UBS

  • ubs_web_1759736c

    News

    Severance Watch ’12: UBS

    Some details on the packages offered to those fired post-Hurricane.

    / Oct 31, 2012 at 2:01 PM
  • Source is Bloomberg, and this goes back to 2004 because that is basically as far back as Bloomberg breaks out FICC revenues and I am lazy.

    News

    UBS Is Done Losing Money In FICC, Will Focus On Losing Money In Equities

    A thing we sometimes do here is hold ad hoc seminars in reading press releases and UBS provided a good one yesterday. When you read this: UBS announces strategic acceleration from a position of strength and it goes on to say this: Group CEO Sergio P. Ermotti said, “This decision has been a difficult one, […]

    / Oct 31, 2012 at 10:29 AM
  • UBS

    News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS Tells Employees Not To Bother Themselves With Figuring Out How To Get Into Work (Ever Again)

    Earlier this week, before a natural disaster struck the East Coast, UBS announced that it would essentially be getting out of the investment banking business and focusing its energy on wealth management, letting go of approximately 10,000 employees as it transitioned back to its tax evading roots. That was Monday morning, and while the bank had said that it planned to start cuts on Tuesday, most people assumed that the Swiss would wait at least 24 hours between the time Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy told residents to seek safety from the storm on their roofs, or power for the many who lost it was restored, to can a bunch of staff. Those people, however, thought wrong. Apparently when UBS decides to do something, neither wind nor rain nor is gonna stop them.

    / Oct 31, 2012 at 10:11 AM
  • ubs_1396475c

    News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS Has Something To Share

    Management has decided to burn the investment bank down and start fresh. Basically.

    UBS is set to unveil a radical downsizing of its struggling investment bank next week in a move that will prompt the loss of up to 10,000 jobs across the Swiss banking group. Switzerland’s largest bank by assets will significantly shrink the trading side and complexity of its investment bank and as a consequence also cut thousands of jobs in its back office over the next few years, three people close to the situation said. The job cuts will amount to almost a sixth of the bank’s workforce of 63,500 at the end of June. They will not happen all at once and the precise number is still unclear… It comes on top of another – still ongoing – programme announced last year to cut 3,500 jobs. The new strategy, hammered out in several executive board meetings in New York this week and set to be announced next Tuesday, will lead to the closure of a sizeable part of UBS’s fixed-income trading operations and other capital-intensive areas of the investment bank.

    UBS To Cut Up To 10,000 Jobs [FT]
    Related: UBS’s Investment Banking Head May Have To Slash His Own Expenses “Like A Jewish Shopkeeper”

    / Oct 26, 2012 at 3:51 PM
  • carstenkengeter

    News

    UBS’s Investment Banking Head May Have To Slash His Own Expenses “Like A Jewish Shopkeeper”

    As those of you keeping up with the many trials and travails of UBS know, the last couple years have been fairly brutal for investment banking chief Carsten Kengeter. Pre-tax IBD profit was down 55 percent YoY through June, employees are constantly on his ass about getting paid, the comments he made in attempt to “rally the troops” re: “slashing expenses like a Jewish shopkeeper” were totally taken in the wrong way, some guy perpetrated a $2 billion fraud (which was partially to blame for CK getting passed over for the promotion he was gunning for), and to top it all off, the higher-ups actually accepted his offer to forgo a bonus for 2011, which he would never have put out there if he thought they’d actually go for it. And now, as a thanks for all his hard work, management is publicly mulling the idea of lightening his load and paycheck.

    UBS is weighing a shakeup at the top of its investment bank that would give a reduced role to Carsten Kengeter and increased responsibilities to his co-head Andrea Orcel, three people with knowledge of the matter said. The board is meeting in New York today to consider a reorganization of the unit that will include cuts centered on the fixed-income operations that Kengeter has been responsible for since 2008, said the people, who asked not to be identified before the matter is made public. An announcement may come when UBS reports third-quarter earnings on Oct. 30, they said…Three senior executives who declined to speak publicly said they expect Kengeter to leave the bank before long. A person with knowledge of Kengeter’s thinking said he doesn’t plan to go. A UBS official declined to comment.

    Ermotti told staff in a memo this month he’ll take “all actions necessary” to tackle the “paradigm shift” in banking and will continue “remodeling” UBS. He said in July that the market environment has completely changed since the bank announced reorganization plans for the securities unit in November.

