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UBS changes up wealth leadership, adds new divisions

UBS is changing up its executive leadership and structure, promoting some longtime veterans and creating two new divisions, according to internal memos seen by On Wall Street.

The changes, unveiled Monday and which become effective Jan. 1, come as UBS embarks on a major overhaul of its advisor tech platform with aid from Broadridge Financial. It also caps several years in which the wirehouse has sought to boost advisor productivity and focus more intensely on serving the high-net-worth and ultrahigh-net-worth client segments.

Brian Hull, who had served as head of the firm’s wirehouse brokerage unit, will become vice chairman Americas. In his new role, Hull, who has been with UBS since 2009, will be responsible for collaboration between UBS’s different businesses across the Americas.

UBS will promote Jason Chandler to fill Hull’s position overseeing the firm’s roughly 6,900 advisors. Chandler, who has been serving as co-head of the firm’s investment platforms and solutions, is a UBS veteran, having spent his 25-year career the company in 1994.

The license obtained by UBS allows the firm to manage assets for institutional and high-net-worth investors in the world’s second-largest economy for the first time.
A visitor enters the UBS Group AG's headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, on Thursday, July 23, 2015. UBS Group AG and Morgan Stanley increased the assets they manage for the world's wealthiest people to more than $2 trillion for the first time, according to a study. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

In a memo to employees, Chandler said the wirehouse would have a new field structure, going from four divisions to six. The changes would better align resources and create a more balanced footprint, Chandler said.

“With the ambitious growth targets we've set for our business, we need to ensure we have the optimal management structure and leadership talent in place to deliver for our clients, employees and shareholders,” he wrote.

Bill Carroll will serve as divisional director of the firm’s New York Metro division, while also continuing in his role overseeing the Wealth Advice Center, which is based in Weehawken, New Jersey.

Other divisional directors include Heather Crist in the Midwest, Paul Hatch in New England, Jennifer Povlitz in the West, Brad Smithy in the Southeast and Craig Vandegrift in the Central Rockies division.

Povlitz had recently overseen the firm’s private wealth management branch in San Francisco, a position vacated by the departure in September of Steve McCashin who left to join J.P. Morgan Securities. UBS’s San Francisco branch will now be overseen by Lane Strumlauf, according to Chandler’s memo.

Christian Wiesendanger, who had served as co-head of UBS’s investment platforms and solutions unit alongside Chandler, will now oversee the unit by himself.

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