UBS

  • News

    UBS Not Done Showering People With Gifts

    Yesterday afternoon we noted that in commemoration of its 150th anniversary, UBS had given out special edition watches to all of its employees. We’re not sure where the bank came up with the money to do so but it was a nice gesture nevertheless. Now we’ve been informed that free boat rides are also for […]

    / Jun 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM
  • Presented Without Comment

    Happy Birthday, UBS!

    For those who shamefully forgot, today is the anniversary of the Swiss bank’s birth and a big one at that: 150 years. To mark the occasion, every single employee received a “specially commissioned Swatch watch.” According to a UBS spokesperson, the watches represent the company’s “gratitude for their dedication and hard work in recent years.”

    / Jun 25, 2012 at 5:02 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: Asia

    The bad news is that Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, UBS, and others have been making cuts and are expected to continue to do so. The good news is that not everybody is upset about it.

    Speaking to bankers and other industry sources, Reuters was able to confirm at least 50 people were let go in the past three weeks, a cull that includes senior expatriates as well as junior bankers. The cuts mainly target the equities business, with more layoffs expected in coming weeks. CLSA , Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and UBS were among the banks and brokerages that cut jobs, the sources said…The Asia cuts also come at an unexpected time, when expatriate finance professionals are preparing to hunker down for the summer while their families head home for the holiday. “I’m disappointed, but in some ways I’m glad I was cut early in this round, because everyone is looking over their shoulder,” said Cassandra Lister, who was recently let go as a managing director at Societe Generale in Hong Kong. “They’re looking around and wondering ‘Am I next?’ It’s a horrible work environment.”

    Asia’s Investment Banks Launch Round Of Job Cuts [Reuters]

    / Jun 25, 2012 at 11:44 AM
  • News

    UBS Concerned With The Company Some Of Its Employees Keep

    The following is a (not at all comprehensive) list of things that UBS could legitimately be embarrassed about:

    – Losing so much money that a rogue trader’s $2billion loss barely registered above ‘meh’ on the Do We Care scale
    – Awarding 4-figure bonuses to managing directors
    – Employing a guy who “implored bankers to make a more concerted effort to streamline the firm and likened the strategy to slashing expenses like a ‘Jewish shopkeeper’
    – Having their entire healthcare team decide Jeffereies is a better place to work
    – Being scammed by a bunch of ops guys
    – Pulling a reverse Field of Dreams and spending all the money it didn’t have to build a 103,000-square-foot trading floor, in a 700,000-square-foot building, that no one wants to work on
    – Getting no respect from the people of Stamford, who’d prefer “a nice big Costco” move into the space
    – Having to distribute a step-by-step guide re: how to tie a tie

    And yet, rather than feel some measure of humiliation about, for instance, the PowerPoint admission that their grown men employees don’t know how to dress themselves or taking the time to send out a memo that reads “Subject: Hey, Body: Stop losing so much fucking money!”, the bank’s execs are going with this:

    …Robert Wolf, a top UBS executive in New York, is among President Obama’s leading fund-raisers, building more than $500,000 for his re-election so far this year. A regular presence at big campaign fund-raisers, Mr. Wolf, who is 50, golfs and vacations with Mr. Obama and is known for e-mailing friends photos of himself with the president. While such a close relationship might have been envied by other bankers in 2008, when much of Wall Street was infatuated with Mr. Obama and donated heavily to his presidential bid, it has been making other UBS executives uneasy of late…With media reports pointing out that one of the bank’s top executives is also one of the Obama campaign’s top bundlers — a word that one UBS executive said “makes people’s hair stand on end” inside the bank — the Swiss banking giant has decided to take an unusual step.

    The bank’s powerful group executive board in Zurich recently presented Mr. Wolf with an edict directing him to report all his media inquiries to the firm’s press office. Since then, most of the requests to speak to Mr. Wolf have been rejected, according to people briefed on the situation, resulting in a much dimmer limelight for Mr. Wolf…“You will clear any and all communications with the press as far in advance as possible,” the directive to Mr. Wolf read. “With respect to activities outside UBS you will, on a best-efforts basis, keep corporate communications informed.”

    Bosses Reign In Banker Who Golfs With Obama [Dealbook]

    / Jun 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM
  • News

    Swiss National Bank Is On To This “Swiss Banks Are So Great” Scam

    The Swiss National Bank is not particularly thrilled with the state of the Swiss Not-Quite-National Banks and wants them to do something about it: The SNB is therefore of the view that both big banks should further expand their loss-absorbing capital. For UBS, this implies a continuation of its capital strengthening process; and for Credit […]

    / Jun 14, 2012 at 6:01 PM
  • News

    Kweku Adoboli Is A Free Man!

