Andrea Orcel’s job doesn’t sound very exciting any more. In a Brexit breakfast discussion run by Financial News this morning, he complained that 60% of his job is now consumed by dealing with regulation, of which Brexit is – we imagine a part.
Orcel runs UBS’s investment bank, which has fallen to 10th place globally in Coalition’s ranking of banks, meaning that he could probably benefit from spending his time on more pressing considerations than the regulatory implications of Britain leaving the European Union. As we’ve noted before, for example, UBS has spent this year poaching fixed income salespeople from Goldman Sachs, implying that it’s trying to rebuild its fixed income business, where it ranks in the top three in G10FX, but almost nowhere for everything else.
Earlier this year, Orcel said it would take UBS between 18 months and two years to move staff out of London and that for this reason, time was of the essence. The Swiss bank is expected to choose Frankfurt as its trading hub and recent reports suggest it “could move” 250 jobs there, although CEO Sergio Ermotti indicated last year that as many as 30% of UBS’s 5,000 London jobs could move out as time progresses.
Orcel also said this morning that a key factor in deciding where to move after Brexit is where bankers will be happy in terms of schools and housing. As we’ve noted before, many of UBS’s senior staff seem to live in Holland Park, West London. Orcel’s own West London residences were thrust into the spotlight a few years ago when his wife used them as photo-shoots for her interior design business.
UBS’s emigre bankers would likely be happy in Amsterdam, where the education system is the fifth best in the world and you can live in a large house in villages like Aerdenhout, Bloemendaal and Heemstede for the same price as a three bedroom flat in Putney. Those who move could always ask Orcel’s wife to help them settle: Companies House indicates that she restarted an interior design business earlier this month – although its title “E11 Interior Design” suggests it’s focused on East London rather than Western Europe.