UBS AG’s planned 3,500 job cuts will not directly affect client-facing financial advisors in its Wealth Management Americas unit, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday morning.

News of UBS’ planned cuts emerged in a memo sent to UBS staff from Group Chief Executive Oswald Gruebel on Tuesday. The plan calls for a total of 3,500 job cuts internationally, which is part of a broader strategy aimed at reducing an estimated CHF2 billion in costs by the end of 2013.

Ten percent of the planned cuts will affect Wealth Management Americas, for a total of 350 positions. Those cuts, however, will fall more in the corporate center unit, the UBS spokesperson said, which could include positions with shared services in areas including corporate communications, legal, real estate or information technology.

UBS Wealth Management Americas Chief Executive Robert McCann sent a follow-up memo to the firm’s U.S. financial advisor force on Tuesday morning, which was obtained by On Wall Street. In that memo, McCann moved to reassure the firm’s U.S.-based financial advisors.

“These reductions will occur mainly in the investment bank and Swiss bank, and they will have no direct effect on you, our advisors,” McCann said, indicating that the Wealth Management Americas unit has already made moves in the past 18 months to adjust to market conditions. “Additionally, in key markets across the U.S., we continue to hire quality advisors that you would be proud to call your colleagues.”

As of the end of the second quarter, UBS Wealth Management Americas had a total advisor force of 6,862, a 51-person increase from the first quarter. 



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