UBS Morale Lifts
Jan 29, 2010 12:32 PM, By Kristen French
The dismal morale among UBS brokers seems to be improving of late. A number of top financial advisors at the firm say that they are so far very pleased with the leadership of UBS Wealth Management CEO Bob McCann, and the team of people he has brought on board. McCann joined UBS in October, following a legal settlement with former employer Bank of America over a non-compete agreement.
“Morale, I would say it’s good,” said one top broker at the firm. “I was in a meeting last week and the new CEO McCann spoke and he was awesome.”
The shift in mood comes despite the depressed stock price, which is trading at around $13, down from a high of around $62 in April of 2007, as well as ongoing wrangling between the firm, the Swiss government and the IRS over UBS’ tax-dodging clients. But whatever impact McCann’s hiring has had on attrition at the firm will not be clear until UBS issues fourth quarter earnings on February 9.
One advisor insists that McCann just gets it. “No nonsense. Straight shooting. He gets it. He understands what the biz is all about, which is the FA-client relationship. He said that. And Hoekstra was a good guy, but man, McCann he is absolutely…if anybody can put the UBS private wealth management side back on the map he certainly can as far as the brand name.”
Another broker praised McCann’s management team, many of whom were recruited from McCann’s former stomping grounds, Merrill Lynch. “They have a very humble attitude. They think that they work for us. That’s a big change,” says the broker. But he means no dig at former UBS Wealth management CEO Martin Hoekstra, he says. “He was a good guy. But these people call and want to know what they can do for us. In a concrete way. They say, ‘Let me take over your project.’ ‘Let me take over your marketing materials,’” the broker says.
Earlier in the week a Swiss court ruled that the Swiss government must not hand over the details of accounts belonging to U.S. tax dodgers. In a settlement reached last August between the Swiss government and the U.S., the Swiss agreed to hand over these details. The settlement was meant to resolve accusations by the U.S. government that UBS deliberately helped clients evade taxes.
At least one FA said that the tax news no longer fazes him or his clients. “I’ve talked to 40 clients in the past two days and nobody’s mentioned it,” he says. “At this point, after what UBS has been through… if they didn’t get bugged out by the other stuff that happened, they’re not going to get bugged out by that.”
Client assets still flowing out, brokers still leaving, I am thinking of leaving. Morale in my office not so good.
Its amazing how the spinsters are trying to get everybody to believe that a pig is not really a pig if it has lipstick on.
I forgot to mention that pigs also fly with the wings that are super glued on.
Morale is increasing. Every week the most pissed off guy leaves and the least pissed off guy stays - until he too becomes pissed off.
Of course morale will go up at this place. It only has one way to go.
Don't worry, the retention agreements are coming soon and advisors will finance their awards over time and then some. Cost cutting will continue and the money will only soothe the misery for a year or so.
If you don't leave now in the wake of the reputational mess, then just take your retention and plan to stay until they figure what direction to spin this ride... They have the worst margins of the wires and the firm is run by socialist and elitist foreigners who feel they are victimized by the IRS because they chose to market tax fraud services to US citizens.
The new leadership agenda may sound refreshing, but just remember that all wire leaders believe they own the clients and they'll always figure out ways to screw the FA. Morale may improve, but this aspect will remain. It's their culture.
This article is hilarious.
'Another broker praised McCann’s management team, many of whom were recruited from McCann’s former stomping grounds, Merrill Lynch. “They have a very humble attitude. They think that they work for us. That’s a big change,” says the broker. But he means no dig at former UBS Wealth management CEO Martin Hoekstra, he says. “He was a good guy. But these people call and want to know what they can do for us. In a concrete way. They say, ‘Let me take over your project.’ ‘Let me take over your marketing materials,’” the broker says.'
Duped by the oldest management trick in the book - "You (the FAs) are our clients and we are here to serve you..." How many times have we heard that line before. Really? You just don't know what they laugh about behind closed doors...Don't let 'em fool ya!
'At least one FA said that the tax news no longer fazes him or his clients. “I’ve talked to 40 clients in the past two days and nobody’s mentioned it,” he says. “At this point, after what UBS has been through… if they didn’t get bugged out by the other stuff that happened, they’re not going to get bugged out by that.”
Fool who allowed an opportunity to slip by. This was the wind at your back pal and you chose to bury and downplay this criminal behavior out of blind loyalty to these elitists. Or you are on a deal and can't leave anyways... Either way, doesn't give the management a pass for stealing tax our country's dollars and then turning in the clients the very they solicited to hide $. It's one thing to dislike government speanding, but another to outright cheat on taxes. They coached these clients on how to do this. You're okay with that? Guess so.
Their PR firm is great and taking a few idiotic cherry picked lines from a few FAs to make the firm sound like it's on the way up is so obvious. I'd like to know what the majority of FAs say who would rather keep it to themselves and hope someday the firm will improve. Just hang in there!
I like McCann a lot.
Dude has stones and gets it.
I do believe that he thinks the FA drives the business. If he can pull off what he wants to do......You and us will be a great firm
10000000000000 billion times better then the mf idiots before him (Price et al)
Things have been getting better.
Can he pull it off?
Can he change the worst firm on the street still owned by the commie d-bag Swiss losers?
we shall see
"Things have been getting better."
Less BS compliance?
More local staffing?
You may be right - that McCann gets it. Have seen this cycle of a energetic idealist who comes in hoping to change the world and 4 years later - maybe under a new parent - they get sucked into the senior management mantra and begin to spin the agendas as they succombed to some golden handcuffs and/or must now march to the beat of the acquiring firm. I put my faith in myself and not some corporate saviour. Hope you're right though in the short term. Like I previously mentioned, there is only one way for morale to go - up. It's still a sh*##y place. Here's to happier times for all the good people still at this fun house!
having been at ML 18 months ago...now that is a place with morale in the dumps...UBS has a much better outlook with McCann at the helm than ML, with a failed Smith Barney leader running the show. I do like MS, and believe Gorman gets it too...don't know about Wells. I don't think morale is better anywhere else (maybe MS) than UBS...unless it's out on your own with Fidelity or Schwab.
A firm's role should be custody of assets. Not boosting morale. FAs should boost their own morale. All the other managerial layers can be deleted. Keep the support for munis, managed accounts, etc., but can the branch managers, regional people, and sr. management. 90% of the time, they are making decisions that screw up morale. Remove them and now you're talking. Why let a branch manager hold the keys to the resources when you can fire him and control your own expenses. This is the future Sally!
Hey Firm - you are a custodian and clearing agent and no longer a leader, Get it? Gorman may "get it" - that is know to keep the agenda cloaked while conveying to FAs that the firm is there to support the best FAs and grow their businesses...whatever... It's a fine line and balancing "act". If you have been in bus. more than 10 yrs. you don't need these people who carve out a slice of your revenue to fund their stock option plans. It's not just ubs... It's all of the firms. As a shareholder, these managerial ramora sucking the effeciency and revenue should be removed. Keep the support and delete the management. If a firm knew this and made their culture more welcome entreprenuers, they would win advisors instead of the siren song of retention in a [email protected] place like all these firms. The firms are too stupid to just be the best culture and a great firm with lots of support; they'd rather be forced to drop big retention bonuses to their scared FAs and stay lame. Great business model. These forums reinforce leaving and I get a kick out of the "morale issues." Hope others see the obvious. You don't need the non sense.
Where is the forum - "Indy wants to go wire"?
one major improvement:
They hired this new SA that sits outside my office who is about an 8 1/2. McCann is MAKING a difference. see