Andrea Orcel will not be hiring entire teams of expensive bankers from rivals, but he will be doing some hiring nevertheless. This is apparently the message that has been broadcast by Orcel at UBS town halls in recent weeks. Orcel has also said that UBS wants to be a leading investment bank in Europe and Asia Pac, that there are no plans to exit the Americas – although UBS will be ‘selective’ about what it does on the continent, and that it would like to be a top three player in emerging markets.
In order to achieve this vision, Bloomberg says Orcel hasn’t ruled out ‘hiring individual bankers’ in order to increase UBS’s market share.
Who will these bankers be? As we reported a few months ago, Orcel is said to have interviewed heavily in his first few months at UBS, but doesn’t have a great deal to show for it – yet. Jasper Tans, an ex-Goldman partner, joined UBS in September, but headhunters say this wasn’t necessarily Orcel’s doing and that the move had been arranged before he arrived. Six Merrill Lynch bankers came to UBS along with Orcel back in April, but there haven’t been any big hiring announcements since. The FSA register suggests the only really big hire at UBS recently has been Manos Venardos, a senior equity derivatives quant from Nomura.
Orcel’s inactivity may have something to do with the time of year. It may also be linked to the situation at UBS. No one wants to move this close to hypothetical bonus time. And UBS has just announced 10,000 redundancies, and so is unlikely to be in the mood to hire. One capital markets headhunter says Orcel is still interviewing, but the pace at which he’s doing it seems to have slowed: “Orcel is definitely still trying to sell the new UBS. I’ve met two or three guys from Morgan Stanley and a guy from Goldman who’ve had calls from him, but there’s been a lot less noise about it recently. Unless Orcel comes up with some big cheques, he’s going to struggle.”
So who would Orcel like to recruit? UBS declined to comment. Headhunters say he’s particularly keen on Italians and anyone he’s already worked with at Merrill Lynch (many of those who joined with him in April seem to fit these criteria). Frederico Aliboni, global co-head of consumer and retail banking at BAML, is thought to be a poaching potential. So is Amir Hoveyda, former head of EMEA DCM at BAML. Unfortunately however, Orcel may need to get rid of a few more UBS bankers before he can afford them.