Morning Coffee Feb 09 2012

UBS Claws Back

By julie steinberg

UBS is taking back what it considers to be rightfully its.

The bank will claw back some of the bonuses that were given out last year to the highest-paid investment bankers. Many firms are deferring bonuses this year, but UBS is in a special position because of that $2.3 billion rogue trade that sank the unit's profits in 2011.

Last February, UBS gave share-based bonuses that will vest in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The bankers will get half of the shares that are due to vest this year. They'll still receive all of the shares due to vest in 2013 and 2014.

Under UBS's compensation guidelines, if a unit posts a loss, the board can take back between 10% and 50% of shares awarded employees who get more than 2 million Swiss francs in stock-paid bonuses.

International regulators are probably gleefully applauding the move, but it could hurt the bank's recruiting efforts. Bankers may not be so keen on joining a bank they perceive to be fickle.

Then again, in times like these when people are grateful to have jobs at all, the prospect of a clawback might not be so discouraging.

Accountants Wanted (FINS)

Ride out Wall Street's bumpy ride within the safe confines of the Big Four. They're hiring hundreds of thousands of accountants over the next several years.

More Deferrals (Reuters)

Deutsche Bank is joining the deferral club. It will defer anything above a bonus of 200,000 euros this year.

No Safety Down Under (TVNZ)

Australia's Macquarie is cutting 10% of its front-office staff and plans to lay off back-office employees as well.

How Magnanimous (Bloomberg)

RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester decided against stepping down after a kerfuffle about his bonus (he didn't end up getting one). Resigning, he said, would be "indulgent."

Citi's New Asia Look (WSJ)

Citigroup's new Asia head Stephen Bird is naming his own team after taking over the job Jan. 1. Rodrigo Zorrilla, former head of markets for the region, was named chief operating officer.

Keep Your Temper (FINS)

We're all tempted to lose our cool at the office from time to time. Resist the urge to fire off a string of expletives or angry emails.

On the Road Again (Globe and Mail)

Karen Adams made her career at HSBC by moving from country to country, having been posted to seven countries in the last 17 years. She credits the moves with helping her get to the top.

Buzz Around the Office

Ad Mashup (YouTube)

A remix of all the 2012 Super Bowl ads in a two-minute montage.

List of the Day: The Job Search

Use these tips to outmaneuver the desperation that can set in if you haven't found your perfect job.

1. Be realistic but don't settle.

2. Surround yourself with positive people.

3. Use your time wisely.

(Source: The Daily Muse)




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