UBS DESPITE GLOBALISATION, some countries are still defined by their products. Think of Switzerland, for example. Aside from mountains and lakes. you probably think of chocolate, watches and banks. Established more than 140 years ago in Switzerland, UBS is the world's largest wealth manager. If you are lucky enough to have funds of US$1million, then you are eligible to have your own UBS wealth manager. That means no longer having to deal with those tedious automated phone services and long lunchtime queues. You are also likely to receive better rates of return on your investments than from standard retail banks. Those with a UBS wealth manager receive financial advice throughout different stages of their lives including advice on topics such as education funding and gifts to children, inheritance and succession planning, tax planning, insurance, trusts and foundations and even art banking. The past two decades have also seen robust growth in the use of alternative investments - meaning investments other than cash, bonds, or public equities, while hedge funds, once considered a fringe investment, have entered the mainstream across the globe. UBS uses this large variety of investment vehicles in its wealth management services. It offers discretionary and non-discretionary mandates. Clients that opt for a discretionary mandate delegate the management of their assets - including investment decisions - to a team of portfolio managers who work according to an agreed investment strategy. Clients that prefer to be actively involved in their assets can choose a non-discretionary mandate. 'Central to the relationship between a wealth manager and a client is trust,' said Allen Lo Chun-Lun, UBS regional market manager, Greater China. 'A client has to feel secure about whom he banks his money with. UBS has a strong rating, a strong balance sheet as well as a reputation for prudent risk management.'