Major events at UBS- Sale in the works now?

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Aug 21, 2009 12:36 pm

Major events at UBS and rumors accelerating around a sale?

Consider this list/timeline of recent events.....and this is only a partial list!

1) RIF in April-  cleaned up P&Ls, cleared out low producers

2) Stifel acquisition...nearing close date soon... clearing out small offices and more small producers

3) DOJ/Swiss Govt. Tax Settlement done in the last week. ....finally, major issue out of the way
4) Swiss Govt. pulls it's stake in UBS: The Swiss state sold 332.2 million shares to institutional investors,
the government said in a statement Thursday. Including a $1.7 billion
cash payment the state is getting.

5) September/October RIF, yes another one is going to happen. Will take another chunk of LOS 5+ producers and light P&Ls off the rolls.  Come back on Halloween and tell me I was wrong if this fails to materialize.  I called the last RIF in April 4+ weeks before it happened here.

My bet is a sale is announced by late October or early November at the latest with a close date on or before 12/31/09.   Again.. come back and tell me I was wrong. This event will trigger another spring 2009 like recruiter frenzy in Q4.

Meanwhile... pile it on my friends!



Aug 21, 2009 3:05 pm

what's to pile on about? 

The Swiss must just be shaking their heads about the crazy americans and wondering why they ever bought Paine Webber.
 
What's the morale level of a typical UBS office these days?
Aug 21, 2009 3:37 pm

When they announced the creation of the Americas divsion for the US brokerage biz seemed like selling it would be a possibility down the road.   In short oder they did sell some of the biz to Stifel.



 
The question is who would want them?
Aug 21, 2009 3:39 pm

[quote=burtonfinancial1] Major events at UBS and rumors accelerating around a sale?

Consider this list/timeline of recent events.....and this is only a partial list!

1) RIF in April-  cleaned up P&Ls, cleared out low producers

2) Stifel acquisition...nearing close date soon... clearing out small offices and more small producers

3) DOJ/Swiss Govt. Tax Settlement done in the last week. ....finally, major issue out of the way
4) Swiss Govt. pulls it's stake in UBS: The Swiss state sold 332.2 million shares to institutional investors, the government said in a statement Thursday. Including a $1.7 billion cash payment the state is getting.

 
 
 
 
McCann coming Monday.    MADE swiss stay the f^&% out  (has been THE problem).  he has free rein to turn aroung within 3 year time frame.  Lots of fee based hitters were bought.
Brighter days to come.   UBS will be awesome place to work going forward.  This guy smart and knows FA's drive the business.


Aug 21, 2009 3:57 pm

Sale of WMUS or breakup ?  Who are the likely suitors ?  Timeline looks reasonable, with key issues out of the way (DOJ and Swiss Govt ownership).

Aug 21, 2009 4:05 pm

I ownder if the sale to Stifel was a good test to see if they could jsut sell off branches successfully.  A little unorthodox, but do you think they would sell each market to the highest wirehouse bidder?  Again, not typical, but maybe they tested it with the smaller offices.

Aug 21, 2009 4:07 pm

Potential Suitors:

JPM
Deutsche Bank
Credit Suisse -   long shot at best
HSBC -  would be horrible in my view - HSBC screws up everything they buy in the U.S.
AMP (Ameriprise)... yes.. it could happen, they want to acquire something BIG and have the $$

Thoughts?

Aug 21, 2009 4:09 pm
B24:

I ownder if the sale to Stifel was a good test to see if they could jsut sell off branches successfully.  A little unorthodox, but do you think they would sell each market to the highest wirehouse bidder?  Again, not typical, but maybe they tested it with the smaller offices.



I think there's something there as well. I could see UBS sold off in 2 or 3 chunks.

JPM or DB taking the big high net worth offices in major markets.

AMP, Ray Jay, RBC or someone like them taking the bottom half or 1/3rd.


Aug 21, 2009 4:28 pm

Adds some color to the points I made here.

