UBS Scrambles to Revive Its Faltering Investment Bank

This time last year Sergio Ermotti was riding high. The UBS chief executive was basking in a double-digit jump in quarterly profit and boasting of the bank’s “excellent” prospects. His decision six years earlier to refocus on wealth management and slim down the investment bank looked to be paying off — the model he pioneered was copied by Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.  A year on and the narrative is very different, the Financial Times reported. Over the rest of 2018 the stock plunged 30 per cent as steep swings in markets caught traders off guard and convinced ultra-rich clients to keep their cash on the sidelines. The past two quarters have produced dramatic declines in earnings at the investment bank and world-leading $2.4tn wealth management unit. In response, Mr Ermotti has put the bank in what he calls “fuel saving” mode — freezing hiring, slashing bonuses and delaying spending on technology projects. Read more

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