UBS traces its roots back to 1747, when one of the bank’s branches was founded in the Swiss region of Valposchiavo. The three core components of the company date back to second half of the nineteenth century – Union Bank of Switzerland, Swiss Bank Corporation, and PaineWebber or their antecedents were all founded in the 1860s and 1870s.
UBS was formed through a merger of the Union Bank of Switzerland and the Swiss Bank Corporation in June 1998. SBC had just previously built a global investment banking business through its acquisitions of Dillon Read in New York and S.G. Warburg in London.
On June 9th, 2003, all UBS business groups rebranded under the UBS name. UBS Painewebber, UBS Warburg, UBS Asset Management, and others became just “UBS”. As a result of the rebranding, UBS took a $1B write off for the loss of brand value of PaineWebber. UBS is no longer an acronym but is the company’s brand, like 3M or BP. Its logo of three keys stands for confidence, security, and discretion.
UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide, with offices in 50 countries.