6 Min Read
* UBS taps 11 executives for new committees
* UBS is focused on hiring, retaining bankers-McCann
* Wealth management is central focus of profit plan
By Lauren Tara LaCapra
April 2 (Reuters) - UBS AG named several executives to senior positions in the United States and Europe, in the latest move by the Swiss bank to rebuild its business after a massive trading scandal and departures by scores of bankers in recent years.
UBS said on Monday it had formed two new executive committees, one each in the United States and Europe. The bank said it had tasked the members with meeting performance targets across its wealth-management, investment banking and asset management divisions.
UBS, known for its wealth management business, wants to not just manage rich clients' investments, but also sell them investment banking products and services such as selling stakes or raising funds, said Robert McCann, who heads UBS's Americas division.
"The first thing I have to do is continue to create an environment where the good bankers that we have want to stay," McCann said in an interview. "As I'm doing that, concurrently, we are going to need to hire additional investment bankers."
Under its new chief executive, Sergio Ermotti, UBS is trying to repair damage from a wave of high-profile investment banker defections in recent years, as well as reputational damage from a 1.8 billion Swiss franc ($2 billion) rogue trading scandal that led to his predecessor's resignation in September.
Since taking over as CEO on a permanent basis in November, Ermotti has made it clear that certain risky businesses -- particularly fixed-income trading -- will not be a priority for UBS, mainly because stricter capital rules make them less attractive.
But he has also made it clear that other Wall Street businesses, including equities trading and advisory services, will remain part of UBS's core operations and that the wealth-management business will be a centerpiece for the company's profits going forward.
Last month, UBS poached Bank of America Merrill Lynch's top European dealmaker, Andrea Orcel, the architect of many of the region's biggest banking deals, to co-head its investment bank with Carsten Kengeter.
McCann described Orcel's hiring as planting "a stake in the ground" for Ermotti's overall strategy of gleaning more profits from top clients by offering additional products and services that are tailored for their needs. UBS may suggest, for instance, that a wealthy entrepreneur who uses its money-management services should sell a stake in his business using UBS's investment bankers, for instance.
Ermotti has also made changes to UBS's management in the U.S. and Europe. In December, he re-installed former chief risk officer Philip Lofts into that role again, ousting Maureen Miskovic, promoted McCann to CEO of the Americas and promoted Ulrich Körner to CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Chi-Won Yoon is the CEO of Asia-Pacific, and all three executives report to Ermotti.
"He not only is allowing, he is expecting me as the CEO for UBS Americas, to drive all three businesses in the Americas - our investment bank, our wealth management business and our asset management business," McCann said.
"We have to become an Americas business and an Americas culture within a global organization. We can't be an outpost of a Swiss bank."
The future of UBS's investment banking division has been riddled with questions in recent years, due to trading losses, management changes and banker departures. UBS's investment bank lost money in four of the last five years, and slipped below the Top 10 investment banks in global fee rankings.
In contrast, UBS's U.S. wealth management division has recovered from steep mortgage and credit losses in 2007 and 2008 to report a 504 million Swiss franc profit in 2011.
Much of that success is due to McCann, who joined UBS in 2009 and has been credited with successfully turning around the operation. The 54-year-old executive is a key player in Ermotti's plans to bolster UBS's broader revenue streams, since the U.S. represents the largest pool of clients and fees.
Ermotti and McCann -- who first worked together at Merrill Lynch in the 1990s -- are holding a meeting on Tuesday with employees at UBS's Manhattan office to field questions about UBS's strategy for the Americas. NEW COMMITTEES
A five-person committee in the Americas will include former Bear Stearns Chief Financial Officer Sam Molinaro, who started his role as operating head of UBS's investment bank this month, McCann said in a memo to Americas staff.
That committee also includes Mike Stewart, head of UBS's global equities business; Bob Mulholland, head of its wealth management and investment solutions business; Shawn Lytle, who heads global asset management; and Brian Hull, head of strategic clients and partnerships.
The EMEA executive committee, which reports to Körner, includes six executives -- Philip Allison, head of EMEA equities; Paul Raphael, head of wealth management for emerging markets; Duncan Rodgers, the global head of investment banking treasury and trading; Jakob Stott, the head of wealth management in Europe; Walter Stuerzinger, the newly appointed chief operating officer for EMEA; Liz Ward, the head of global asset management in Europe; and Simon Warshaw, joint global head of investment banking.
Stuerzinger is taking over the EMEA COO role from Wayne Lawson-Turnbull, who will remain COO of the region's investment bank.
Körner also said Nicola Morgan will take over as head of human resources for the EMEA region from Moira Maguire, who had been serving as interim head since August. Maguire will continue in her primary role as senior human resources business partner for group risk and as head of human resources for the UK.
Körner said in the memo that the executive committee will be expected to "build on the client franchise through increased cross-divisional collaboration, and to reinforce the firm's risk and regulatory governance in EMEA."