Less than a week ago, UBS announced that profits for the third quarter may not be what they were hoping for, as a result of a trader named Kweku Adoboli losing the bank $2.3 billion dollars. Tensions have been running a bit high since then, on account of many employees wondering if a) they'll be the lucky recipient of a zero dollar bonus this year or b) they'll still have a paycheck period by the end of the year. While management can't make promises on either front, they may be able to do one better. Do the sounds of waves crashing, some complimentary rounds of golf and a few days out of the office that will afford you the time to conduct phone interviews with other shops sound like something you'd be interested in? If you answered yes, consider this your lucky day.
Nothing washes away the tarnish of a $2.3 billion rogue trading scandal like fine wine, ocean vistas and a few rounds of golf on the legendary links of Pebble Beach. That’s what hundreds of UBS’s banker elite are hoping as they descend on the famed Pebble Beach Golf Resort tomorrow for a few days of being fêted on the Swiss bank’s battered dime. Rooms at the elite golf club -- host to a number of PGA tournaments -- could run the bank as much as $2,600 a night. A single round of golf on the scenic, sea-sprayed Monterey Bay peninsula course will set UBS back nearly $500 (not including caddie tips).
The posh outing is intended to soothe the frayed nerves of the firm’s top performers, who find themselves wading through yet another crisis at UBS. However, the crisis now facing the bank looms large. “How can you not talk about our trading losses? If you’re not, there’s something wrong,” said one UBS banker who has attended the annual Pebble Beach event...Bankers attending the event say that they will focus on trying to have a good time and engaging with the bank’s current and possible clients on mergers and acquisitions. Author Malcolm Gladwell, author of best-seller “The Tipping Point,” is slated to speak at the banker confab. At least one of the bankers found this ironic since he “felt the firm was facing its own tipping point.”
As this weekend is meant to rejuvenate the spirits, and also because a bleak bonus season may be on the horizon, feel free to bring extra luggage and help yourself to anything in the room that's not bolted down. The front desk gets it and will look the other way.
UBS Hits The Green$ [NYP]