A management shakeup by CEO Bob McCann at the Americas brokerage unit of Swiss bank UBS AG will see two of his top executives assume more direct responsibility over its financial advisors, according to people familiar with the changes. As part of his first major management shakeup at UBS wealth-management Americas (WMA) since he assumed an expanded role last December within UBS, McCann promoted its head of brokerage field operations, Bob Mulholland, as well as Jason Chandler, who’ll report to Mulholland.
Mulholland, No. 2 at UBS WMA, was named head of wealth management and investment solutions. He’ll have new responsibility for investment solutions and platforms, according to a memo Friday sent by McCann to staff and reviewed by Registered Rep. Chandler, named head of the wealth-management adviser group, previously ran the ultra-high-net-worth division at WMA. Under the changes, eleven regional managers will report to Chandler with two regional divisions being eliminated.
“As I've shared with you many times over the past few months, there's never been a better time to be in the advice business or a part of UBS,” McCann stated in the memo. “With all that's going on in the world today, clients are turning to us for perspective and guidance now more than ever, and our ability to meet their growing needs and continue on our journey to being the best is absolutely critical.”
The promotions of Mulholland and Chandler are the changes likely to most directly impact advisors, according to people familiar with the shakeup. (At the end of 2011, UBS WMA had 6,697 financial advisors.) “It was a bit of fine-tuning,” one UBS advisor, who did not want to be named, told Registered Rep. “Personally, I know some of the people mentioned in the management changes, and I’m glad to see some of this movement.” McCann describes the entire new lineup of execs as rising stars within the UBS organization, a “first-rate group of industry veterans and emerging leaders.”
McCann, named CEO of the entire UBS operations in the U.S. late last year announced these other management changes: John Brown, who ran wealth management solutions, reports to Mulholland as head of middle market business. Brown will also report to Brian Hull who has a new title, head of strategic clients and partnerships. Chief marketing officer Paula Polito has the new title of chief strategy officer, and expanded duties including the emerging affluent, corporate solutions and retirement markets. Dan Cochran was named chief operating officer for WMA. Anita Sands previously held that role. Sands will continue to lead the UBA technology and operations functions as head of WMA change leadership. She’ll report to Cochran.
UBS WMA spokeswoman, Karina Byrne, said the changes mean more responsibility and a promotion for Mulholland, Chandler, Hull, Polito and Cochran. “Bob [McCann] decided to make these changes, because while WMA has made great progress to date, we are by no means done and the management team needed to evolve,” she told Registered Rep., referring to the efforts to boost UBS WMA profitability.
McCann joined the firm back in October 2009, shortly after he left Merrill Lynch as head of its brokerage force. He arrived at UBS when it was the throes of near financial disaster. Mulholland is also a former Merrill hand, once heading its fee-based private client group. Under McCann’s command, UBS WMA has been steadily recovering.