UBS taps private equity chief to boost deals

NEW YORK Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:59am EDT

A Switzerland national flag flies in front of the logo of Swiss bank UBS at the company's headquarters in Zurich April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

A Switzerland national flag flies in front of the logo of Swiss bank UBS at the company's headquarters in Zurich April 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

NEW YORK (Reuters) - UBS AG UBSN.VX (UBS.N), the Swiss bank that this month suffered the departure of some of its most senior dealmakers in the U.S., said on Monday it hired the former head of Bank of America Corp's (BAC.N) buyout arm to bolster its deals coverage.

UBS said in an internal memo that Jim Forbes, a veteran banker who has raised over $100 billion in financing for companies and advised on over $120 billion of merger and acquisition deals, would join the bank on Monday as vice chairman at UBS Group Americas.

The appointment comes as UBS tries to restore the faith of both its clients and staff in its investment banking prowess. Last week it saw its head of investment banking for the Americas and its co-head of U.S. mergers and acquisitions resign in quick succession.

Forbes will spend most of his time in his new job calling on key clients in healthcare and financial sponsors as well as broadly supporting deal coverage teams, UBS said. He will report to Bob McCann, CEO of UBS Group Americas, and Brian Hull, vice chairman of Wealth Management Americas.

Forbes was most recently head of the global principal investments group at Bank of America, which is being wound down as banks scale back private equity investments due to new regulatory requirements and increased competition.

Before that, he led global healthcare investment banking operations between 2002 and 2009 at Merrill Lynch, which completed its merger with Bank of America in 2009.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)