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Did Orcel pay £1m cash to lure Vereker from Nomura?

UBS has reportedly poached William Vereker from Nomura to be head of corporate client services EMEA. Vereker is said to have moved directly, without the intervention of headhunters, on a fairly substantial package.

UBS and Nomura declined to comment on the rumours and Vereker did not return our call. However, a senior UBS investment banker confirmed the hire, saying Vereker is a “very talented banker,” of the kind needed by UBS as it seeks to build its coverage team.

Vereker was lured with a big title (he’s reportedly going to be ‘head of corporate client solutions for Europe’) and with allegedly biggish pay. Rumour inside UBS has it that Andrea Orcel, chief executive of the investment bank, offered him £1m in cash.  This sounds like a lot, until you consider that back in 2008 Orcel himself earned a $34m bonus for his M&A work at Merrill Lynch. In this context, a £1m fee for an M&A rainmaker would suggest pay has dropped considerably.

“Vereker’s not coming for peanuts, but he’s on a package that’s appropriate to the times,” said the senior UBS banker.

Vereker’s bargaining power may have been eroded after he was reported to have been thinking of leaving Nomura as long ago as September 2012.  However, a UBS banker close to the negotiations said a US bank had been interested in hiring Vereker too.

Andrea Orcel, chief executive of UBS’s investment bank, is known to be on the lookout for senior investment bankers. Orcel said in January that he has a five year plan for hiring, with a focus on recruiting for advisory roles. Further hires are expected.

UBS is not known for its generosity towards its investment bankers: regulated employees at Credit Suisse earned 40% more than their counterparts at UBS last last year.

Figures released last week by peer-to-peer pay specialist Emolument suggested Nomura pays its average managing director in London £1.2m. As Nomura’s former co-head of investment banking, Vereker is likely to have been earning considerably more than this.

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