On Tuesday, Zurich-based banking giant UBS AG
announced it has paid $500 million for the private client services of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp spinoff Piper Jaffray
. The move significantly expands the wealth management business of UBS through the Midwest and western United States.
The Wall Street Journal
suggests that something of a broker numbers game is being played here. With the addition of 842 Piper brokers, UBS would boast a global brokerage force of 12,516. It has gained ground, another words, on Merrill Lynch -- which has 15,160 brokers following a $400 million purchase of over 500 Advest Group brokers last year -- and on Citigroup's Smith Barney unit, which gained 1,354 brokers in the Legg Mason deal, and now has a total of 13,414.
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