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UBS Reorganizes Investment-Banking Unit

UBS is reshuffling the top ranks of its investment bank as the Swiss firm seeks to become more nimble and improve its performance in the critical U.S. market.

By

Dana Cimilluca

UBS AG is reshuffling the top ranks of its investment bank as the Swiss firm seeks to become more nimble and improve its performance in the critical U.S. market.

As part of the restructuring, UBS named Joe Reece, Javier Oficialdegui and David Chin to manage its corporate-client services business in the Americas, Europe and Asia, respectively, according to an internal memo seen by The Wall Street Journal.

It also named Mike Santini, who joined UBS a year ago from Deutsche Bank AG, and firm veteran Piero Novelli as co-executive chairmen of the global unit, which comprises deal advisory and stock and bond underwriting.

Ros Stephenson and William Vereker, currently co-heads of the business, known as CCS, will each become executive vice chair of the investment bank, according to the memo.

The moves are designed to give the firm flexibility to tailor its approach to each region while maintaining global cohesion.

“Each of our regional CCS businesses, their clients and cultures, are at different stages of development, presenting very different priorities, opportunities and challenges,” Andrea Orcel, head of UBS’s investment bank, wrote in the memo to staff.

After suffering devastating losses during the financial crisis, UBS has returned to health by sharpening its focus on managing money for well-heeled clients around the world and streamlining its investment-banking unit.

UBS last month said its third-quarter net profit rose 14% compared with a year earlier on the back of gains in wealth management and investment banking. CCS revenue has risen four quarters in a row.

But UBS is still a laggard in some areas within investment banking, particularly in the U.S., where for years it has struggled to break into the top tier. UBS isn’t currently in the top 10 in the M&A league table in the U.S., the biggest fee pool, according to Dealogic.

Officials are hoping the moves, coupled with a new push to selectively hire top talent, will inject new energy into the business.

Mr. Reece, a former Credit Suisse equity-underwriting executive, joined UBS this year. Mr. Oficialdegui is a former financial-institutions banker whom Mr. Orcel previously poached from Bank of America Corp. Mr. Chin is a UBS veteran who had left the firm before recently rejoining as head of Asia Pacific for the CCS group.

All seven of the executives will report to Mr. Orcel.

Write to Dana Cimilluca at dana.cimilluca@wsj.com

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