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21 October 2019

UBS is cutting 40 banking jobs in Asia

The restructuring comes as UBS seeks to boost collaboration between dealmakers and its wealth-management unit while sharpening a focus on industries most of interest to its richest clients.

shutterstock/Mino Surkala

UBS Group is cutting about 40 jobs in the Asia-Pacific region as part of a global push to trim costs and combine its trading units, reported Bloomberg.

The staff reductions are roughly split between UBS’s markets and investment-banking teams, with a majority at the level of vice president or below. The Asian divisions—led by Hong Kong-based Taichi Takahashi and David Chin—will see smaller cuts than those planned in Europe because UBS sees the region as a driver for growth.

UBS has embarked on a sweeping overhaul of its investment bank, reshuffling senior management and combining trading operations in changes that may ultimately eliminate hundreds of positions. Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Holdings are also cutting staff to rein in costs as the industry deals with difficult trading conditions, sputtering economies and the impact of trade tensions on cross-border deals.

UBS is set to announce its third-quarter results tomorrow. While the company’s investment-banking fees fell in both Europe and the US in 2018, they grew 28 per cent in Asia. The fees totalled $388 million this year through the third quarter in Asia, ranking the region ahead of Europe and behind the US.

As part of its global restructuring, Ros L’Esperance and Javier Oficialdegui are being put in charge of the newly named global banking division, which will include public capital markets, private financing and mergers and acquisitions.

A combined global markets operation, including equities and foreign exchange, rates and credit, will be run by Jason Barron and George Athanasopoulos.

Greg Peirce is taking over as global head of mergers and acquisitions, the first time that role will be based in Hong Kong, the person said. The Asian staff reductions have already begun, with a fresh round expected later this month, they said.

The investment bank’s 10 per cent return on equity in the first half of the year was roughly half that of UBS’s other divisions.





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