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Private banking: McCann lays out his plans for UBS in America

Business could win from others’ vulnerability; Reputational damage will be tough to repair

Bob McCann, UBS

"I don’t hear a lot of companies talking about clients these days. [That weakness] makes them vulnerable, and we at UBS can exploit that over time"

Bob McCann, UBS

Bob McCann, a legend in US wealth management for his 27-year stint at Merrill Lynch, finally laid out his eagerly awaited strategy to rebuild UBS Wealth Management in the Americas last month.

"I’ve worked hard to be here," he told the bank’s investors. "I’m sure you are aware from the media that I had to sue the largest bank in America to come here. I wanted to be part of the turnaround." McCann was referring to his lawsuit with former employer Bank of America Merrill Lynch regarding discrepancies over the length of his non-compete agreement.

His arrival is certainly a welcome relief for the beleaguered financial advisers at UBS Wealth Management in New York. One describes the US business as having spent the past year like "a ship lost at sea". He says: "There has been no direction. We haven’t been informed of what is happening.

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