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Report: UBS' asset management arm mulls sale of fund platform Fondcenter

The asset management unit of UBS Group AG is said to be weighing plans to sell its fund platform as part of turnaround efforts by new division head Suni Harford.

The Swiss bank has been in talks with potential buyers for UBS Fondcenter in recent weeks, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News.

UBS has been exploring options for the fund platform for some time. If it pushes through with a sale, UBS Fondcenter could fetch at least CHF500 million, one of the sources said.

The news follows the recent sale of Credit Suisse Group AG's investment fund platform Credit Suisse InvestLab to Allfunds Group.

UBS' asset management arm has repeatedly failed to meet a key profitability target following a restructuring led by former head Ulrich Körner. The division, like other bank-owned asset managers, also has to deal with new regulations such as the EU's revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or MiFID II, and an increasing trend in passive investing.

Earlier in 2019, the Swiss lender was reportedly in talks with Germany's Deutsche Bank AG over a potential tie-up of their asset management divisions, but the discussions are said to have stalled due to differences over who would have control of the combined entity.

UBS Fondcenter offers more than 65,000 products and provides access to nearly 400 providers of mutual funds, exchange traded funds and alternative investment funds, according to its website.