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29 January 2020

UBS plans to hire 20 managing directors to boost investment banking

UBS is hiring after deciding to narrow the focus of the investment bank on the consumer, industrial, TMT, and financial institutions industries

The addition of 20 managing directors will primarily be in the US and take place over the next two or three years/Bloomberg

by Bloomberg

UBS Group plans to bolster the most senior ranks of its investment bank to drive growth of coverage areas where it’s seeking to be more competitive.

The addition of 20 managing directors—who sit near the top of the unit’s hierarchy—will primarily be in the US and take place over the next two or three years.

Co-heads Robert Karofsky and Piero Novelli are also tying the unit more closely to the wealth management business and seeking to boost cooperation between regions after cutting lower-ranking jobs and reshuffling management.

The securities unit, which relies on equities trading and deal advisory for Europe and Asia, has under-performed its peers in the last few quarters, prompting Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti last week to say that the performance of the business has been unacceptable.

The bank is building the top ranks of the investment bank even as it removes managing directors from its key wealth management business as part of a broad overhaul instigated by new co-head Iqbal Khan.

While UBS sees the US as a strong growth opportunity, it’s also a region where the bank has struggled to keep up with peers with bigger balance sheets to strengthen their pitches. The Swiss bank ranks 25th among advisers for deals in the country in 2019. Former UBS investment chief Andrea Orcel had focused the bank on the retail, software and aerospace sectors in the US during his tenure.

UBS last year split its investment bank to two segments: global banking and global markets. The new hires would be spread across newly created teams in the banking division. Under the new structure, the teams report to global heads, in an attempt to encourage bankers from different regions to work together on cross-border deals that can generate the biggest fees.






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