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Investment banking: Can the emerging markets save UBS?

UBS may want to forget much of this year following the closure of its hedge fund, the departure of senior personnel and a profits warning for the second half of the year. Some investors are even calling for the group to sell its underperforming investment bank. Could the saving grace be its emerging markets business? Sudip Roy asks Huw Jenkins, CEO of the investment bank.


HUW JENKINS IS shaken but not stirred after some of the toughest months in his career. The chief executive of UBS’s investment banking division has ridden through plenty of storms before, both at his bank and in the markets. But rarely can he and his fellow senior directors at the Swiss bank have endured such a torrid few months as they did this summer.

First, in May, the bank announced the closure of its hedge fund, Dillon Read Capital Management (DRCM), which was run by Jenkins’ predecessor, John Costas, after just two years of operation. It was an embarrassing admission of defeat by UBS after the fund raked up reported losses of SFr150 million ($124 million) in the first quarter.

Then, in July, group CEO Peter Wuffli lost his job, apparently after being held responsible for the DRCM debacle. Wuffli’s was the most high profile of a number of senior departures (both voluntary and involuntary) in recent months. These include Hartmuth Jung, vice-chairman of global investment banking; Jeff Raich, co-global head of M&A; Ken Moelis, a veteran dealmaker; Jeff McDermot, co-head of investment banking; and Simon Bunce, global head of fixed income.

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