UBS has created a division that targets the needs of multicultural investors in the U.S. with investable assets of $1 million or more.

The Multicultural Investors Strategic Client Segment is part of the wirehouse’s efforts to help advisors better focus and serve certain market segments, explained Melinda Hightower, who was tapped to head the unit. It will focus on Asian-American, Black and Hispanic and Latino investors.

UBS in the past has launched initiatives women investors, business owners, Gen Y investors, and athletes and entertainers.

Hightower, who joined UBS in May 2021 from JPMorgan Chase & Co., where she in part managed large client relationships and developed and implemented engagement strategies for diverse prospects and clients, said the creation of the unit is “an intentional, deliberate approach to meet the needs of the changing face of wealth and really look toward the future of wealth and where wealth is being created.”

She said the focus is reimagining wealth management from the ground up to be more inclusive. “We feel that if we create solutions for multicultural investors ... they could be to the benefit all investors, and so, all solutions will be on the platform,” she said. “It’s a holistic approach that we are taking.”

Hightower said the business is based on hundreds of conversations that they have had with investors, particularly multicultural investors. She noted that for the past eight months, they have been engaging in conversations with investors about what they are looking for, what needs are not being met by the wealth management industry and how can they be better served. “And then, looking at our service offering to see where we need innovation to take place,” she said.

“We see it as really all cultural groups being equally important in our focus,” she said.

While Hightower said there are advisors dedicated to the space who will serve as a sounding board, the goal is that all advisors are prepared to work with multicultural investors. “Our North Star is ensuring that each of our advisor is culturally competent,” she said.

Advisors will have access to multicultural-focused content that will explore the intersection between culture, art, philanthropy, and sustainability to help provide their clients and prospects with unique, community-building experiences and advice.

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