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McMansion Mortgages

In a bid to carve out a bigger niche in the affluent market, PaineWebber follows Merrill, Prudential and Morgan Stanley in offering mortgages.

Following a wirehouse trend of becoming a more complete full-service firm, UBS PaineWebber has formed a mortgage unit for wealthy clients. The move follows a trend begun by Merrill Lynch, Prudential Securities and Morgan Stanley.

“Our competitors have been offering this service, so we decided to jump in too,” says a PaineWebber rep. “It's apparent that this is more and more becoming the future of the business: becoming a more complete, fuller-service firm, offering every kind of service that is available to clients under one roof.”

PaineWebber is targeting the home mortgage loans for clients with at least $500,000 of assets to invest.

Brokerage firms “want to get as much of a client's assets in the house as possible,” says a Merrill Lynch rep. “The only way to do it is to expand the range of services. We're doing it. Pru and Morgan Stanley are. Now PaineWebber is doing it.”

Brokerage firms have been expanding services to wealthy clients because “they tend to generate higher fees,” says the Merrill rep.

PaineWebber is offering the home mortgage loans for wealthy clients through a joint venture with Wells Fargo. The firm divides what it considers wealthy clients into two categories: “affluent” ones have at least $500,000 to invest and “high-net-worth clients” with more than $2 million.

25 Years ago in Registered Rep

“I'm telling you that the amount of potential that exists for financial planning in this country is so tremendous that we haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg yet,” said R. Theodore Moock, Rauscher Pierce Securities.

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