As you may have heard, the last 6 to 12 to 36 months months have been somewhat trying for UBS investment bank chief Carsten Kengeter. Profits haven’t been exactly what he’d hoped for, the people of Stamford have (more or less) vowed to beat him with a sack of reeds should the Swiss so much as entertain the idea of leaving Connecticut, employees won’t stop jumping down his throat for one second about getting paid, there was the somewhat unfortunate matter of a $2 billion fraud coming to light, no one will give his team credit for their legitimate months and, to top it all off, it looks like he might not get that promotion he’s been gunning for and was hinted he was in the running for in his last annual review. Most recently, he’s been tasked with firing a whole bunch of employees, a sore point for those not thrilled about potentially loosing their jobs or seeing their colleagues let go. And so, despite all the stress he’s been going through, despite the higher-ups in Zurich riding him like Zorro, and despite things really not going his way, Kengeter dug deep and summoned the troops for a morale boosting session, the message of which he thought would’ve been a big hit.

At the dinner with banking heads of several divisions inside the embattled bank, held to discuss strategy and rally the troops, Kengeter, 44, implored the bankers to make a more concerted effort to streamline the firm and likened the strategy to slashing expenses like a “Jewish shopkeeper,” according to one attendee. However, rather than breed enthusiasm, Kengeter’s comments deflated morale and infuriated some bankers. “It didn’t sit well with me,” said a person familiar with Kengeter’s comment. Kengeter only recently offered a personal apology to attendees of the event when he was in New York in the past few weeks, sources say.

In fairness to CK, he would’ve never said those things had he not been momentarily confused as to which event he was working. Tuesdays are UBS dinners, Wednesdays are cross burnings. Honest mistake, won’t happen again.

Some of his best friends are shopkeepers [NYP]

46 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (46)

  1. Posted by uɐɟ ssǝq1# | November 9, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    cross burings should have been a tag…

  2. Posted by MCM | November 9, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Hail Kengeter!

    -UBS MD

  3. Posted by Texashedge | November 9, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    "That's why I have decided to announce my retirement effective after the end of this bonus season. At this moment the UBS Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status."

  4. Posted by I went there | November 9, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Carsten "Silver" Kengeter

    – to clarify things a little.

  5. Posted by I went there | November 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    "Heil" get it right.

  6. Posted by Financial_Servicer | November 9, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    His apology read "In hindsight I should have used a more appropriate simile – maybe slashing expenses like a Canuck on a seal hunt. Or like a Rwandan mercenary. Or better yet, like an Afghani responding to his daughter's rejection of an arranged marriage."

  7. Posted by Carsten | November 9, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Chew this! People were crying over their lost bonuses, so I said "Chew this! Stop, weepers!"

    Everyone is so freaking sensitive and everyone needs to help out as much as I am here!

  8. Posted by demographic | November 9, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    He should have read the room and replaced 'Jewish shopkeeper' with 'Jos. A. Bank'. Might have been more relevant.

  9. Posted by HungryIntern | November 9, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    or like his grandfather smashed windows…

  10. Posted by Milton Keynes | November 9, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    What is the problem here? Surely Kengeter was saying good things about Jewish shop-keepers; they run their businesses very well. Are investment bankers so preposterous that they consider small business owners to be beneath them? Kengeter has it right.

  11. Posted by Guest | November 9, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    It's "hey", go learn some english.

  12. Posted by Guestinho | November 9, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Paging Nervous Jew?

  13. Posted by largent80 | November 9, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    To be fair, how is he supposed to find a legion of brownshirts to back him in a town like Stamford?

  14. Posted by merkin_capital | November 9, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    If you think that's bad don't ever discuss baseball with him. I'm pretty sure he's mispronouncing "Nyjer Morgan" on purpose.

  15. Posted by you're a moron | November 9, 2011 at 1:00 PM


  16. Posted by Mexi_Cant | November 9, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    I thought slashing Jewish shop keepers to subsidize our expenses was our strategy?

    -Deutsche Bank M.D.

  17. Posted by Kelley MBA | November 9, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Cutting expneses is a difficult but important management decision.

  18. Posted by PEC | November 9, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Astonishing revelation. Thanks alot, Kelley MBA!

