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UBS Group (0UBn) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for UBS Group (Germany)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , UBS Group is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , wage bills are increasing, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, there is backlash against globalization, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, increasing energy prices, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of UBS Group


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that UBS Group can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the UBS Group, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which UBS Group operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of UBS Group can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of UBS Group
2. Improving business portfolio management of UBS Group
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Germany
4. Making a Investment Services sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of UBS Group




Strengths of UBS Group | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of UBS Group are -

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of UBS Group in the Financial sector have low bargaining power. UBS Group has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps UBS Group to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Organizational Resilience of UBS Group

– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing UBS Group does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.

Innovation driven organization

– UBS Group is one of the most innovative firm in Investment Services sector.

Highly skilled collaborators

– UBS Group has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Investment Services industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of UBS Group have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– UBS Group has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – UBS Group staying ahead in the Investment Services industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of UBS Group in Investment Services industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

High brand equity

– UBS Group has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled UBS Group to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that UBS Group has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.

Learning organization

- UBS Group is a learning organization. It has inculcated three key characters of learning organization in its processes and operations – exploration, creativity, and expansiveness. The work place at UBS Group is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at UBS Group emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.

Successful track record of launching new products

– UBS Group has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. UBS Group has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.

Diverse revenue streams

– UBS Group is present in almost all the verticals within the Investment Services industry. This has provided UBS Group a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.

Training and development

– UBS Group has one of the best training and development program in Financial industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.






Weaknesses of UBS Group | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of UBS Group are -

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, UBS Group has high operating costs in the Investment Services industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract UBS Group lucrative customers.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of Germany, UBS Group needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at UBS Group, in the dynamic environment of Investment Services industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. UBS Group has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

High dependence on UBS Group ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of UBS Group still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Investment Services industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though UBS Group has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

Employees’ less understanding of UBS Group strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of UBS Group don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As UBS Group is one of the leading players in the Investment Services industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Investment Services industry in last five years.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Investment Services industry, UBS Group needs to come up with a strategy to reduce the workers concern regarding automation. Without a clear strategy, it could lead to disruption and uncertainty within the organization.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of UBS Group is just above the Investment Services industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, UBS Group has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Investment Services industry over the last five years. UBS Group even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

Skills based hiring in Investment Services industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at UBS Group has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of UBS Group, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Investment Services industry. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.




UBS Group Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of UBS Group are -

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Investment Services industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for UBS Group in the Investment Services industry. Now UBS Group can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, UBS Group can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help UBS Group to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– UBS Group has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Investment Services sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled UBS Group to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help UBS Group to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Leveraging digital technologies

– UBS Group can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Investment Services industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. UBS Group can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. UBS Group can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.

Developing new processes and practices

– UBS Group can develop new processes and procedures in Investment Services industry using technology such as automation using artificial intelligence, real time transportation and products tracking, 3D modeling for concept development and new products pilot testing etc.

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Investment Services industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. UBS Group can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for UBS Group to conduct training and development for its employees across the world. This will result in not only reducing the cost of training but also help employees in different part of the world to integrate with the headquarter work culture, ethos, and standards.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help UBS Group to increase its market reach. UBS Group will be able to reach out to new customers. Secondly 5G will also provide technology framework to build new tools and products that can help more immersive consumer experience and faster consumer journey.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, UBS Group is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. UBS Group can utilize new technology in the field of Investment Services industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for UBS Group in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Investment Services industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects UBS Group can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at UBS Group can make experimentation a productive activity and build a culture of innovation using approaches such as – mining transaction data, A/B testing of websites and selling platforms, engaging potential customers over various needs, and building on small ideas in the Investment Services industry.




Threats UBS Group External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of UBS Group are -

High level of anxiety and lack of motivation

– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. UBS Group needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Investment Services industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, UBS Group can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate UBS Group prominent markets.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– UBS Group can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Investment Services industry.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– UBS Group high dependence on third party suppliers can disrupt its processes and delivery mechanism. For example -the current troubles of car makers because of chip shortage is because the chip companies started producing chips for electronic companies rather than car manufacturers.

Regulatory challenges

– UBS Group needs to prepare for regulatory challenges as consumer protection groups and other pressure groups are vigorously advocating for more regulations on big business - to reduce inequality, to create a level playing field, to product data privacy and consumer privacy, to reduce the influence of big money on democratic institutions, etc. This can lead to significant changes in the Investment Services industry regulations.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for UBS Group in Investment Services industry. The Investment Services industry is already at various protected from local competition in China, with the rise of trade war the protection levels may go up. This presents a clear threat of current business model in Chinese market.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Investment Services industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. UBS Group can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for UBS Group in the Investment Services sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Investment Services industry are lowering. It can presents UBS Group with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Investment Services sector.

Consumer confidence and its impact on UBS Group demand

– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Investment Services industry and other sectors.

Backlash against dominant players

– US Congress and other legislative arms of the government are getting tough on big business especially technology companies. The digital arm of UBS Group business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– UBS Group has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Investment Services industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, UBS Group needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Investment Services sector. According to Mckinsey study top managers believe that the adoption of technology in operations, communications is 20-25 times faster than what they planned in the beginning of 2019.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of UBS Group Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at UBS Group needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of UBS Group is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of UBS Group is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of UBS Group to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that UBS Group needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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