Magazine article American Banker

To Slim Its Profile, UBS Cuts Jobs

Magazine article American Banker

To Slim Its Profile, UBS Cuts Jobs

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Conrad, On Wall Street

UBS Wealth Management Americas made some cuts at its headquarters that some market observers say were widely expected, but the next step will hit closer to home for advisers.

The company cut about 200 back-office jobs, mostly in New Jersey, but some of those cut were high-level managing directors, including Doug Black, the chief operating officer of private wealth management for ultra-high-net-worth clients; Jay Messing, the head of private-client sales; James Pierce, a vice chairman in the wealth management Americas unit; and Michael Roberts, head of trust services in the wealth planning group.

The layoffs were mostly geared to reduce the layers of management between advisers and the home office, to make the business more nimble and responsive to advisers' needs, according to a company spokesman. There were also some redundancies. The cost savings from the cuts will be reinvested in the business, mostly on the technology side, to address a lot of advisers' concerns.

A spokesman for UBS said that no advisers were cut but declined to give further details until Robert McCann, the unit's chief executive officer, presents his business strategy in the next few weeks.

Others in the industry had no such hesitation.

Industry recruiter Rick Peterson said that the industry buzz was that McCann had been telling people UBS was overstaffed at headquarters for the number of brokers it had. Peterson said this round of cuts was widely expected. …

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