UBS retail-products executive takes leave

<div ="ArticleSubing">

Michael Weisberg's indefinite departure was announced internally this
week, as the Swiss firm deflected rumors over its future leadership

<div id="Byline" ="b1"> By <b><a href="http://www.investmentnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/personalia?ID=JHOROWITZ" target="_blank">Jed Horowitz</a></b> <br>August 5, 2009 </div> <div ="b6">

Michael Weisberg, the head of products and services for UBS AG's U.S.
and Canadian wealth management businesses, has taken an indefinite
leave of absence, a UBS spokeswoman confirmed.

His
departure was announced internally this week, as the Zurich,
Switzerland-based bank announced a second-quarter net loss of 1.4
billion Swiss francs ($1.3 billion) and as rumors swirled that the
firm's U.S. brokerage business was likely to be reorganized.

Mr. Weisberg's leave is due to personal, not performance-related, issues, the spokeswoman said.

Mr.
Weisberg, who is in his late 30s, has been on the managing board of
UBS's global wealth management and business banking group since 2005.

His
responsibilities have been assumed by James Hausmann, a fixed-income
specialist who has run transaction products at the New York-based U.S.
wealth management group since 2005.

Mr. Hausmann joined one of UBS Wealth Management's predecessor firm, PaineWebber, in 1991.

Last quarter, UBS lost about 820 financial advisers in the Americas, leaving it with under 8,000 brokers.

More than $5 billion of assets were drained from its U.S. wealth management business during this time.

Although
all large brokerage firms have experienced broker and client erosion,
UBS's problems have been exacerbated by some $40 billion of trading
losses in 2007 and 2008 at its U.S. hedge funds, and by charges from
the U.S. government that it helped wealthy American clients evade
taxes. UBS last week announced an agreement in principle over the tax
issue with the Internal Revenue Service.

Globally, the
firm experienced outflows of 17.1 billion Swiss francs ($16.1 billion)
from its asset management businesses last quarter and 16.5 billion
Swiss francs ($15.5 billion) from its non-U.S. private banking and
brokerage businesses.

UBS's wealth management woes have
triggered expectations that the Swiss bank could sell its U.S.
brokerage business or change management. Robert McCann the former
president for global wealth management at Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.
of New York, has been negotiating to become head of UBS Wealth
Management Americas or possibly buy all or part of the business,
according to sources and published reports.

Karina Byrne, a UBS spokeswoman, declined to comment on the reports.

Marten
Hoekstra continues to be in charge of UBS Wealth Management Americas
and UBS AG's new chief executive, Oswald Grubel, has in the past
affirmed his commitment to the U.S. business, she said.

In
a conference call with analysts earlier this week, Mr. Grubel denied a
report that UBS will retain the U.S. businesses for at least three
years.

Mr. Hoekstra last month reorganized the firm's U.S.
sales structure, shrinking it from eight to three regions. The bank is
also in the process of selling or closing dozens of branches.

The firm's new Northeast region is run by Jason Chandler, former head of the New York City metropolitan region.

Its West region is headed by Michael Schweitzer, who had been Mr. Weisberg's deputy in products and services.

Its new Central region is run by David McWilliams, a 30-year veteran of Merrill Lynch who joined UBS earlier this year.

</p></div>
Aug 21, 2009 4:37 pm

I don't see RJ getting involved..

JPM seems logical, but does Dimon make another acquisition after WAMU,and BEAR? That is a lot to integrate... But they make sense only big bank lacking a stand-alone brokerage business.



Or does a regional scoop up a couple of offices in its region and they just split up the whole thing, no more UBS, sold off in chunks to highest regional bidder.

Aug 21, 2009 4:46 pm

What does  RIF stand for?

