UBS: Die neue Struktur von Products & Services

In einem internen Memo wünscht der oberste Produktentwickler Markus Ronner eine «back to basics»-Strategie und eine kundenfreundlichere Kommunikation.

Wie der Global Head Products & Markets von UBS weiter schreibt, spüre man auf der anderen Seite im Markt eine verstärkte Suche nach Einfachkeit. Auch äussert Markus Ronner den Wunsch nach einer kundennäheren Kommunikation.

Im Hintergrund steht, dass die bisherige Abteilung Products & Marketing unter hohem Legitimationsdruck steht: Branchenweit steht der Produkte-Bereich unter Druck, und UBS-intern wurde kritisiert, dass P&M zu gross und zu unklar strukturiert sei. 

«Kostenstruktur substanziell senken»

Das Memo skizziert nicht nur eine neue Struktur, sondern deutet auch an, dass ein Stellenabbau erfolgen könnte: «Wir sind uns voll bewusst, dass die Erträge signifikant erodieren und dass wir, um die Profitabilität zu bewahren, die Kostenstruktur substanziell senken müssen», schreibt Ronner. «Unser Sparpotential liegt in einem Abbau der Komplexität und Kapazität ebenso wie in der Steigerung der Effizienz.» 

Bei dieser Gelegenheit fixiert und kommuniziert Ronner auch die Organisation seiner Einheit, die per 1. April obendrein in «Products & Services» umbenannt wird. Patrick Grossholz und Alexander Kobler leiten darin das Key Account Management and Investment Advisory. Das Investment Management wird Michael Strobak unterstellt.

Felix Ronner führt in der ab 1. April gültigen Organisation das Investment Product Structuring & Sourcing, während Bernhard Buchs für die Entwicklung im Bereich Banking Products & Wealth Services zuständig sein wird. Das Wealth Management Research wird Andreas Höfert unterstellt, und Hans-Joachim Steinbock soll das Chief Operating Office leiten.

Ferner wird im Management-Kommittee von Products & Services Jan-Marc Fergg als Leiter von P&S Grossbritannien auch Deutschland und Italien vertreten; Lukas Heusler, der Head von P&S Luxemburg, ist verantwortlich für den Rest von Europa sowie die Bahamas; und Michael Benz vertritt P&S Asien/Pazifik.

Das ganze Memo von Markus Ronner:

Dear all,

Since the announcement of the new WM&SB organisation on 10 February 2009, I have met with many partners from the Markets, as well as with colleagues from Products & Marketing (P&M) in Switzerland and in the international locations. These meetings have not only been helpful in giving me a better understanding of our BA activities, but have also confirmed that we have strong leadership and a vast talent pool in P&M. Indeed I have been truly impressed with the positive spirit, professionalism and dedication that have been demonstrated across the functions and locations.

At the same time however, I have observed a number of key issues that we need to address in order to increase our contribution to the success of WM&SB. In particular:

• We need to clearly define the interface to the markets to ensure sufficient coordination and leadership as to how P&M can best support the Markets and Client Advisors respectively.

• We must focus on simplicity. We tend to over-engineer processes and products, thereby losing focus on the real content. The markets do not want to learn about our new processes or templates; they expect investment recommendations and timely product offerings that are both easy to understand and high quality.

• We need to communicate in a more Market- / Client-friendly way, delivering our information more cohesively and discontinuing the production of an excessive number of slides in our various presentations. A lot of the good substance gets lost in transmission as the receiving parties - either within P&M or in the Markets - are simply not able to absorb all of it.

• Last but not least, we must always remind ourselves where we stand in the value chain. We must not lose sight of our clients and their needs, supporting Client Advisors in effectively servicing their clients, thereby achieving added value and producing a commercially sound result for the Bank.

In recent weeks, we have performed a thorough assessment of our organisation and priorities. In determining how we best organize ourselves to cope with current and future challenges, expectations from the markets and the new WM&SB organisation were taken into account. Furthermore, discussions with external partners helped to gather industry insights with regard to business models in other global institutions. In summary, the following observations were key in determining our future set-up:

• Client expectations with respect to advisory services have increased significantly. There is a client perception throughout the industry that Private Banks / Wealth Managers have pushed individual products rather than offering solutions tailored to client needs. In closely partnering with the Markets, we have a great opportunity to achieve credible progress in our advisory approach.

• The product proliferation experienced in recent years has resulted in an excessive number of offerings. The active management of segment-specific product shelves - including UBS and third-party products - will be key to supporting Client Advisors in effectively serving their clients.

• There is an increasing demand for greater product simplicity. It will be important to find the right balance between «back to basics», including clear and simple communication of product characteristics, and efficient investment solutions.

• Lastly, the combination of leveraging global expertise and local proximity will be a key success factor. Our clients expect to benefit from a global organisation with the added value of locally flavoured products and services.

