UBS May Allow Bankers To Don Red Underwear, Eat Garlic

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Last month, UBS issued a 44-page set of style commandments for its client-facing employees that included wearing flesh-colored undergarments (never anything red or otherwise flashy), not eating garlic (or anything else that might cause breath issues), how to tie a tie, how to apply make-up, what kind of cologne and perfume to use, a strong opinion against facial hair and one in favor of watches (which demonstrate "trustworthiness and a serious concern for punctuality").

We printed said rules here. Apparently the bank, preferring not to have the curtain pulled back on how its employees look and smell so damn good, was a bit embarrassed for people to see how much of a hand management has in dressing its staff and slapping odorous food out of its mouths. According to a spokeswoman, UBS will be scaling back the list "a more modest booklet that will concentrate on how to impress customers with a polished presence and sense of Swiss precision," after "reviewing what is important to us." [AP]

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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?