Ex-UBS exec tells rich how to pick advisers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Douglas Black, a former executive at UBS Wealth Management, has started a consulting firm to help rich families and organizations choose a financial adviser.

Short Hills, New Jersey-based SpringReef Partners LLC, will help clients pick an adviser and negotiate fees, as well as monitor the adviser’s financial performance, the company announced on Monday.

Black, a 30-year industry veteran, was previously the chief operating officer of UBS’s private wealth management division, which caters to clients with at least $10 million of assets.

Following the arrival of current UBS Wealth boss Robert McCann, Black was replaced as COO by Frank Minerva in March 2010. He left the firm later that month.

Black spent 21 years at UBS and predecessor firms Paine Webber and Kidder Peabody.

In a statement, SpringReef estimated that less than 20 percent of the 300,000 advisers in the United States have the ability to properly advise wealthy clients.

“Finding…exceptional advisers is particularly challenging because the industry selects, trains and retains based on sales ability and..it is difficult to distinguish the exceptional adviser from one who is simply a good salesman,” said Black in the statement.

(Reporting by Helen Kearney, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

Ex-UBS exec tells rich how to pick advisers