Score One for Diversity

UBS has hired a prominent black Smith Barney broker.he move came as UBS was negotiating settlement of a class-action suit brought by two black employees who alleged that the firm has systematically discriminated against blacks

UBS has hired a prominent black Smith Barney broker.

Percival “Pep” Perry, a $600,000 producer with more than $70 million in assets under management, left Smith Barney to join the Swiss giant's San Francisco office at the end of January. The move came as UBS was negotiating settlement of a class-action suit brought by two black employees who alleged that the firm has systematically discriminated against blacks, for example, by relegating them to offices with black clients (see Registered Rep.'s March 2006 cover story). The Swiss giant didn't return phone calls requesting comment on the hire.

According to the suit, as of March 2002, just 1.2 percent of UBS's 8,615 brokers were black and, the plaintiffs say, there has been only one black branch office manager.

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