Back in February, we noted that UBS was mulling a move out of the I-95 palace it's inhabited since the 90s; later, were were told the bank had informed employees that Equity sales and trading would be moving to New York, while the rest of the floor would remain in the Stamford Superdome, at least for now. Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia apparently received similar intel at the time "causing him to take the rumors seriously." And just last week, State House Minority Leader Lawrence Caferno (R-Norwalk) was informed by well-placed sources that UBS has one and half feet out the door. "Their plan is they're moving their trading floor. They're gone," Cafero toldGreenwich Time. "It would be so sad and devastating on so many levels." Why is UBS doing this to Big Lar? According to the Swiss, they're not, and his late-night crying jags are for naught.
UBS spokesman Kelly Smith last week told Hearst Connecticut Media Group, "We're not leaving Stamford. It's not true. I don't know why this rumor started but it's a not true rumor."
And yet, that's what people are saying, including, allegedly, UBS, which one employee said sent out an official memo about the Equities move a few weeks ago. "Not sure why everyone's beating around the bush on this," said employee wondered aloud. Ideas re why bush is being beaten that come to mind include: a) UBS really isn't leaving Stamford entirely, just Equities, and doesn't get why that'd be such a big deal b) UBS isn't leaving Stamford at all, and is just floating the Equities rumor to employees to test people's loyalty or c) UBS isn't leaving Stamford at all but would rather not confirm that to state officials until they can work a few things out.
In 1997, UBS -- then known as Swiss Bank -- lured by tens of millions of dollars worth of interest-free loans and tax credits, moved its North American operations from New York City into a 565,000-square-foot building in downtown Stamford. The structure's highlight is a two-football-field-sized trading floor considered the largest in the world. At least some of the incentives, finalized in 2001, expire this year in part because UBS met a first phase, 2,000-job threshold, but not phase-two requirements, including construction of an office tower to house 4,000 employees.