So I just read that UBS is trying to revive its once notorious public finance division by bringing some top dogs from JPM and WF. Is this UBS trying to become more competitive all while they've been shrinking their IB division? Doesn't make much sense. Maybe I should look at some earnings calls.

A decade later (paywall):
Interesting to see them start in a mature industry with tight commissions on munis and uncertainty in capitol hill. What do you all think? Strategic or desperate?

Comments (4)


If this is really happening, they're making a huge mistake. The pension obligation crisis is accelerating and federal tax reform may exacerbate the situation. I thought they weren't gonna play in debt anymore?. I know they may think tax exempt is synergistic with AM, but the yields/spreads are too small to matter.

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Public Finance is an area that will always be around. Regardless of the proposals to cut advance refundings and public purpose financings, there's still plenty of money to be made. Yah the PF guys are pulling in $7/bond on AAA credits, but that's still money. I think it's just another avenue for them to make consistent revenue. Bankers can do like 50 GO/Sewer Water Rev deals a year, and when you do volume that shit adds up. That's just my two cents.


The only reason they would get into the PF business is teeing up to sell the PaineWebber arm of UBS (PF falls under Wealth Management at UBS). Margins are too tiny for anything else to make sense imo.


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