Aug 21, 2009 4:48 pm

legal mumbo jumbo for "Reduction in Force"

Aug 21, 2009 6:07 pm

UBS upped their transition package this week.  It's up to (back up to) 250%.  There is a rumor the folks transitioning to UBS are bringing fewer assets than folks leaving UBS.  It feels logical but you never know if that's just management pushing their own scoop.  I'm glad I got out of there just in time.  90% of the top producers in my former branch came on in the past two years.  My calculator isn't smart enough to figure out how that can be profitable.  And don't expect to be rewarded for sticking it out.  When I left the good accounts were called by the newly recruited advisors.  Why risk funding the "deal" from the branch for the folks who don't hit their numbers?

Aug 21, 2009 6:25 pm
NOVA:

UBS upped their transition package this week.  It's up to (back up to) 250%.  There is a rumor the folks transitioning to UBS are bringing fewer assets than folks leaving UBS.  It feels logical but you never know if that's just management pushing their own scoop.  I'm glad I got out of there just in time.  90% of the top producers in my former branch came on in the past two years.  My calculator isn't smart enough to figure out how that can be profitable.  And don't expect to be rewarded for sticking it out.  When I left the good accounts were called by the newly recruited advisors.  Why risk funding the "deal" from the branch for the folks who don't hit their numbers?



Good update and I've heard the same... this would make UBS now only 90% of T-12 behind the current leading offer for tier 1 producers heading into Merrill Lynch who is owning the top spot in recruiting deals by a long shot from a $ standpoint.  Jeez, even MSSB is doing 240% for the same level of production which is pretty darn close to what UBS may be offering top FAs. Why anyone would go to UBS now, at least in the wires, is unimaginable.  If you're AT UBS, news that they're now paying your replacement 250% (all in) is nothing to celebrate.  UBS is desperate.  The firm out-recruited the entire wirehouse world from late 08 into Q1 09', backed off in Q2 and has lost a load of great people since. They have slaughtered their branch P&Ls funding big deals just to fill emptying seats and have lost many big producers who owed the firm nothing at the same time. You can't do that very long and sustain any decent level of profitability.

Aug 21, 2009 8:55 pm

BurtonFinancial:



You are way off on this one. He is out on disability with a medical condition that none of us would want to have. I do not know if he will end up being able to come back or not.

Aug 22, 2009 10:09 am
burtonfinancial1:


5) September/October RIF, yes another one is going to happen. Will take another chunk of LOS 5+ producers and light P&Ls off the rolls.



All 5th quintile folks or just some?

Aug 22, 2009 11:11 am
secretknowledge:

BurtonFinancial:

You are way off on this one. He is out on disability with a medical condition that none of us would want to have. I do not know if he will end up being able to come back or not.

 
My sincere get well wishes---I hope he fully recovers :)
Aug 22, 2009 3:57 pm

UBS not for sale.   Ozzie said it.   (after Oz fest) 

They want turnaround in 3 years.   McCann coming with total control. 
Aug 22, 2009 9:51 pm

McCann was one of several horsemen that was responsible for Merrill's
demise...he has NEVER been an advisor.  I doubt he could close a
screen door, not to mention a multi-million dollar household.  The
entire industry (wirehouses) is only interested in top management, not
the advisors and certainly not the client.  BTW, the ultra HNW
initiative at UBS has been a total train wreck...poaching wealth
management offices and shifting the revenue.  They will have a RIF
in several weeks with only client facing personnel affected...it won't
be fun.  Hundreds of CSA's gone with no corresponding cut in
Weehawken.  UBS should sell the core offices to a true wealth
advisory firm, whomever that may be.  They do not need the
Swiss.  They have a small window in my oipinion to benefit from
the recent strength in the stock and sell the US WM unit.  If
not,  major defections and net new $$ outflows greater than what
they have experienced recently.  I vote for Sontag...Hoekstra is
more out of touch than a nun at a sinagogue.

Aug 24, 2009 6:13 pm

Very interesting development here on McCann....

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3214e498-90e9-11de-bc99-00144feabdc0.html?referrer_id=yahoofinance&ft_ref=yahoo1&segid=03058&nclick_check=1

He's suing Merrill/B of A now over their efforts to prohibit his employment elsewhere