Two UBS bankers tried to create an offshore vehicle through which one of India’s most powerful businessmen could illegally invest in securities at home, according to evidence heard in a London tribunal. The FT says Anil Ambani, whom bank executives described as a “mega-client”, was the ultimate owner behind a Mauritius-based vehicle called Pleuri, the tribunal heard. Pleuri was established with the specific objective of investing in Indian stocks, according to evidence presented by the UK’s financial regulator in a case against the former head of UBS’ London-based India desk. Indian nationals and companies are not permitted to invest in Indian securities through foreign institutional investors. The details emerged in the case of Sachin Karpe, former head of the desk that managed Indian client portfolios at UBS’s wealth management division in London. Mr Karpe is challenging a £1.25m fine from the FSA.
Well, not yours, obviously. But random market professionals in the City of London who in recent days have been contacted by the mighty Goldman Sachs.
From: Lloyd C. Blankfein [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 08 December 2011 19:33
Subject: Goldman Sachs requests your feedback: ADV solicitation materials from Goldman Sachs Read more
Sergio Ermotti flexed his muscles for the first time barely a fortnight after being confirmed as UBS’s chief executive with the abrupt departure of Maureen Miskovic as chief risk officer, the FT reports. Ms Miskovic is being replaced by Philip Lofts, a UBS veteran who had previously held the top risk job between 2008 and 2010 before being appointed chief executive of UBS’s operations in the Americas. The Swiss banking group said Ms Miskovic, a Briton who is leaving after less than a year in the job, was not pushed out because of the $2.3bn unauthorised trading affair at UBS’s London equity derivatives operation. However, as the executive ultimately responsible for risk, her position had been increasingly criticised by Swiss observers questioning her seniority and experience. Ms Miskovic, who had a degree in languages rather than mathematics or economics, was formerly chief risk officer at State Street, the US bank. Before that, she had worked at the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy. One of her longest stints had been at Lehman Brothers, where she was chief global risk officer between 1996 and 2002. Ms Miskovic was not immediately available for comment.
Breaking pre-market news on Thursday,
- UBS removes chief risk officer after less than a year in the job — statement. Read more
Jefferies Group has hired at least seven UBS bankers in Hong Kong in the past two months after luring Ren Wang from the Swiss lender to become its Asia president, says Bloomberg, citing three people with knowledge of the matter. Ronald Tam and Dai Qiang, both of whom were executive directors at UBS, were hired as managing directors for the New York-based firm’s investment banking team, the news agency reported. They are due to begin work in the first half of December.
UBS executives are considering cutting the group’s bonus pool in an effort to recoup some of the $2.3bn it lost in the alleged trading scandal centred on Kweku Adoboli, reports the FT. The Swiss bank last month opted not to eat into bonus accruals when it reported its third-quarter earnings. The approach, which meant that 90 per cent of the investment bank’s SFr1.35bn of third-quarter revenues was set aside for pay and bonuses, was widely criticised. Analysts said that it appeared the bank was seeking to push the cost of the trading scandal on to shareholders rather than its own employees. But Sergio Ermotti, the bank’s chief executive, has now told the Financial Times that there was “no way” bonuses would be unaffected by the shock trading loss, allegedly racked up by a low-level trader in London. The decision could end up cutting the year-end pay and bonus pool within the investment bank – worth SFr4.6bn ($5bn) as at the end of September – by as much as 10 per cent, according to some estimates. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports on recruitment firm Astbury Marsden’s finding that the base pay of senior bankers in London had jumped 21 per cent by the end of September when compared to the previous year. However, the firm expects bonus pay to relatively low, especially as most of the pay increases were awarded at the beginning of the year when banks were feeling more confident than they are now.
UBS has outlined long-awaited plans to shrink its business dramatically and refocus on its core wealth management operations, making deep cuts to its investment bank, reports the FT. The Swiss banking group plans to cut more of its investment bank staff and slash its risk-weighted assets in its investment bank almost by half over the next five years. But in a surprise sop to investors, UBS will pay a token dividend this year – significantly ahead of expectations – and step up payments thereafter as a sign of its confidence in its future.
The investment banking bloodbath continues.
