Edgar de Picciotto established the Compagnie de Banque et d’Investissements (CBI) in Geneva on 11 November 1969. CBI acquired TDB-American Express Bank in 1990, which led to the creation of the current entity, Union Bancaire Privée. UBP developed further with the takeover of the Discount Bank and Trust Company in 2002.
UBP has been active in the alternative investment industry since the 1970s. Over the years, it has built up a strong hedge fund advisory Service and runs several pooled funds and personalized mandates. With the acquisition of Nexar in 2012, UBP demonstrated its "ongoing commitment" to the alternative industry.
On 6 December 2010, UBP announced it had reached a settlement with the Trustee when it agreed to pay $500 million. UBP was the first bank to settle the trustee's claim in the case of Madoff. With this settlement, the Trustee has agreed to discharge his "clawback" claims against UBP, its affiliates and clients.
In 2011, UBP acquired the Swiss arm of Dutch state-owned ABN Amro Bank, a pure Swiss private bank. The same year, UBP also broadened its operations in Asia by establishing two joint ventures in Hong Kong and Taiwan with TransGlobe.
In 2012, UBP acquired Paris-based fund of hedge funds Nexar Capital Group, which has offices in London, Jersey and New York.
In April 2013, UBP announced a partnership with Guggenheim Fund Solutions (GFS), which is specialized in managed accounts within the full spectrum of hedge fund strategies. Together, they launched a new hedge fund platform.
In May 2016 UBP announced it signed an agreement with SEB, a Nordic financial services group, enabling UBP to distribute SEB's Luxembourg fund range to institutional clients and third-party distributors.
As of the end of December 2017, UBP's balance sheet total reached CHF 32 billion. By pursuing a conservative approach to risk-management, UBP has maintained a solid financial base and a strong balance sheet with a high level of liquidity. With a Tier 1 capital ratio of 27.4% (as of 31 December 2017), UBP is one of the best-capitalized banks in Switzerland.