UBS has already announced its bonuses for 2016. Unfortunately, some of its senior investment bankers won't be around to receive them.
London headhunters say UBS has been trimming some of its senior investment bankers before bonuses are banked. Chiel Ruiter, head of investment banking for the Netherlands, has gone, along with a very senior industrials banker. Most significantly, we understand that William Barter, co-head of the UK investment bank, has left.
UBS declined to comment. The exits come after a very strong year for UBS in UK M&A in 2016. The Swiss bank participated in four out of five of the UK's largest deals and ranked fourth announced UK transactions according to Dealogic. However, UBS ranked 12th in Europe for M&A revenues, and was outside the top ten for EMEA investment banking (M&A, equity capital markets and debt capital markets). As the chart below shows, its investment banking division globally performed well compared to Deutsche Bank, but less well compared to Credit Suisse.
The senior departures come as recruiters say UBS has rewarded its junior bankers in the most recent bonus round. Analyst, associate and VP-level staff at the bank are said to have been well paid this year and to be more than happy.
Last October, Andrea Orcel, chief executive of UBS's investment bank, promised that the restructuring process was over. However, headhunters describe the bank as "continuously tinkering." Many of the senior bankers let go are comparatively recent arrivals: Barter joined from HSBC in 2014 and Ruiter joined from BNP Paribas in 2015. The bank is also hiring: last month it recruited Antonio Alvarez Cano from Nomura as head of natural resources M&A in Europe, for example.