HONG KONG: UBS Group AG is cutting about 40 jobs in the Asia-Pacific region as part of a global push to trim costs and combine its trading units, according to a source.
The staff reductions are roughly split between UBS’ markets and investment-banking teams, with a majority at the level of vice-president or below, the source said. The Asian divisions – led by Hong Kong-based Taichi Takahashi and David Chin – will see smaller cuts than those planned in Europe because UBS sees the region as a driver for growth, the source said.
UBS has embarked on a sweeping overhaul of its investment bank, reshuffling senior management and combining trading operations in changes that may ultimately eliminate hundreds of positions, sources said. Citigroup Inc, Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc also are cutting staff to rein in costs as the industry deals with difficult trading conditions, sputtering economies and the impact of trade tensions on cross-border deals.
UBS is set to announce its third-quarter results today. While the company’s investment-banking fees fell in both Europe and the United States in 2018, they grew 28% in Asia, according to Freeman & Co.
The fees totalled US$388mil this year through the third quarter in Asia, ranking the region ahead of Europe and behind the United States, the consulting firm said.
As part of its global restructuring, Ros L’Esperance and Javier Oficialdegui are being put in charge of the newly named global banking division, which will include public capital markets, private financing and mergers and acquisitions. A combined global markets operation, including equities and foreign exchange, rates and credit, will be run by Jason Barron and George Athanasopoulos.
Greg Peirce is taking over as global head of mergers and acquisitions, the first time that role will be based in Hong Kong, the source said. The Asian staff reductions have already begun, with a fresh round expected later this month, they said. — Bloomberg