And although there have been reports that UBS is to axe 250 private banking jobs, and is mulling over the possibility of cuts in asset management, the firm appears to be looking at jobs cuts in these areas as a last resort, preferring instead to rein in costs where it can.
Reuters quotes UBS wealth management head Juerg Zeltner, who told the Finanz und Wirtschaft newspaper: 'I am pessimistic concerning market developments, so an extremely disciplined approach to costs is necessary'.
Although UBS hasn't ruled out additional job cuts (and it has started, like many other firms, to cut around the edges), Zeltner says that he is looking at cutting back on third-party services like headhunters and consultants. He also says that he doesn't want to take headcount much higher, although will be looking to take on more client advisers in Asia and some emerging markets. 'Saving must not come at the cost of investment', he said.
In the meantime, Phil Angelides, the guy who chaired the US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, has an OpEd piece in the Financial Times in which he characterizes the recent pay deal awarded to Citi CEO Vikram Pandit as reaffirming 'the old axiom that the more things change, the more they stay the same'.
Angelides says that Pandit's recently granted incentive pay award has relatively low earnings targets attached to it, and a 'hollow clawback provision'.
And Bloomberg reports that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is sending a group of 'traders and algorithm developers' across Asia, Europe and the US to meet with up to 60 investors to make them aware of the plans the firm has, and the services they have on offer.
The news agency quotes Akihiro Kiyomi, deputy head of the Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities equities group, who said: 'Overseas clients have no idea about Mitsubishi’s trading ability. For starters, we’ll send up a smoke signal by visiting them and promoting Mitsubishi as a trading partner'.
Finally, although the market was talking up the possibility of either JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon or BlackRock boss Larry Fink as possible candidates to succeed Tim Geithner in the event that he stood down as US Treasury Secretary, one other Wall Street legend has emerged from the pack as a contender - MF Global CEO Jon Corzine, who is busy helping raise funds for President Obama's re-relection campaign, and who Obama is apparently now referring to as 'our Wall Street guy'.