Morning Coffee Nov 18 2011

UBS Revamps: Will it Work?

By julie steinberg

It's a brave new world for UBS. Or rather, a brave old world. The Swiss firm is going back to its roots, abandoning plans to become a major investment bank and focusing on wealth management.

"Investment banking will go back to what we saw in the 1990s, with the last 10 to 12 years an anomaly," Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said yesterday. The firm needs an investment bank that is "more focused, less complex, less capital intensive and consistently profitable," he said.

What that means, of course, are job cuts. The bank will exit businesses such as asset securitization, complex fixed-income structured products and some equity trading. UBS will eliminate 2,000 jobs in the investment bank by 2013, leaving total headcount at 16,500.

UBS will hone in on foreign exchange, commodities and mergers and acquisitions in the investment bank as supporting groups to its main focus on wealth management. For that division, the bank aims to have 4,700 client advisors by 2016, up from 2,252 now. Ermotti also said the U.S. wealth management unit is not for sale.

The main takeaways? If you want to do investment banking, look elsewhere. If you're keen on wealth management, the gates are open.

Get in the Know (FINS)

Companies are utilizing more high-tech methods in their searches for top talent, a new study finds. Firms are shifting recruitment budgets away from job boards and toward social media.

Canadian Bankin' (Bloomberg)

The British Commonwealth is sticking together. Australian bank Macquarie is hiring between 30 and 60 advisors for its private wealth management operations in Canada over the next year.

Northern Descent (Bloomberg Businessweek)

While American banks reconsider their retail network strategy, Canadian TD Bank is on a expansion spree. It will create 1,600 jobs in South Carolina over the next five years.

New Guy (Deal Journal)

BofA's Brian Moynihan is still lining up his ducks. He recently appointed Thong Nguyen to be his strategy chief to replace Mike Lyons. Moynihan has swapped chief operating officers, chief financial officers, chief risk officers and a new legal chief just this year. When will his new army be complete?

Starting from Scratch (Mergers & Inquisitions)

Sick of answering to an MD who doesn't know what he's talking about? You may be tempted to jump ship and start your own hedge fund. Make sure you have plenty of capital. Oh, and a strategy.

Teach, Don't Do (WSJ)

Can't get a job in finance? If you've got a Ph.D., you may want to consider moonlighting as a professor for a few years. Business schools are desperately seeking qualified instructors.

Domino Effects (NYT)

More and more millenials are moving home after graduation. While it saves them money, it's also having an unforeseen effect: depressing an economy that would have benefited from their spending.

Buzz Around the Office

Super Chef! (YouTube)

A sneak peek of Jason Schwartzman on Sesame Street.

List of the Day: Public Speaking

You could be the greatest writer since Shakespeare but if you can't speak in front of people, your client presentations will be a bust. Try these tricks.

1. Plant friendly faces in the audience to give you courage.

2. Practice, practice, practice beforehand.

3. Pretend the speech is a conversation.

(Source: MoneyWatch)




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