UBS has just announced plans to exit or significantly downside several businesses within its IB division and axe around 2,500 jobs. That’s roughly 10 per cent of the workforce. Read more
UBS is preparing to provide investors with details of a strategic plan that will shrink its investment bank’s balance sheet by half following the anointing of Sergio Ermotti as permanent group chief executive, reports the FT. Mr Ermotti’s confirmation on Tuesday came just two months after he was vaulted into the role on an interim basis following the departure of Oswald Grübel in September in the wake of a $2.3bn unauthorised trading scandal. Carsten Kengeter, the head of UBS’s investment bank, will stay on to oversee a sweeping restructuring of the Swiss group, according to people familiar with the matter, despite being passed over for the top job and still facing pressure to step down over the trading losses.
… shows no signs of letting up.
The latest casualty is Altium Securities. Read more
Breaking pre-market news on Tuesday,
- UBS names Sergio Ermotti as CEO; Axel Weber to become chairman a year early — statement. Read more
UBS agreed with the SEC on Thursday to pay $8m to settle allegations that it pervasively violated short selling record-keeping rules aimed at preventing abusive trading, the FT reports.The settlement followed the bank’s agreement to pay $12m last month to settle related short selling violations with the Finra, a self-regulatory organisation. As part of its cease and desist order with the SEC, UBS agreed to retain an independent consultant and did not admit or deny wrongdoing. According to the SEC, since at least 2007, UBS’s lending desk kept inaccurate “locate” logs. The practice was “pervasive, extending to every security handled by the lending desk”, the SEC said. The case alleging violations of the short selling rule known as “Reg Sho” is likely to be the first of several, says the newspaper.
Later this month embattled UBS will hold its big annual investor day in New York at which interim chief executive, Sergio Ermotti, is expected to spell out his plans for the troublesome investment banking arm.
A slimming down seems inevitable. But if Ermotti is having second thoughts about turning UBS into Julius Baer on steriods, he could do worse than cast an eye over one of the latest report from JP Morgan’s banks analyst Kian Abouhossein. Read more
The trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s fund suffered another setback as a US judge dismissed billions of dollars in claims filed against JPMorgan Chase and UBS, the FT reports. Tuesday’s ruling by Judge Colleen McMahon dismissed all so-called common law claims against the two banks, leaving the trustee room to pursue other claims seeking reduced damages. Irving Picard, the Madoff trustee, had sued JPMorgan for $19bn alleging the bank was Madoff’s primary bank and that it had aided and abetted in the decades-long Ponzi scheme. The trustee sued UBS for $2bn, alleging the bank mislead regulators and “lent an aura of legitimacy” to the Madoff fund by sponsoring and administering several international funds that fed money to Madoff. Following the court ruling, the trustee is left to pursue $400m in claims against JPMorgan and about $1bn against UBS. A spokeswoman for the trustee said he “remains confident” in the merits of the cases and intends to appeal against the decision.
One thing we’ve learnt about Delta One is that it’s head-scratchingly, mind-bogglingly tricky to explain.
And exactly how the division makes money, outside of the fees it charges investors is even harder to work out. Read more
UBS beat profit forecasts with their Q3 results on Tuesday, coming in with a SFr 1.02bn ($1.13bn) of net profit.
In the absence of unauthorised gains to offset them, unauthorised (er) losses from the trading scandal cost the group SFr 1.85bn. All more or less as expected, and in a tough market environment (click to expand):
Breaking pre-market news on Tuesday,
- UBS Q3 net profit solid at CHF980m despite trading scandal – statement. Read more
Breaking pre-market news on Friday,
- Jupiter says assets under management proved resilient in face of significant declines in world equity markets — statement. Read more
The business heads in charge of the UBS unit where the bank’s $2.3bn alleged rogue-trading scandal took place have resigned, less than a fortnight after former group chief executive Oswald Grübel did the same. The FT reports London-based Francois Gouws and New York-based Yassine Bouhara, co-heads of global equities, will be replaced by Mike Stewart, formerly of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Mr Stewart, who starts immediately as sole head of global equities, had been due to join in a month’s time as co-head of the business with Mr Gouws. Mr Bouhara was to take on a new role focusing on emerging markets strategy. Two weeks into an internal investigation into how Kweku Adoboli, the trader at the centre of the scandal, was able to rack up such losses, the bank also said on Wednesday that “appropriate disciplinary action” would be taken against other staff in the equities business and “responsible staff in other functions”. Banking sources told the paper that a further eight staff in the bank’s front office have been suspended.