  19. Posted by Crazy Eddie | November 9, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Slash positions like "Crazy Carsten". His layoffs are "INSANE"!

  20. Posted by Spanishmoon | November 9, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Well, UBS' old strategy was confiscating Jewish shopkeepers' deposits.

    So this new CK plan represents an uptick, nes pas?

  21. Posted by Guest | November 9, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    It's settled. CFA > MBA

  22. Posted by im_new_here | November 9, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    UBS, UBS…why does that sound familiar…oh right, that's the same UBS that hid Nazi gold and refused to release accounts to Jewish heirs because they couldn't produce death certificates for people who died in the camps.

  23. Posted by Grammar Chet | November 9, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Loosing your job a much better option to tightening it

  24. Posted by brochacho | November 9, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Awesome haircut, bro!

  25. Posted by guest | November 9, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    God I hope Bess writes a book on the Bank of Suck one day.

  26. Posted by fred oudéa | November 9, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    N'est pas, get it right.

  27. Posted by dirty_dirty_harry | November 9, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    People continue to crack up but continue to mimick official soundbites. TonyBlair’s sister-in-law converted to Islam and works for PressTV. Not before 2001 but after. And then there’s JoeBiden. In the WH??? I’m so sick of hearing these fucked up stories but it won’t stop unless I move to an emerging market country.

  28. Posted by Roger | November 9, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    UBS should give him the axe ASAP. He is an insipid, wooden and uninspiring…also ineffective.

  29. Posted by george | November 9, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Actually, it's "n'est-ce pas" smart guy.

  30. Posted by Guest | November 9, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    I hate to sound like a broken record.

    UBS Sucks!

  31. Posted by 300WeatherbyMag | November 10, 2011 at 5:13 AM

    I believe the reference is to be "placed in a burlap sack and beaten with reeds". Being beaten with a sack of reeds sounds almost therapeutic.

  32. Posted by Spanishmoon | November 10, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    Thanks. My bad. I'll stick to Spanish and Italian.

  33. Posted by Guest2 | November 10, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    but you do. very broken indeed

  34. Posted by Guest | November 10, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Naughty, naughty UBS…

  35. Posted by John Bradley | November 10, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Bess, this is not the first time for Carsten's racist comment. at the last town hall in stamford, when cost reductions noted that we had "too many chiefs and not enough indians, carsten looked into the audience and called aloud the name of FICC americas who is indian, and asked if we should hire more indians nd if we had enough indians. the room went quiet in shock.

  36. Posted by Tired | November 10, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    cut carsten asap and start there

  37. Posted by Embarassed UBS'er | November 10, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    Yes that is THIS UBS

  38. Posted by London banker | November 16, 2011 at 3:28 AM

    When they have no rational, substantive comment to contribute to the debate, they typically resort to personal attacks and character assassination. When someone has worked night and day to help save a bank which was £30 billion in the red, all that is quickly forgotten as soon as one thing goes wrong, owing to no fault on your part. We can see that Lloyds Bank is in turmoil after losing their CEO Horta-Osorio to stress related illness. It is not easy for banks such as UBS to replace the likes of Gruebel or Kengeter.

  39. Posted by Get ReaL | November 16, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    london banker boy, these comments are not character attacks without any reason. personal attack ? you think calling this guy Kengeter is a racist who makes comments that are against the law here in the US. we have rules here and calling people "Jews" in a meeting is not cool

  40. Posted by buboe | November 25, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    What if they are actually Jews?
    Is saying "OMG it's Yom kippur and all the Jews are on holidays, no wonder there is so much prawn salad in the UBS canteen buffet" against the law?
    Is that "cool"?

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  42. Posted by HOMEFURNITUREIDEAS | December 27, 2012 at 10:56 PM

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  43. Posted by Gluten Free Cookies | September 12, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Who cares…relax. lol

  44. Posted by Uchen | December 17, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    I don't think he meant any harm from his comments, though they were probably not well thought out. Issues like these seem to be so common, as it appears as though almost everything said and done, offends one group or another in some way.

  45. Posted by Clicca Prega | January 21, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    I couldn't agree more…

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