    UBS May Reduce Kengeter Role in Overhaul of Investment Bank Unit [Bloomberg]
    Related: Was That Wrong? Should Carsten Kengeter Not Have Done That?

    / Oct 25, 2012 at 3:23 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS

    Cuts are said to have gone down at the Swiss bank yesterday, with more thought to be a’ coming.

    From the front lines:

    “Massive cuts at UBS west coast IBD offices yesterday– 50 percent headcount reductions in both LA and San Fransisco, from MDs down to admins. HR was flown in to do the job. Rumor is that LA and SF office will be closed down completely next year. There were also some cuts in NYC, in FIG and TMT.”

    / Oct 25, 2012 at 1:48 PM
  • News

    Layoffs/Hiring Watch ’12: UBS

    The Swiss bank is said to be planning a big round of cuts in the investment bank with the aim of saving a bunch of money, which it will then spend on luring in “more promising talent.”

    is embarking on a new round of job cuts within its investment bank, according to people familiar with the matter, as the Swiss bank grapples with a downturn in business that shows few signs of abating and considers a further restructuring of the division. UBS will begin notifying employees Wednesday of a new round of job cuts totaling roughly 400, the people said. Additional job losses that could run into the thousands may quickly follow. According to one of the people, there is a “good probability” that when UBS discloses its third-quarter results next Tuesday, it will make clear which businesses it intends to focus on in the years to come, and which ones it will de-emphasize…This week’s jobs cut will be spread roughly evenly across North America, Europe and Asia, one of the people said. They will fall more or less evenly on fixed-income trading, equity trading and corporate finance, although the latter will bear slightly more of the brunt than the former two divisions.

    While these job cuts are mainly mean to cut costs, they are also part of a plan to cull the worst performers from the investment bank’s ranks and create room for it to hire more-promising talent, one of the people said.

    UBS Plans More Job Cuts [WSJ]

    / Oct 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM
  • Ken Lewis made this face at Merrill but didn't tell anyone about it.

    News

    Banks Win Some, Lose Some In Shareholder Lawsuits

    A surprising percentage of conversations at Dealbreaker HQ go like this: Bess: Can you really sue someone for [thing someone is suing someone else over]? Matt: Anyone can sue anyone for anything. Bess: Did you even go to law school?1 What you don’t learn in law school, though, is that “what the law says” and […]

    / Sep 28, 2012 at 6:40 PM
  • News

    Kweku Adoboli’s Weather Tracker Didn’t Account For Cloudy With A Chance Of Severe Losses

    John Hughes, the former senior trader on the ETF desk, said Adoboli told him in January last year about an internal account he called his umbrella. Prosecutors allege Adoboli created the account to pool profit from trades he hadn’t booked to use to cover up future losses. Hughes testified that he thought the umbrella referred […]

    / Sep 25, 2012 at 4:46 PM
  • News

    John DiBiacco Will Never Forget The Day He Told Kweku Adoboli To Cut Risk To Zero, Hours Of Silent Treatment He Received Afterward

    In Southwark Crown Court in London, the boyish-looking Mr. DiBacco was cross-examined for more than three hours by Mr. Adoboli’s lawyer, Paul Garlick, whose questions appeared to be aimed at showing the Swiss bank was fully aware of his client’s activities and that his trading was in line with the risk-taking culture in London. Mr. […]

    / Sep 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM
  • News

    UBS Encouraged Kweku Adoboli To Develop Other Interests Outside Rogue Trading, Which It Condoned, Says Lawyer/Old Boss

    Adoboli lawyer Charles Sherrard said the bank became “more aggressive in terms of its desire to make profits” in 2011, while cross-examining one of Adoboli’s former bosses at a fraud trial in London today. “The culture, practice at the bank you were working for, didn’t matter as long as you were making money,” Sherrard said […]

    / Sep 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS

    UBS is said to be embarking on a “fresh round of cuts” in the investment bank, starting with the team in Europe.

    UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, plans to cut about 80 to 90 jobs in its European investment- banking division as part of a global revamp, according to two people familiar with the matter. The cutbacks, which are likely to take place before year- end, would amount to about 17 percent of staff within the region’s investment-banking division and include junior and senior bankers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. The division includes merger advisory and equity and debt capital markets. The reductions probably will kick off a fresh round of job cuts within the broader investment bank, which includes UBS’s fixed-income and equities units, said the people.

