UBS Wealth Management Americas’ second-in-command Bob Mulholland is retiring after 36 years on Wall Street, according to an internal memo sent to advisors on Tuesday. Brian Hull, who oversees strategic clients and partnerships at the firm, is set to take over as the head of the client advisory group.
Mulholland, who joined UBS in 2009 from the institutional brokerage and hedge fund firm Sound Securities, spent a majority of his career at Merrill Lynch, where he started as a financial advisor in 1979.
When Mulholland, now 63, joined his former Merrill colleague Bob McCann at UBS, the wirehouse’s wealth management business was in disarray. Following the 2009 crisis, advisor headcount within the unit dropped over the next three years from 8,248 to 6,796, and $32 billion in client assets walked out the door.
But today the firm has stabilized, thanks in part, to the efforts of the senior management team. In the first quarter, UBS delivered record profits and $4.8 billion in net new money. But, as Mulholland has stated previously, perhaps the crowning achievement of the turnaround has been the enhanced culture at the firm, which is now seen as a boutique destination.
“I am grateful to Bob for his many contributions to WMA, and for serving as one of the key members of our renewal team,” McCann, president of UBS Americas, wrote in Tuesday’s memo. “Bob's leadership has helped us establish a culture where the best managers and advisors want to come, stay, and build long, rewarding careers.”
McCann added that Mulholland was eager to spend more time with his family as he anticipates the birth of his first grandchild.
"Leading the advisor force at UBS WMA has been the best five-plus years of my entire career, and I could not be more proud of all that we have achieved,” Mulholland said. “While knowing the right time to step away is always difficult, I leave confident that the firm and our advisors are at the top of their game as the most productive advisors in the industry."
With Mulholland stepping down, UBS promoted from within. The firm reported Brian Hull has been named head of UBS Wealth Management Americas' Client Advisory Group, effective immediately. Hull, an architect of WMA's renewal plan, has overseen the Strategic Clients & Partnerships unit for the past five years, as well as served as a member of both the Wealth Management Americas and UBS Americas executive committees.
“Personally, I've known Brian for more than 25 years – first as a client, and then as a colleague. He's excelled in virtually every part of this business, from investment management, to capital markets, to institutional sales, to wealth management. I am confident he is the right leader for this next leg of WMA's journey,” McCann said.
Mulholland is expected to work with Hull to ensure a smooth transition. Jason Chandler and Bill Carroll will continue in their current roles. They will be joined on the WMA Executive Committee by John Mathews, who will take on the expanded responsibility for the Americas Global Family Office and Business Development Group, while continuing to run Private Wealth Management.