In determining the new organisation, we aimed to reflect evolving market and client needs, while delivering operational excellence and efficiency across all products and services. Effective 1 April 2009, the Business Area will be re-named to Products & Services again and will encompass the following global functions:

• P&S Key Account Management and Investment Advisory, co-headed by Patrick Grossholz and Alexander Kobler, will be the primary interface to the Markets, ensuring a client-friendly delivery of our comprehensive range of UBS and third-party products and services. Alex, who will be the Key Account Manager (KAM) for the Swiss Bank and Patrick, who will be the KAM for Wealth Management International and Corporate & Institutional Banking, will play an instrumental role in transforming P&S into a demand-driven organisation, which will focus on simplifying our offerings and communication.

• Investment Management, headed by Michael Strobaek, will focus on investment management of mandates and will be accountable for the delivery of competitive investment performance in our mandates and mutual funds that are managed by P&S. Investment Management will also include our offerings in Non-Traditional Asset Classes (i.e. Hedge Funds, Private Equity, Commodities and Real Estate).

• Investment Product Structuring and Sourcing, headed by Felix Ronner, will be responsible for the active management of products sourced from UBS IB, Global AM and third-party providers, including investment funds, structured products and securities brokerage. We are committed to offering best-in-class products and thus, the selection and ongoing monitoring of products is of utmost importance. Neil Stiefel, who has recently joined us from Global AM, will be responsible for the comprehensive selection of UBS and third-party investment funds.

Banking Products and Wealth Services, headed by Bernhard Buchs, will be responsible for product development and management of banking products and wealth services. Bernhard was formerly the Chief Risk Officer of Global WM&BB and brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise in running an efficient and successful unit. Mario Marconi will be the deputy of Bernhard and will continue to focus on our wealth planning related services.

• Wealth Management Research, headed by Andreas Höfert, will provide high quality research for both our investment discretionary and advisory services. Andreas has an excellent track record as economist and research manager and will be a strong addition to our leadership team.

• Chief Operating Office, headed by Hans-Joachim Steinbock, will manage the shared services of P&S, including the suite of applications that are supporting both P&S as well as the Markets. I am very pleased that Hans-Joachim will take on this new leadership role as he has a proven track record of managing a team with high impact and playing an instrumental role in managing the transformation of organisations. He will also be responsible for running the Change Management Program of P&S, ensuring smooth transition into our new business model. Stefanie Oeschger will continue to head the
BA Management Office.

We are determined to provide value-added global functional leadership, further explore synergies in running P&S across locations, and enforce minimum standards with respect to risk management. The global functional leaders are directly responsible for the delivery of their products and services in the Booking Center Switzerland and therefore will have a daily reality check on their functional guidance. We will establish clear rules of engagement between global functions and the locations to help ensure that we achieve the objective of leveraging global expertise and empowering location P&S heads. The local P&S heads have a line reporting to the local CEO and functional reporting to their P&S management.

Effective 1 April 2009, the P&S Management Committee will comprise the heads of the global functions mentioned above and the following P&S location heads:

Jan-Marc Fergg, Head of P&S UK and responsible for P&S Germany and P&S Italy;
Lukas Heusler, Head of P&S Luxembourg and responsible for rest of Europe locations and Bahamas; Lukas has contributed immensely to P&S as COO in recent years and I am very pleased that he is taking on this new role where he can leverage many of his skills and experiences. René Egger will support Lukas in the transition period; and
Michael Benz, Head of P&S APAC locations.

It goes without saying that there is no «one size fits all» approach in supporting the markets and their clients. In particular, client segments such as KeyClients may require tailored solutions and direct access to product experts and / or the IB and Global AM respectively. Close cooperation and coordination with the Markets and within P&S will be instrumental in getting this right. There is absolutely no appetite for procedural obstacles and layers which do not add value. We must be able to come across as one voice, and consistently focus on client needs through effective support of our Client Advisors.

In line with the announcement today, we are currently finalizing our Investment Committee process and setup. The Investment Committee will comprise representatives from Research, Investment Management, Investment Advisory and the Markets. The results of the Investment Committee will focus more on clear and simple messaging to the Markets and end-clients to ensure that our high quality research is better translated into tangible results.

I would like to thank our colleagues in Market Segment management for their contributions in recent years, in particular: Marco Schaller, Head Global FIM, and Blake Shorthouse, Deputy Head Global KeyClients. Blake has decided to pursue another opportunity outside the bank. Going forward, these functions will be embedded in the Markets in order to clearly delineate our responsibilities. Furthermore, we are currently analyzing the future positioning of Global Marketing within Wealth Management & Swiss Bank and plan to communicate the results of the analysis by mid April 2009.

We are all fully aware of the significant deterioration of our revenue line and the need to substantially reduce our cost line to retain profitability. Our savings potential lies in reduced complexity and capacity demand as well as in efficiency gains. The coming months will be challenging as we must not lose sight of serving our clients and effectively managing risk - while at the same time transforming P&S and implementing cost saving measures. Our Management Committee has great respect for these challenges and will make every effort to continuously run our BA in a highly professional and diligent manner. At the same  time, I count on your strong support in these difficult times so that we can build a P&S organisation that is fit and ready for future challenges.

Let me close by sincerely thanking the Management Committee colleagues who are either departing or changing roles in P&S for their contribution over the past years. At the same time, please join me in congratulating our newly appointed colleagues. I look forward to working together with this highly dedicated leadership team and with all P&S staff to significantly contribute to the success of WM&SB.

Kind regards,

Markus Ronner

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