    [Bloomberg]

    / Sep 18, 2012 at 6:38 PM
  • News

    A Lot Of People Saddle Their Employer With Billions In Losses Over A Few Thousand In Personal Credit Card Debt

    UBS, the Swiss bank, was aware of problems with Kweku Adoboli’s trading five weeks before he was arrested, a court was told on Tuesday. The bank’s back office questioned €3.6bn (£2.9bn) of incorrectly booked trades as early as August 4, Southwark Crown Court heard in the trial of the former trader accused of losing his […]

    / Sep 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM
  • News

    Reader Poll: What Is The Appropriate Way To Close A Letter Informing Your Employer You’ve Lost It A Couple Billion Dollars?

    “Regards”? “Best wishes”? “Very yours truly”? “Sincerely”? “All the best”? “Love”? “Again, really sorry”? “Well I guess I’ll take off now”? “It’s been a pleasure working with you”? “TTYL”? “Keep in touch”? Kweku Adoboli, UBS’s alleged rogue trader, who does sound genuinely sorry for the “shit storm” he brought on the bank, went with “thanks.”

    Via the FT:

    “Dear Will

    It is with great stress that I write this mail. First of all the ETF [exchange traded funds] trades that you see on the ledger are not trades that I have done with a counterparty as I have previously described.

    I used the bookings as a way to suppress the PnL losses that I accrued through off book trades that I made. Those trades were previously profit making, became loss making as the market sold off aggressively through the aggressive sell-off days of July and early August. Initially, I had been short futures through June and those lost money when the first Greek confidence vote went through in mid June.

    In order to try and make the money back I flipped the trade long through the rally. Although I had a couple of opportunities to unwind the long trade for negligible loss, I did not move quickly enough for the market weakness on the back of the first back macro data and then an escalation eurozone crisis cost me the losses you will see when the ETF bookings are cancelled. The aim had been to try and make the money back before the September expiry date came through but I clearly failed.

    These are still live trades on the book that will need to be unwound. Namely a short position in DAX futures [which had been rolled to December expiry] and a short position in S&P500 futures that are due to expire on Friday.

    I have now left the office for the sake of discretion. I will need to come back in to discuss the positions and explain face to face, but for reasons that are obvious, I did not think it wise to stay on the desk this afternoon.

    I will expect that questions will be asked as to why nobody was aware of these trades. The reality is that I have maintained that these were EFP [exchange for physical] trades to the member of my team, BUC [the accounts department], trade support and John Di Bacco.

    I take responsibility for my actions and the shit storm that will now ensue. I am deeply sorry to have left this mess for everyone and to have put my bank and my colleagues at risk.
    Thanks, Kweku.”

    Transcript Of UBS Trader’s ‘Bombshell Email’ [FT]

    / Sep 14, 2012 at 4:13 PM
  • News

    ‘Counterparty’ is such a bandied about term nowadays. So I just, you know, I kinda just don’t use ‘em.

    According to [Crown Prosecution Service’s Sasha] Wass, William Steward, an accountant in the UBS back office, “must have felt that he had been hit by a steam roller” after he received an email from Adoboli on Sept. 14 last year revealing his actions. She said Steward had three conversations that morning with Mr. Adoboli about […]

    / Sep 14, 2012 at 1:33 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS?

    Cuts are said to be coming in the near-ish future.

    “More layoffs are expected to take place within the next 2-3 weeks with at least 10pct cuts across the board in sales, research and trading. Morale has reached a new all-time low (hard to imagine it could become lower?) and at this point many have the attitude that if they get out now at least they’ll get a package out of it.”

