TO commemorate its 50th year in Asia, UBS Singapore launched the UBS Singapore Youth Academy, which was announced on Monday.
Consisting of finance, arts and leadership faculties, the UBS Youth Academy will be the Swiss bank's focal point effort to providing education and development opportunities to Singaporean youths, said head of wealth management South-east Asia & Apac hub, country head and chief executive of Singapore, Edmund Koh.
Targeting pre-tertiary students, UBS plans to admit about 50-70 students for the UBS Singapore Finance Academy programme in June 2015. The students will be educated by UBS employees. If the programme is successful, UBS will ramp up the intake to 120 students in 2016. More details on admission criteria will be revealed at a later date.
"Twelve per cent of Singapore's GDP is driven by the finance sector, which employs about six per cent of the local workforce. By offering pre-university students a curriculum for two days, it will give them a very clear understanding of the finance world," said chief executive officer of UBS Asia-Pacific Yoon Chi Won.
According to UBS Singapore, Asia is growing more rapidly than any other region in the world. As of Q2 2014, UBS had total invested assets of 238 billion swiss francs (S$321.13 billion) from wealth management clients in Asia-Pacific. Of this, 50 per cent is derived from ultra high net worth individuals (those worth more than 50 million swiss francs), and the remaining comes from high net worth individuals (those worth two million to 49 million swiss francs).
In 1970, UBS established its presence in Singapore with a representative office. Today, Singapore is one of the two major international booking centers for UBS's wealth management business in the region, the headquarters for the firm's investment banking business in South Asia, as well as the single trading hub in Asia for foreign exchange, rates and credit.
"To ensure there's a constant pipeline of talents coming through, the industry has to play its part to make sure that we're laying the seeds," says Mr Yoon.
According to Mr Koh, the programme will cost UBS half a million annually, but will enable the company to reach out to a broad talent spectrum.