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UBS cuts dozens of staff in wealth management revamp

UBS Group is laying off dozens of staff at its wealth management division as it reshuffles some executives, according to people briefed on the matter.

Stephen Freedman, who was appointed last year as head of sustainable investing solutions at the U.S. wealth management division, was among the cuts, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters.

UBS NYC Headquarters Bloomberg News photo
A woman exits the UBS building in New York on June 9, 2003. UBS AG, Europe's largest bank by assets, is dropping the PaineWebber and Warburg brands from its brokerage and investment bank today, scrapping two of the best-known names on Wall Street and in the City of London. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News.

Michael McVicker, who was named Thursday to lead the advisory business within the investment platforms and solutions unit, will continue to lead the sustainable investing efforts, according to a memo the bank sent to staff.

Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti said this week that UBS has begun to cut costs in wealth management following the merger of the U.S. and international divisions into one super-unit that manages about $2.4 trillion. Martin Blessing and Tom Naratil were tapped earlier this year to run the global division.

The bank announced higher second-quarter profit at global wealth management this week, which helped compensate for the surprise withdrawal of assets by clients. It’s the first time since the end of 2016 that the bank has lost assets on a net basis.