    / Sep 13, 2012 at 3:50 PM
  • News

    UBS Whistleblower’s $104 Million Award Poses Interesting Conundrum For Would-Be Snitches

    Remember Bradley Birkenfeld? He’s the guy who single-handedly made the U.S. government’s case against UBS and forced the Swiss bank to hand over the names of thousands of tax cheats, which resulted in the US scoring $780 million from UBS and may have inspired some 33,000 Americans to “voluntarily disclose offshore accounts to the IRS, generating more than $5 billion.” And yet, despite his assistance, Birkenfeld wasn’t immediately thanked for a job well done. Instead, he was sentenced to forty months in prison (fair-ish, considering he showed a few clients how to avoid paying taxes himself) and told to piss off by the Internal Revenue Service, from whom he sought an award, because he was “not forthcoming about his own role in the scheme,” even as a Justice Department attorney admitted that “…without Mr. Birkenfeld walking into the door of the Department of Justice in the summer of 2007, I doubt as of today that this massive fraud would have been discovered by the US government” (or as his lawyer put it, “They didn’t know how to spell UBS until he showed up. He didn’t just give them a piece of the puzzle. He gave them the entire puzzle”). Now, after doing 32 months at Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institution, getting let out early on account of “good-time credit,” and living in a halfway house in New Hampshire, Birkenfeld has finally been thrown a bone.

    Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS AG banker who told the Internal Revenue Service how the bank helped thousands of Americans evade taxes, secured an IRS award of $104 million, an amount his lawyers said may be the largest ever for a U.S. whistle-blower. Birkenfeld told authorities how UBS bankers came to the U.S. to woo rich Americans, managed $20 billion of their assets, and helped them cheat the IRS. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy in 2008, a year after reporting the bank’s conduct to the Justice Department, U.S. Senate, IRS and Securities and Exchange Commission. He was released from prison Aug. 1…Birkenfeld, 47, worked at Zurich-based UBS, the largest Swiss bank, for five years. He sought a reward from the IRS of as much as 30 percent of any taxes the agency recovered as a result of his whistle-blowing activities.

    Clearly this whole thing should stir up a few questions inside you all, chief among them: how much money would it take to get you to befriend or get yourself employed with some rogue people so you can blow the whistle on them? Would you do any time for it? If so, how much? And are we talking Club Fed or a place where your roommate spoons you every night?

    UBS Whistle-Blower Secures $104 Million Award From IRS [Bloomberg]

    / Sep 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS Is Changing The Way We Do Things Things Around Here

    Fewer bodies, more often.

    “UBS now performs rolling layoffs instead of going in rounds. Each mini-round is therefore less newsworthy. Normally this kind of thing destroys morale but there’s no morale left to destroy at this point. How frequent are they? Equities had 4 rounds in 3 weeks in April(ish). Previously you would see every group get hit at once, no more than a couple times a year.”

    / Sep 7, 2012 at 6:36 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Nomura, Credit Suisse, UBS

    Things could be better in Europe.

    Big investment banks in Europe, including Nomura, Credit Suisse and UBS, are stepping up plans to cut jobs as they seek to adapt to a drastic slowdown in revenues and tighter regulation. Bank executives, headhunters and analysts say that the cuts are shaping up as the deepest since the start of the financial crisis after a disappointing summer dashed hopes of a business revival. One senior headhunter said many large investment banks will have “at least 20 per cent” fewer staff in capital markets and M&A advisory business in Europe by the end of the year compared with late 2011. “It [the market] has never been as bad as this. Bankers have long lost confidence in their banks but now they are also losing their self-confidence, their mojo,” a senior advisory banker said.

    Among the banks that will reduce their investment banking workforce is Japan’s Nomura, where London-based bankers say that they expect several hundred jobs to be removed in Europe alone as part of a $1bn cost-cutting effort. Switzerland’s largest bank UBS, which cut staff levels earlier than rivals by announcing 2,000 job cuts in the investment bank after a $2.3bn unauthorised trading loss last year, is preparing for intensified cuts as it is seeking to streamline further the unit, several people familiar with the situation said. At Credit Suisse, insiders estimate that the additional SFr1bn ($1bn) in groupwide cuts that were announced in July will translate into up to 1,000 jobs being lost, most of which would be in the investment bank. Analysts expect also Deutsche Bank and Barclays to reduce their headcount further this year. Deutsche said two months ago it would reduce staff levels by 1,900.

    Investment Banks Eye Europe Job Cuts [FT]

    / Sep 7, 2012 at 1:44 PM
  • News

    Hiring (At Some Point) Watch ’12: UBS

    The Swiss bank is said to be making the young ones wait to hear if there’s room at the inn.

    “UBS is delaying return offers to summer analysts in S&T from late August to God-knows-when. Reason provided: “It’s difficult to bring key decision makers together due to 2-weekers [taking their mandatory vacation]”

    / Aug 24, 2012 at 3:28 PM
  • News

    Bonus Watch ’12: UBS

    Numbers for first and second year analysts (who are not happy).

