John Byrne, a long-time freelancer for Registered Rep., the New York Post and other publications, covers UBS for Rep. He is also an Irishman. Yesterday, I asked him to sniff out what was being said on our advisor forum (advisors were speculating about what new UBS Wealth Management Americas Bob McCann would do when he releases his strategic vision at the end of the month) and this is John's response, which I thought was interesting enough to share with you.
John writes in response to my email: "Yes! Thread is interesting. UBS has already tinkered with the comp plan -- maybe this is something new? If there's anything afoot here I could file a short piece for the Web -- short and sweet, that is. If not, might have another Web story idea.
"As for St. Patrick's Day, it was fantastic. Actually, I got to attend a party in the Sheraton last night hosted by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick -- Ron Insansa of CNBC was the guest speaker at this all-male Irish party attended by Bloomberg, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, former Mayor Ed Koch and others, including disgraced former Staten IslOn and Republican Congressman, Vito Fosella. He was beaming in the corridor and was warmly greeted.
"Insana joked he was Sicilian by background but not to worry, his wife is half-Irish. Insana seems to think the worse is behind for the U.S economy -- and that there are positive signs pointing to a nice recovery. He singled out Ben Barnanke for single-handedly getting us out of an economic mess! That was some assertion. But Time Magazine named him Man of the Year. Insana was very entertaining. So was Bishop Dolan. (At one point, Dolan, during his speech looked in the direction of Koch, who was seated among the crowds at a table, invoked his name and jokingly said: 'How Am I Doing?' -- I think that was one of Koch's favorite old onliners. That got a laugh.)
"Over at UBS, I am sure they were partying too. Last week, I had heard UBS executive Bob Mulholland -- ex-Merrill -- was actively pushing the idea of celebrating on March 17 at UBS. Why not. McCann would be a willing participant now that he has his two passports -- his US and his Irish passport which he got last year at a special ceremony in New York. Even the executive director of corporate communications at UBS Wealth Management Americas, Karina Byrne, is from an Irish tribe in Newfoundland!"