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No Mo’ UBS: Ken Quits The Swiss

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As expected, investment banking head Ken Moelis quit UBS yesterday.
If a bank wants to be a player in the private equity boom it’s got to be in the lending game. Remember, these “take private” deals used to be better known as “leveraged buyouts” and leverage is finance-speak for “borrowed money.” Private equity firms borrow money to buy companies, and their willingness to pay fees on a host of other investment banking services—from M&A fees to bond issuances—depends in part on how nice the investment banks play with them when it comes to lending.
So you can imagine how frustrated Ken Moelis must have been with his gnome masters at UBS who refused to give him the chips to play at the big boy tables. After he was promoted to head of the investment bank, he never really had the juice to make UBS a big player.
UBS and Moelis both are playing this split as a difference in strategy. In many ways, that’s what it is. But there’s also another way to look at it—as another chapter in the history of how private equity and this period of slutty credit changed the way Wall Street does business. And how one firm—UBS—resisted that change.
UBS's Moelis Resigns, Leaving Firm Vulnerable in M&A