UBS boss seeking middle ground

UBS building

'I would very much like to create is a real investment bank'.

As head of the investment bank at UBS, Andrea Orcel is trying to revive a lost business model: connecting buyers and sellers of stocks and bonds and advising corporate clients — without borrowing money to boost returns. 'What I would very much like to create is a real investment bank', says Orcel, “the kind that there aren’t anymore'.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Orcel, a 51-year-old Italian who joined the bank in 2012, is making a virtue of necessity.

UBS lost $59.5bn during the financial crisis and had to be rescued by the state, which then imposed some of the toughest banking rules in the world. The losses, legal problems, and new regulations left Orcel and chief executive officer Sergio Ermotti little choice but to rein in the investment bank, which is responsible for mergers and acquisitions, underwriting of stock and bond offerings, and trading bonds, stocks, and currencies. In 2013, it contributed about 30% of the bank’s revenue; wealth management accounted for most of the rest.

Sitting in a conference room at the investment bank’s offices in Opfikon, outside Zurich, Orcel says he disagrees with those who say there’s no middle ground between global giants such as JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs and advisory boutiques like Rothschild. 

To access the complete Businessweek article hit the link below:

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