March 24, 2014 / 5:37 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-UBS's head of EMEA equities Phil Allison to leave -memo

(Adds further details, background)

LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - UBS's head of equities for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, is leaving the Swiss bank after almost 18 years, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Monday.

Phil Allison, who joined UBS as a graduate in 1997, will be replaced by Jason Barron with immediate effect, according to memo sent by UBS global head of equities Mike Stewart. Barron is currently global head of financing services at UBS.

Allison is expected to remain in the industry, a source familiar with the matter said.

Dominic Vail, global head of equity distribution, will take over Allison's responsibilities at UBS as head of global cash equities, the memo added.

Barron and Vail, who have both spent more than 20 years at the bank, are interim appointments. Permanent successors will be announced in due course, the memo said.

UBS declined to comment.

Thanking Allison for his "many contributions", Stewart said he played a leading role in developing the bank's algorithmic trading and automated market-making capabilities.

He rose to become head of global cash equities in 2010 and two years later was given the EMEA equities role.

In the memo Stewart urged employees in the equities division to "stay focused and ... maintain the momentum" that helped it deliver its best fourth quarter since 2010.

UBS has in recent years re-shaped its investment bank, shrinking the business and pulling back from riskier activities like bond trading.

The bank raised its dividend and increased bonuses for bankers by nearly a third after it reported a return to fourth quarter profit in February. (Reporting by Clare Hutchison; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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