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UBS Reportedly Tells Wealth Managers to Curb Back-Office Hiring

May 1, 2019

UBS Group’s wealth managers who feel like they could use more back-office support staff on their teams could be in for a rude awakening: the company is reportedly telling managers to be far more selective about such positions, according to news reports.

An informal rule introduced at the firm dictates that one new back-office employee could be hired into the wealth management business for every five who leave, people familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg.

Client-facing staff hires face a smaller cap: managers can bring on one new banker for every two who leave, the people tell the news service.

A UBS spokesman declined comment to Bloomberg.

The bank said in March that it would put the brakes on hiring and focus on cutting costs, according to the news service. And UBS has let go of thousands in its investment banking unit during the past decade as it shifted focus to private banking, Bloomberg writes.

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The firm’s wealth management unit attracted $22.3 billion in net new money in the first quarter of 20198, but the unit’s profits dropped 21%.

The unit’s advisor ranks shrank 2% from the year prior, meanwhile, to 6,790, although UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti told analysts during an earnings call last week that the reduction was part of the firm’s strategic plan as it opted to focus on retention and on luring advisors with ultra-high net worth clients, as reported.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Bloomberg article cited in this story, click here.