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UBS said to impose partial hiring freeze in wealth management

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(Bloomberg) -- UBS imposed a partial hiring freeze in part of its wealth-management business as part of efforts to cut costs, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The restrictions apply only to support functions outside the U.S., and does not impact advisers at the bank’s largest unit, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A spokesman for Zurich-based UBS declined to comment.

CEO Sergio Ermotti, 56, has been seeking ways to cut costs after first-quarter profit dropped 64%, hurt by a slump at the wealth-management and securities units. The lender has since eliminated jobs at the investment bank and announced plans to consolidate back office functions in wealth management. Ermotti recently told On Wall Street exclusively that the firm was to recruit less, spend more on advisers already at the firm and give additional power to branch managers.

Read more: UBS raises adviser pay as part of sweeping changes

The wealth-management business, led by Juerg Zeltner, employed 10,332 people as of March 31, 4,026 of which were client advisers. Personnel costs made up almost half of the division’s 5.5 billion Swiss francs ($5.6 billion) of expenses in 2015.

UBS is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings on July 29.

Bloomberg News