After five weeks of voting by WealthManagment.com, the winner of the 2014 Wealth Management Madness is Bob McCann, CEO of UBS Americas.
McCann is largely credited with turning around the fading fortunes of UBS' U.S. wealth management unit after he took over in 2009. A 26-year veteran of Merrill Lynch, McCann took a risk taking over the unit at the Swiss banking giant. At the time, advisors were leaving in droves, UBS' reputation, like many global financal firms, was falling thanks to bailouts and the market collapse, and financially the unit was stagnant. Rumors persisted it would be spun off or sold.
After McCann took over, he did two things that turned the ship: Sharpened its focus and successfully turned it into a boutique, concentrating on keeping the advisory force small and nimble (UBS has a bit more than half the advisors of the other big Wall Street brokerages) yet upping production minimums and setting the pace for recruitment bonuses to lure top talent. Advocates point to the fact that he removed layers of the European bank's dusty bureaucracy wearing down U.S. advisors, and put more authority out in the field, closer to the brokers on the ground and the clients. He boasted at the time that UBS' Wealth Management unit could top $1 billion in revenue and productivity of $1 million per advisors, a goal he hit last year.
Over 8,000 votes were cast in our poll. Thanks to our readers who took the time to vote over the past few weeks. For a quick look back at all of our contenders, check out the gallery. And for more on Bob McCann, here is his daily routine.