    “It’s been two weeks since UBS numbers came out and nobody wants to talk about it, for obvious reasons. Second years (base: 80k) ranging 45-65k and heard of some first years getting around 40k (base: 70k). And they could only achieve these numbers (“in line with the street”) after firing 30+ analysts right before communication day.”

    / Aug 9, 2012 at 1:41 PM
  • The complaint actually mentions that he mostly worked in New York but spent "one to one-half days per week" in Stamford, which I guess is relevant somehow?

    Banks, News

    UBS CMBS Strategist Did Not Like UBS’s CMBS Strategy

    Investment banks are in large part in the business of creating and selling products to customers. So are lots of other companies. Kia dealers, for instance, sell cars to customers, and part of the job of a Kia salesman is to say to customers “this Sorento is awesome and you should buy it.” This can […]

    / Aug 3, 2012 at 11:55 AM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS

    Cuts are said to be going down this morning in Stamford.

    From the front-lines:

    “So far affecting employees in cap markets. We’ve been hearing cuts were coming so I’d imagine there will be more through the day.”

    / Aug 1, 2012 at 11:54 AM
  • Sergio Ermotti has been practicing this pained smile.

    Banks

    Otherwise Robust UBS Earnings Dragged Down By Inability To Buy And Sell Stocks

    UBS announced earnings today and I tell you, it is hard work to get people to focus on the strong fundamentals of your business when you keep distracting them with enormous screw-ups. Today’s: Due to the gross mishandling of Facebook’s market debut by NASDAQ, we recorded a loss of CHF 349 million [$356mm] in our […]

    / Jul 31, 2012 at 1:13 PM
  • News

    Hiring Watch ’12: UBS

    The Swiss bank is making its would-be junior mistmakers wait for it.

    “UBS is delaying return offers to summer analysts from August 10th to mid-September, probably to assess how severe layoffs will be.”

    / Jul 25, 2012 at 3:17 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS

    Unfortunately-timed cuts are said to have gone down this morning.

    From the front lines:

    “Over 30 IBD analysts cut at UBS in New York today. 2 days before bonus announcements…”

    / Jul 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM
  • News

    UBS Broker May Have Taken Stress Of The Job Out On 70 Windows In Beverly Hills, Encino Using “Slingshot Projectiles”

    This is his story.

    The unlikely suspect in a string of window breakings in Beverly Hills — a 58-year-old Encino investment adviser — may be connected to 70 additional cases in the area, authorities said. Michael Steven Poret, a broker at UBS Financial Services, was arrested in Encino last week. Police say that Poret vandalized numerous businesses along Ventura Boulevard and several private homes in Beverly Hills. A witness account and private surveillance footage have depicted the vandal as a graying man in white gloves firing marbles at plate glass windows with a slingshot from the driver’s seat of his car, then driving away in no apparent hurry. Authorities believe that Poret could be connected to more than 20 vandalism incidents in Beverly Hills and more than 50 in Encino, as well as several other vandalism reports authorities have received in Van Nuys and Topanga Canyon.

    The vandal appears to target businesses indiscriminately, hitting coffee shops, an autism treatment center and a salon. Luie Velasquez, a detective with the West Valley division of the Los Angeles Police Department, said the police’s top theory is that the suspect sought excitement. “Your guess is as good as mine,” Velasquez said. “For whatever reason, these individuals get some sort of thrill from smashing windows.” Poret was first arrested July 3 after a Beverly Hills patrol officer spotted a slingshot in his vehicle during a traffic stop for a vehicle code violation. A search of his vehicle revealed brass knuckles, knives and slingshot projectiles. Poret was arrested again Thursday in an early morning raid on his Encino home, where police discovered firearms, bb guns, slingshots and marbles similar to those used in the window-breakings.

    A very understanding victim whose windows were hit three times and cost him $7,000 to repair had this to say: “I mean, I know that an investment bankers* are a little nuts. But you know, maybe the market is that bad. I don’t get that. He must be a very frustrated guy.”

    Alleged window-smashing broker may be suspect in 70 more cases [LATimes via TRB]

    *All together now: broker ≠ investment banker ≠ trader ≠ bank teller

    / Jul 18, 2012 at 2:13 PM
  • News

    Meanwhile, At UBS…

    / Jul 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM

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