Things have been tough over at UBS Investment Bank for the last couple of years, as the unit right-sized following those $50bn in asset writedowns which forced the Swiss government to intervene and provided bailout funds to steady the UBS ship.
During those dark days, many thought that the investment banking unit might even be sold, and that UBS would refocus on its wealth management and private banking interests. But the bank was determined so keep to its integrated model, and the investment bank is now emerging from its malaise.
Now back in profit, the investment bank is also back on the hire, seeking to recruit hundreds of staff from rivals. UBS CFO John Cryan confirmed to Bloomberg TV Tuesday that the unit wants 'to increase our sales and distribution force, both in fixed income and to a lesser extent equities'. He also said that the investment bank will hire selectively in corporate finance.
One banker told Here Is The City: 'It would have been a very brave person who joined UBS Investment Bank over the last 2 years (or one who was being paid shedloads of money). The franchise was badly damaged, and it was by no means certain that executives had the means or inclination to fix it.
'Although the unit is by no means out of the woods yet, it is a different proposition now. The more focused, less risky strategy promulgated by (CEO) Oswald Gruebel means that UBS Investment Bank is all of a sudden a more interesting place to be. The firm should have no problem attracting and retaining the talent it needs as it continues on the road to complete its turnaround'.
Finally, Bloomberg reports that Nomura is to beef up its presence in Australia, increasing headcount there from 30 to 50 in the next 2 years. Australia is a hot spot for recruitment right now, as firms like Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital are also upping headcount in the country.