    Kind of! Though he doesn’t go to trial until September, the UBS’s rogue trader was granted bail after ten months in jail and a February denial to go home. Naturally, he’s pretty pleased about the turn of events (which allow for sleepovers).

    Mr. Adoboli, 32, has to stick to a curfew but can stay at a friend’s house wearing an electronic tag as part of the bail agreement. Tim Harris, Mr. Adoboli’s lawyer at Bark & Company, said his client was “delighted” and would like to thank family and friends for their support in achieving his release. Mr. Adoboli is expected to be released from London’s Wandsworth prison as early as Monday, Mr. Harris said. Mr. Adoboli had pleaded not guilty to counts of false accounting and fraud. He was arrested in September after UBS alerted the police. The bank claimed that Mr. Adoboli had masked the billion dollar losses from internal controls with fictitious trades. Mr. Adoboli has remained in custody ever since his arrest. The trading scandal rocked the Swiss bank and led to the resignation of its chief executive, Oswald J. Grübel. Denying Mr. Adoboli bail in February, the judge said that the allegations against the former trader were “serious” and “backed up with cogent evidence.”

    Former UBS Trader Is Granted Bail [Dealbook]

    / Jun 8, 2012 at 6:14 PM
  • News

    UBS Not Sweating The Small Stuff

    UBS is sitting on losses that could be as high as $350 million stemming from its investment in the Facebook initial public offering, and is preparing legal action against Nasdaq as a result, people familar with the matter told CNBC … These people said UBS wanted 1 million shares, but when it did not receive […]

    / Jun 8, 2012 at 2:42 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS

    The firings continue, and the timing is impeccable.

    / Jun 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS

    Cuts are said to have gone down at the Swiss bank today.

    “Layoffs at UBS IBD, as if moral wasn’t low enough at 299 Park. M&A, FIG, TMT affected.”

    / May 23, 2012 at 6:49 PM
  • ubszurich2-260x195

    News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS

    The Swiss are not yet done with their firings.

    “FYI, layoffs going down right now in IBD at UBS as well.”

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM
  • sergio ermotti

    Banks

    Court Finds That UBS Exploited Clients And Tricked Them Into Overpaying For Toxic Securities, But In A Legal Way

    This is kind of exciting: a bank won a CDO case! Or: something nice happened for UBS! So the story goes like this (from the court opinion): in March 2002, UBS did a synthetic CDO deal called North Street 2002-4 with Landesbank Schleswig-Holstein, a German landesbank, where LSH (now called HSH, due to mergers probably […]

    / Mar 28, 2012 at 12:35 PM
  • UBS

    News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS

    Cuts are said to be going down circa now.

    “FYI: UBS is letting people go on the sales and trading desk today. At least three senior guys have been let go so far this morning, with more on the way.”

    / Mar 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM
  • News

    UBS Hitches Its Wagon To Bear Stearns Alum’s Star

    Princes of Bear Stearns, kings of Lehman Brothers– have you attempted to gain new employment in the last several years only to encounter prejudice among people who learn of your past? Is pounding the pavement with Bear and Lehman on your resumes not unlike being forced to knock on the doors of your new neighbors […]

    / Feb 24, 2012 at 6:24 PM
  • sergio ermotti 17feb12

    News

    Banks Were Asked If They Would Prefer To Make More Money Or Less Money, Chose More Money

    One kind of obvious thing about financial markets is that you can’t just call everyone into a room and tell them, “look, guys, just be honest about the price that you would pay / receive for Thing X.” This is because financial industry traders are degenerate lying scumbags. No, wait, that’s not right. This is because if everyone just told each other their reserve prices then it would be really hard for them to make any money trading and so we, like, wouldn’t have a financial system. So you have things like anonymous execution on stock exchanges and dark pools and, um, lying scumbag traders. And that allows you to have profitable trading.

    Of course you have to put some limits on the lying scumbaggery: you can’t tell people you’re investing their money while really blowing it on hookers, and I guess now you can’t sell someone synthetic CDOs without telling them who was on the other side. But a little fudging around the edges about the price you’re willing to pay or receive – or the price you could pay or receive elsewhere – is kind of at the heart of what trading is.

    So in a sense the amazing thing about the Libor scandal is that people are amazed by it. A quick recap:

    / Feb 17, 2012 at 2:27 PM
  • UBS_SECRETS_10808f

    News

    Bonus Watch ’12: Is UBS Trying To Tell Us Something?

    Admittedly it’s just a theory but hear us out– based on the following bonus numbers communicated to managing directors this morning in Stamford, is it possible the Swiss’s long-term revenue generating plan is to get someone to burn the place down so they can collect the insurance money and then work out of Howard Johnson’s?

