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Feb 21, 2006 6:54 pm

How does UBS fit into the wirehouse arena.  Anybody have any concrete feedback...(both negative and positive)


And please none of this "stay out of the business crap."  Just curious how they match up to some of the other houses (ie. SB, ML, AGE, RJ, MS etc.)


For example, why would one like or dislike UBS as opposed to the aforementioned companies?

Feb 21, 2006 7:58 pm

I don't know anything about you. I think you should phrase your question

more specifically to get the answer you seek.   UBS is the old PaineWebber/

Kidder Peabody combo. GE was the largest shareholder until it was taken

over by Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS). In other words, its the same as any

buldge bracket firm (ML, SB and MS). Same dog...different collar.

Feb 21, 2006 8:10 pm

I don't know anything about you either?  I am specifically referring to what the culture at UBS is like.  Is it a better environment than say at ML or SB or MS.  I would be coming in with a little experience, so yes relatively new to the business.  I am not looking for advice on whether or not to enter the business, as I am already in it, and fully understand how difficult it is to make it.  I am simply looking for some insight as to how UBS compares to the others.....


I have read some posts on here saying how bad their bonuses are and what not?  Wouldn't a bonus be indicative of performance and production?


Don't know if that makes my question more clear...general feedback is all I am looking for.....people that have worked there, do work there, thought about working there, young, old, smart, dumb, experienced, inexperienced, etc................

Feb 21, 2006 8:34 pm

At the retail level the wirehouses are essentially the same.


So what you have to look for is a branch manager who is capable of being a mentor, an office that is nearby, fellow brokers who are pleasant, and a name on the business card that does not carry negative vibes.


PaineWebber was a well regarded name in the business, investors knew the "Thank You PaineWebber" catch phrase. These days their brokers are finding a bit of resistance to the idea of doing business with a Swiss bank.  Not a lot, but it is there.


What people entering the business must come to grips with is the reality that you are not really all that attractive to every firm you send a resume to, so sitting around wondering who to marry is a bit premature until you get a proposal.


If PaineWebber, er UBS, invites you to join them don't turn them down thinking somebody else is going to ask you too.  The cutest girls in school are often at home on Saturday night because they turned down the guy who called because they thought somebody else would call.


Remember the nature of message boards.  They are outlets for people who want to complain, so it is not unexpected to find guys whining about their bonuses, etc.  It is a rare broker who figures he is overpaid.

Feb 21, 2006 10:20 pm
Big Easy Flood:

At the retail level the wirehouses are essentially the same.


So what you have to look for is a branch manager who is capable of being a mentor, an office that is nearby, fellow brokers who are pleasant, and a name on the business card that does not carry negative vibes.


PaineWebber was a well regarded name in the business, investors knew the "Thank You PaineWebber" catch phrase. These days their brokers are finding a bit of resistance to the idea of doing business with a Swiss bank.  Not a lot, but it is there.


What people entering the business must come to grips with is the reality that you are not really all that attractive to every firm you send a resume to, so sitting around wondering who to marry is a bit premature until you get a proposal.


If PaineWebber, er UBS, invites you to join them don't turn them down thinking somebody else is going to ask you too.  The cutest girls in school are often at home on Saturday night because they turned down the guy who called because they thought somebody else would call.


Remember the nature of message boards.  They are outlets for people who want to complain, so it is not unexpected to find guys whining about their bonuses, etc.  It is a rare broker who figures he is overpaid.



If you are not Put Trader you do a darn good imitation of him....though perhaps a little more civilized than in the past....

I was at UBS for a few years, and departed only recently.  I was there before the Swiss took over, and saw the changes.

If you want to start somewhere, get your licenses, start building up a book and pipeline of prospects, I suppose they're about as good as anyone.

Their training program is at least 'ok', if not perhaps a little better than average.  They will teach you at least a little bit about the basics of chasing some of the bigger fish.  They may be a little weak in teaching you selling/prospecting skills, but there are better places to pick up that info anyway.  My cynical opinion is that it is a tough business with so much to learn to get your feet under you, and most of the wirehouse training programs SUCK at teaching you how to market your services and close a sale.  That's because they're run by folks who have never done it before, or they're failed advisors.

Maybe some folks don't like doing business with the Swiss, but for many others UBS has a nice 'snob appeal'.  Kinda like a poor man's Goldman Sachs, perhaps.  Their standards for rookies are darn high though, probably near Merrill's.

They spend quite a bit of money on advertising and sponsorships, and yet I wonder how effective they are at driving actual business opportunities.

The Swiss are very tight on money for local branch expenses, and control freaks too.  This leads to a very strict and inflexible compliance environment.  It also means that if there is a  slowdown in business they will cut headcount like all hell.

If you make it past the first 3 years or so there with some decent numbers, you'll probably be able to go anywhere you want.  Or, maybe you'll be happy and not want to leave.

They have some real 'whiz-bang' prop products including hedge funds and structured notes.  Then again most of the sales force doesn't seem to be too enamored of their products.

Personally, I'm very happy to be out of there but I'm not good with corporate politics nor am I a rookie needing somewhere to get started.

I am sure this will be a VERY controversial comment, but I would consider going to EdJones first.  While their product scope is limited and their mindset a little old fashioned, at least they will teach you a bit about what must happen 'in the trenches' to start building up a clientele.

Hope that is helpful.

Feb 22, 2006 6:43 am

All things (offers) being equal, I would go to ML.  Excellent training, solid name, breadth of products, etc.

Feb 22, 2006 10:48 am

"The cutest girls in school are often at home on Saturday night because they turned down the guy who called because they thought somebody else would call."


Nope.... they were waiting for me to finish at the keg party and sneak in through their bedroom window..........

Feb 22, 2006 2:45 pm

Blarm...


I guess if you don't toot your horn nobody will huh? 

Feb 22, 2006 3:05 pm

Actually, the chick waiting for him will be a tootin' his horn.

Feb 22, 2006 3:53 pm

You sound like you have some first hand (excuse the pun) experience  in "horn tootin'" there dude. 

Feb 22, 2006 4:38 pm

I like how this went from a discussion about UBS to banging college broads.........

Feb 22, 2006 5:25 pm
BankFC:

You sound like you have some first hand (excuse the pun) experience  in "horn tootin'" there dude. 


ummmmmmmmm.........no comment

Feb 22, 2006 5:54 pm

"Blarm... I guess if you don't toot your horn nobody will huh."


Yes, I constantly need gratification. If I go 2 days without any, I need to chime in and remind everyone how great I am....