As you may have heard, UBS has been going through a bit of a rough patch. Despite posting an annual profit (of 7.2 billion Swiss francs) for the first time since 2006, things just haven’t been the same since the crisis, and some have suggested it never will be, claiming that the bank “doesn’t have a chance” getting back to pre-crisis levels because “too much damage has been done.” Not helping things is the fact that there’s been very high turnover in the last couple months, 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 re bonuses in several years (and the staff's pay overall is nothing to write home about, either). As one might imagine, tension is running high and recently within the investment bank, there's been a decision, among those who've yet to quit, to air their grievances. The reaction from management? Put a sock in it.
On early morning conference calls, UBS AG investment-banking chief Carsten Kengeter has told senior bankers that he was done with their complaints about pay. "You just don't get it," he told thousands of bankers on more than one recent call, according to bankers who were on the call. "He told us that bankers are spoiled children and we're the ones who messed this place up," said one senior banker who recently left the firm. "You would get off the calls and think, 'how can I stay here any longer?'"
So, actually not quite sure what to make of this. On the one hand, people should be compensated for the work they do, especially those who didn't contribute to the multi-billion dollar losses. On the other, UBS did fuck up, and not in a small way, and perhaps a little slap in the face to jolt everyone back to reality is warranted?
At UBS, Complaints And Exits [WSJ]