As UBS scales back its investment bank a lot of people have been shown the door. Since the beginning of 2012, headcount has been reduced by over 5,000 people and its plans to exit fixed income – and fire over 10,000 bankers – have only accelerated these cuts.
UBS investment bankers on the receiving end of redundancy during the past two years would have found themselves thrust into one of the most difficult job markets in recent times, where most large investment banks felt pressure to make redundancies. Inevitably, its London operation has felt its fair share of pain, so how have investment bankers and traders fared?
Since the beginning of 2012, 470 FCA-registered employees at UBS’s investment bank have left, according to statistics from M&A boutique IMAS. Our own analysis suggests that 218 – or 46% - have found new employment to September 2013.
So, where are they ending up? Reassuringly, or depressingly depending on your perspective, the majority (135) have resurfaced at other big investment banks. Credit Suisse and JPMorgan are the biggest employers of former UBS bankers, followed closely by Citigroup then Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and (perhaps surprisingly) Mizuho. Jefferies, which has long been opportunistically hiring people from bulge bracket banks, has also been taking people on.
Some smaller banks have taken the opportunity to hire senior UBS bankers. For example, Santander hired Adrian Garnon, managing director head of UK real money credit sales at UBS, in April, while Fergus Edwards, global head of syndicate at the Swiss bank, joined Mitsubishi UFJ in the May last year. Goldman Sachs has even been hiring UBS bankers, although this has predominantly been at the junior end.
The buy-side escape route
Unfortunately, it seems that – contrary to popular perception – hedge funds have not been eagerly hiring prop traders at UBS. As the chart below shows, the only firm to have recruited with any gusto has been Millennium Capital Partners, which has taken on eight former UBS employees since 2012.
Notable recruits include Preban Ramm, the former director of Scandie rates at UBS who joined Millennium as a portfolio manager in January, and Jaime Brandwood, who joined as an analyst, having previously been a managing director, equity research, head of support and business services sector at the Swiss bank.
Other hedge funds have been much more selective, taking on only one or two people over since January 2012. Senior bankers have departed, such as Derrick Herndon, head of European credit trading at UBS, who joined PVE Capital in July 2012, while Eric Jayaweera, global head of emerging market credit trading at the bank, was hired by Esmo Partners earlier this year, but left in August.
Escapees elsewhere on the buy-side have also been rare, with just eight people joining asset managers from UBS’s investment bank since the beginning of 2012. BlackRock hired two people from the bank over that time including Edward Cook, head of equity syndication at UBS Investment Bank, in September last year. Meanwhile, Sharmini Balachandran, who worked in FX sales at UBS signed up to AIG Asset Management as an assistant portfolio manager earlier this year.
As the table below shows, just 23 people have joined boutique operations, with Liberum Capital and Code Advisors among the more active recruiters. Jaideep Puri, the former global head of emerging market structured solutions trading at UBS is now CEO of the European arm of Northern Securities.