UBS is beefing up in investment banking under new leadership

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UBS Is hoping to attract top notch investment bankers following a reshuffle of its U.S. business.

Last month the bank dismantled its old structure, replacing its regional corporate client solutions and institutional client solutions with two global divisions – global banking and global markets.

The changes constitute the first big shake-up at the investment bank since Piero Novelli and Rob Karofsky took over joint responsibility for the unit following the departure of Andrea Orcel, who was a fan of regional management.

Novelli and Karofsky have appointed Ros Stephenson, one of its best-known investment bankers on Wall Street, to co-head banking along with London-based Javier Oficialdegui.

The bank is putting together its hiring plans over the coming weeks and expects Stephenson to draw in some top talent as the bank continues to expand in the U.S.. “It will be selective but Ros will be able to attract people to the platform now she’s co-running it,” said one insider.

Stephenson’s promotion means Sam Kendall, formerly head of CCS for the Americas, has moved into a new role as head of strategic initiatives within global banking but he’s no longer at the coal-face of divisional management.

UBS reckons its promotion of Stephenson will pay off. Stephenson is a Brit who has a strong background in financial sponsor M&A, who joined UBS in 2012 after a long career at Barclays and Lehman Brothers.

The bank has been hiring already this year as it looks to draw a line under a period of management instability in its Americas corporate finance business.

It has added 10 managing directors since the start of 2019, including Alex Iosilevich, who it has poached from Deutsche Bank as head of its media investment banking practice. It has also bolstered its tech team with the addition of Bob Casey and Robert Jackman and built out its FIG team with Abzal Ayubeally coming from Nomura.

Kendall was appointed to run CCS in March 2018 following the abrupt departure of Joe Reece, who left after four months in the role after clashing with Orcel. “UBS is recovering from a period of bad morale and Ros will bring stability,” said the insider.

UBS will hire selectively in its industry groups and also in areas that are closely linked to serving the needs of its wealth management clients. At its investor day last year the bank set a target to bring in CHF70bn of net new money in the U.S. in next three years. It is also becoming more US centric, with three members of its group executive board coming from the U.S., the highest proportion ever.

Photo by Julien Riedel on Unsplash

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