The business heads in charge of the UBS unit where the bank’s $2.3bn alleged rogue-trading scandal took place have resigned, less than a fortnight after former group chief executive Oswald Grübel did the same, reports the FT. The Swiss bank said London-based Francois Gouws and New York-based Yassine Bouhara, co-heads of global equities, had quit and would be replaced by Mike Stewart, formerly of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Mr Stewart, who starts immediately as sole head of global equities, had been due to join in a month’s time as co-head of the business with Mr Gouws. Mr Bouhara was to take on a new role focusing on emerging markets strategy.
RTRS-UBS SAYS LEADERSHIP CHANGE IN UBS INVESTMENT BANK’S GLOBAL EQUITIES BUSINESS
RTRS-UBS SAYS FRANCOIS GOUWS, YASSINE BOUHARA, CO-HEADS OF GLOBAL EQUITIES, RESIGNED FOLLOWING RECENT UNAUTHORIZED TRADING INCIDENT Read more
As with UBS, there’s more than meets the eye to this Tuesday trading update from Deutsche Bank.
And we’re not talking about the missed €10bn pre-tax profit target (that’s no surprise) or another round of redundancies (again no surprise). Read more
The UBS rogue-trading scandal has shone a light on the way banks have transformed their trading divisions in the last decade.
Simply put, trading is not what it used to be. Read more
UBS expects to report a modest net profit for the Group and positive net new money in its wealth management businesses for the third quarter of 2011
What a relief. In spite of that “unauthorised” trading loss UBS is still going to make a profit. However, dig a little deeper into Tuesday’s update and it becomes apparent that all is not what it seems. Read more
Breaking pre-market news on Tuesday,
- Dexia starts work on bad bank for its non-strategic asset portfolio — statement. Read more
UBS has hired executive search company Egon Zehnder International to help find a permanent chief executive officer following Oswald Grübel’s resignation, the WSJ says, citing a person familiar with the matter. The newspaper also says former JP Morgan Chase executive Bill Winters had been approached about the role. UBS later confirmed to the FT they had hired a headhunting company but declined to identify which one, and denied that Mr Winters had been approached. Sergio Ermotti, head of UBS’s European business and a former senior banker at UniCredit and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has been widely tipped as the frontrunner after being named interim chief executive last weekend, the FT says, although the bank has emphasised that it will consider internal and external candidates.
Breaking pre-market news on Tuesday,
- Eurozone officials working on sovereign debt TARP for Europe — report. Read more
Government of Singapore Investment Corporation faces a Sfr6.7bn ($7.4bn) loss as the biggest investor of UBS, Bloomberg calculates. The sovereign wealth fund also has about $500m of unrealised losses on its Citigroup stake, the news agency says. UBS shares fell to two-and-a-half year lows after UBS bank this month announced a $2.3bn unauthorised trading loss that may lead to a third-quarter net loss. The revelation led to the resignation of its chief executive officer, Oswald Grubel, on the weekend. Meanwhile analysts are pushing for the bank’s new interim chief executive, Sergio Ermotti, to wield a bigger axe in a sweeping restructure, the FT says.
UBS chief executive Oswald Grübel resigned after the board refused to back his plans to overhaul the bank’s strategy and corporate governance, the FT says, citing two people involved in the process. Mr Grübel announced his resignation on Saturday, 10 days after discovering that a trading scandal had cost the Swiss bank as much as $2.3bn, stressing it was a personal decision and that he was personally accountable for the loss. “I am convinced that it is in the best interests of UBS to approach the future with a new leader at the top,” he wrote in a note to staff. The full letter is on FT Alphaville. Mr Grübel had secured unanimous support from his board to remain as chief executive at a meeting on Friday.
I have handed in my resignation as CEO to the Board of Directors today. That it was possible for one of our traders in London to inflict a multi-billion loss on our bank through unauthorized trading shocked me, as it did everyone else, deeply. This incident has worldwide repercussions, including political ones. I did not take the step of resigning lightly. I am convinced that it is in the best interests of UBS to approach the future with a new leader at the top. Read more