Andrea Orcel, the president of UBS’s investment bank, says that the bank is listening to its employees. While most large investment banks have announced plans for a new EU hub as the UK prepares to leave the bloc, UBS is the one big firm to remain suspiciously quiet.
There’s a reason for this, according to Financial News, which interviewed Orcel at its offices yesterday – it wants to know where its employees are prepared to move to. “That means I don’t lose employees, I don’t need to rehire, retrain, and I have a team that is going to be a lot happier because the large majority of them want to go to that location,” Orcel said.
UBS has asked many of its 5,000 London employees where they’d like to go. “How can we get the largest number of people to say, ‘Okay, yes, I can go there?'”
This makes sense. For a start, there’s an increasing feeling that maybe Frankfurt isn’t the most alluring place to convince employees to leave London for. Yes, it might be offering craft beer to convince bankers its not a boring place to be, but financial services professionals in places like Amsterdam, Paris and Madrid remain convinced that their city offers the best lifestyle perks. UBS bankers may not get lucky, however, as the bank has already indicated that it could choose Frankfurt to relocate up to 250 London jobs.
But there’s another motivation for UBS, and other investment banks to get the buy-in of their employs – Brexit ‘phases’. The initial employees asked to depart are merely those that have to go in order to retain access to the single market. After that, banks might just decide to centralise functions in a new European hub.
“I think that shift away from London will be significant, but because of the stickiness [of London] it will be staged,” said Orcel, which was reported by the FT. “The question is what happens at the end date. Do you need your ecosystem here? Do you need your IT and operations here?”
Separately, Goldman Sachs is repeating the mantra that it’s a technology company, and now its job ads reflect its mission to become the Google of finance. Business Insider has obtained some figures from CB Insights, which shows that 46% of Goldman’s recent job postings were within technology. Operations was the next biggest area of recruitment. Sales and trading staff hoping for some opportunities as Goldman prepares to build its fixed income team can at least take solace that its securities division was third, but fixed income strats roles made up the largest proportion.
Orcel thinks making money in equities will be even harder under MiFID II: “I actually think it’s inside the top five, the top five doesn’t break even. Now you look at this environment. You’ve just moved the bar up.” (Bloomberg)
French bankers returning home for generous unemployment insurance can think again (Reuters)
Staff at the European Banking Authority in London are leaving, and fewer people are applying for new roles (Reuters)
Banks are moving thousands of jobs to Poland, but don’t blame Brexit (Financial Times)
Banks are still struggling to attract people from working class backgrounds (Financial News)
Natixis has named Joseph LaVorgna as its chief economist for the Americas (Reuters)
Charles Prideaux, who headed up BlackRock’s active stock-picking unit, is joining Schroders (Financial News)
Sergio Ermotti: “I don’t think Europe in its existing form has any chance to succeed. If you want to succeed, to compete against China and the U.S., you need to have – which is a taboo right now – a more federal model: one defense, one foreign policy, one minister of finance.” (Bloomberg)
Forget back-stabbing, it pays to be nice to your colleagues (HBR)
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