UBS has again reshuffled the senior management of its still-recovering investment bank only a year after hiring a former Morgan Stanley banker as the head of a combined securities business.
Neal Shear, who joined the Swiss group in January 2010 as part of a move to integrate its fixed income and equities businesses into a single division, has been replaced by four other UBS executives, who will jointly co-head the division.
The bank declined to comment about whether Mr Shear, who spent more than 25 years at Morgan Stanley and also worked briefly for Apollo Management, the buy-out firm, will remain with UBS, although an announcement about his future is expected in the “near future”, say sources familiar with the reshuffle.
The changes, which were not announced externally but were detailed in an internal e-mail circulated last week, reflect UBS’s struggle to rebuild a business hit hard by the financial crisis, particularly in fixed income.
UBS has hired hundreds of bankers to plug the gaps and win back market share, but revenues and profits are falling short of its own goals, while its costs continue to exceed those of rivals such as Credit Suisse and Barclays Capital.
The investment bank earned pre-tax profits of SFr2.2bn ($2.4bn) in 2010, on revenues of nearly SFr12bn, versus medium-term targets of SFr6bn in pre-tax profits and SFr20bn in revenues.
The reshuffle announcement, which was circulated by Carsten Kengeter, UBS’s global head of investment banking, made no reference to Mr Shear’s future role.
Dmitrios Psyllidis, global co-head of fixed income, currencies and commodities trading and head of macro, is also leaving the group for “personal reasons” to return to his native Greece and pursue other business interests, Mr Kengeter added.
The global securities business will instead be jointly managed by Yassine Bouhara and Francois Gouws, current co-heads of UBS’s equities business, and Roberto Hoornweg and Rajeev Misra, co-heads of fixed income.
“To reinforce our progress, we are creating a four-person partnership to lead securities, with a clear mandate to further strengthen collaboration, improve the capture of market opportunities, and enable each element of the securities business to evolve as effectively and profitably as possible,” the e-mail said.
“Our goal is to accelerate growth through heightened intensity and deliver superior trading and sales capabilities to our clients.”
Both Mr Misra and Mr Bouhara previously held senior trading roles at Deutsche Bank, while Mr Gouws has been with UBS since 1995.