual result in UBS’ history,” said group chief executive Peter Wuffli. UBS said its complete annual report would be published on March 16.

The group also said that chief risk officer Walter Stuerzinger would assume firm-wide responsibility for market, operational and credit risk control.