    / Feb 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM
  • News

    Bonus Watch ’12: UBS Asia

    S&T analysts and associates received “2500 USD equivalent” (yes, analysts and associates got the same amount)

    / Feb 15, 2012 at 10:27 AM
  • ubszurich2-260x195

    News

    Bonus Watch ’12: UBS

    The good news is that UBS has some money to pay employees. The bad news is that there may not be enough to go around for everyone, depending on how things spread out.

    / Feb 13, 2012 at 2:11 PM
  • News

    Bonus Watch ’12: UBS Suggests Senior Staff Get Comfortable

    Earlier today, as in a few minutes ago, we learned that UBS announced it would claw back 2010 bonuses for senior-ranking employees in the investment bank. This may have put a damper on some people’s commute home but in happier news? Those individuals will be getting paid for last year’s work (albeit at a slightly reduced […]

    / Feb 8, 2012 at 7:42 PM
  • Banks, News

    Bonus Watch ’12: UBS Investment Bankers Thought Zero Was The Minimum Bonus? They Thought Wrong

    UBS investment bankers yesterday learned that their bonus pool would be down by 60%, and that anyone inclined to grumble to division head Carsten Kengeter should be aware that (1) he would have none of it and (2) he himself was taking a bonus of zero, so see point (1). Rank-and-file bankers were perhaps a […]

    / Feb 8, 2012 at 7:07 PM
  • News

    Bonus Watch ’12: UBS’s Investment Bank Chief Takes One For The Team

    Something you might have picked up on recently is that while UBS may possess many strengths, investment banking is not one of them. The unit’s “continued losses” were to blame for net profit falling 76% in the fourth quarter, there was the matter of their little rogue trader, and not even the higher-ups in Zurich […]

    / Feb 8, 2012 at 10:18 AM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS

    Remember when UBS management announced they’d internally come to the conclusion they aren’t so great at investment banking and would thus be scaling back their manpower in said area? Apparently they’ve finally gotten around to doing so.

    / Feb 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM
  • News

    UBS Raises Base By For (Some) Employees

    Over the past year or so, a lot of people have chosen to voluntarily leave UBS, which may have something to do with the fact that people would like to get paid. While a handful of marquee names (within the industry) have been lured with big checks, many senior bankers have heard nary a peep […]

    / Dec 14, 2011 at 6:37 PM
  • News

    Former UBS Director Sentenced To 33 Months In Jail Has Plans To Get Into The Culinary Industry Post-Prison

    Remember, back in April, when a bunch of UBS employees, were escorted out of the building and told not to come back, “pending an internal review into their conduct”? At the time we knew all four worked in operations and that they “were responsible for securities movements and payments,” and speculated that perhaps this was […]

    / Nov 29, 2011 at 7:02 PM
  • Banks

    Occupy London Protestors To Show UBS How To Run A Bank Without Losing Money

    Occupy London campaigners have taken over a derelict building owned by investment bank UBS…The building they have taken over at Crown Place belongs to, but is not occupied by, UBS and no business transactions take place there. The activists plan to set up a “bank of ideas” there tomorrow and open the disused offices and […]

    / Nov 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM
  • Banks, News

    Layoffs Watch ’11: UBS Planning To Downsize Its Rogue Trading Division

    Here are two things that you don’t hear every day, just almost every day: layoffs at UBS and not so hot supervision of trading at UBS. Actually the good news is, strictly speaking, there were no new layoffs announced today, anyway: The bank also announced an additional 300 job losses on top of the 1,575 […]

    / Nov 17, 2011 at 3:36 PM
  • News

    Was That Wrong? Should Carsten Kengeter Not Have Done That?

    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 […]

    / Nov 9, 2011 at 11:09 AM
  • Banks

    Um, This Isn’t So Good

    Poor Sergio Ermotti was having a pretty good day today, with UBS’s stock up and clients more or less happy with the new business plan of “make 180% of your income on DVA and spend 140% of it on comp.” And then this went and happened: UBS agreed to pay $12 million on Tuesday to […]

    / Oct 25, 2011 at 3:34 PM
  • Banks

    UBS Clients Don’t Get Out Of Bed For Less Than $50 Billion In Losses

    So far, the trading scandal doesn’t appear to have significantly hurt the confidence of UBS’s wealthy clients, who had pulled hundreds of millions of francs from the bank in 2008 and 2009 after Swiss authorities had to bail out UBS following about $50 billion in securities write-downs. A bruising tax evasion battle with the U.S. […]

    / Oct 25, 2011 at 12:17 PM

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