FINSwire May 25 2011

UBS Beefs up Fixed Income With High-Profile Hires

By katharina bart

UBS AG said Wednesday it is adding several high-profile bankers and traders to its fixed-income arm, countering speculation the unit has been hobbled by a raft of departures recently.

The Zurich-based bank enticed Eric Rosen from JPMorgan Chase & Co. Inc., where he was head of North American credit trading. At UBS, Rosen becomes head of credit flow trading in Stamford.

"Levels of attrition have not changed at the investment bank, in fact voluntary attrition is lower than 2006 and 2007," before the financial crisis, a spokeswoman for UBS said.

The comments are a rebuttal of recent press speculation that UBS is suffering an exodus at its fixed-income arm. The chorus ultimately grew so loud UBS's chief executive Oswald Gruebel responded to it in a memo to staff last Friday, pledging the bank will continue to invest "where there is opportunity."

UBS is also hiring Ken Cohen, previously at Lehman Brothers and most recently at G2 Investment Group, where he co-founded the investment firm's real-estate arm. Cohen will run UBS's real estate finance and commercial mortgage-backed securities business in the U.S.

David Carlson is set to join UBS next month as head of structured credit trading in the U.S. Carlson was most recently head of U.S. structured credit sales at Morgan Stanley.

Other notable hires include Li Woon Lim in Asia, who will join UBS in August as co-head of Asia fixed-income emerging markets trading, and Maher Mansour, Mohammed Lawal and Amit Kaushal. The three will be responsible for UBS's structured products business in the Middle East and North Africa.

The hires highlight that UBS is still hiring to repair its fixed-income arm, which was responsible for the bulk of its more than $50 billion in mortgage-related write-downs the bank took during the financial crisis. Analysts have long turned skeptical on the fixed-income unit hitting financial targets.

In the first quarter, traditionally the strongest one for debt products, UBS posted nearly one-quarter of what it would need yearly in fixed-income revenue to hit the target.

Katharina Bart is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, where this story originally appeared. Write to her here.

Related: Outcome of the UBS Exodus? Fat Signing Bonuses

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