Hire Wire Dec 21 2011

MF Global Equity Head Hired by UBS

By jacob bunge

UBS AG has hired Peter Forlenza, former global head of equities for MF Global Holdings Ltd., to run the Swiss banking group's equities business in North and South America, marking one of the highest-profile personnel pickups yet from the defunct broker-dealer.

Forlenza joined UBS this week and will report to Mike Stewart, UBS's global head of equities. He will oversee a team of more than 860 staff and have a seat on the bank's equities-management committee.

"Having Peter on board will further focus our equities activities in the Americas as we put incremental emphasis on our regional footprint and client reach," Stewart said in a statement.

MF Global hired Forlenza in October 2009 as part of an effort by the futures-heavy firm to diversify into new businesses. Previously global head of equities for Bank of America, Forlenza was charged with capturing more securities-trading business from MF Global's broad client base, which included asset managers, retail-level traders and electronic-trading firms.

His appointment by UBS, which has undergone changes in its own ranks as the firm recovers from a rogue trading scandal in September, marks the latest recruitment from the approximately 2,800 former employees of MF Global, which filed for bankruptcy protection Oct. 31 after a swift decline.

Stewart joined UBS in July from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and took on the bank's top equities job after the early-October resignations of Francois Gouws and Yassine Bouhara.

Beyond Forlenza, UBS has also brought on to its compliance team David Spack, who handled regulatory matters related to equities trading for MF Global in New York.

This story first appeared on WSJ.com.

Brett Philbin contributed to this article.

Write to Jacob Bunge at jacob.bunge@dowjones.com

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