It seems like UBS is an ongoing joke on this forum for being known as "the worst" of the bulge bracket investment banks but I have always wondered why? I talked to a lawyer at a major M&A law firm and he even he knew how bad their rep is amongst bankers. We talked about different banks and he said "U Be Stupid" had become the unofficial nickname for ubs at his law firm.
Why Does UBS Suck?
UBS doesn't suck. It is a smaller bank that was negatively impacted by the financial crisis. Additionally, the bank is focusing on PWM which effects the prestige level of the bank for people in the industry.
Nothing's wrong with the bank...it's just that the people in this industry are prestigious whores. But relatively speaking, UBS is indeed the smallest of all bulge brackets, which impacts league table ranking and subsequently its reputation amongst people who only care about rankings and whatnot. Nevertheless, UBS is still a bulge bracket that advises on marquee deals in various industries. It also doesn't help some of the well-known bankers have since left the bank. Also the bank's strategy currently revolves around PWM, which is not the sexiest and that also impacts prestige (just like how Merrill Lynch people hate being associated with Bank of America). It's the same psychology with every situation you may be aware of that involves prestige. UBS just happens to be a media scapegoat in a lot of ways. For example, Morgan Stanley is also another bank pushing PWM (does anyone talk about it?).
UBS probably got the worst of the financial crisis as compared to other banks (other than Lehman and Bear, obviously). Through 2013 there was still a major drag on the business from the crisis (layoffs, senior people defecting, closing business lines, etc.). They went through the pain earlier than some other firms are currently going through (Credit Suisse, DB). Today, as someone else said, the main focus is PWM (less capital need) with non-risk IB functions (M&A) also being core to their strategy.
What is UBS?
UBS is a global bank that has wealth management, asset management, and investment banking arms.
You can read more about UBS on the WSO Company Database.
Read More About UBS on WSO
- The Demise And Now Rise Of UBS?
- UBS SONRU First Round Video Interview
- 2018 UBS Summer Analyst Superday
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