UBS Americas (UBS) trimmed a layer of management under CEO Robert McCann (left) and increased the duties of some of wealth-management leaders, according to a memo released by McCann on Friday. Experts say the restructuring should prove positive for UBS’ advisor force, which stands at about 7,000 reps in the Americas.
“The removal of the duplicative layer of regional sales management is the most powerful step, bringing senior executives closer to the line, cutting costs and streamlining decision making,” said Chip Roame, managing partner of the consulting firm Tiburon Strategic Advisors, in an interview with AdvisorOne. “The wirehouses all had gotten very thick in their organizations. This is the right move; I am impressed.”
The new leadership means that there will be fewer direct reports to McCann. He will still chair the executive committee of Wealth Management Americas, and its members are generally taking on more responsibility, which should allow McCann to focus on his tasks as head of UBS Americas.
McCann was made head of UBS’ operations in the Americas on December 1, 2011, after serving as head of UBS’ Wealth Management America (WMA) unit since October 2009. Robert Mulholland, McCann’s top lieutenant at UBS who runs the advisor force’s field operations, is now in charge of investment products and platforms.
The new structure, Roame (right) says, means that McCann elevates himself and gives Mulholland more responsibility for the core business, both sales and products. “Mulholland, who came with McCann from Merrill Lynch, moves from being narrowly the sales head to more of a business head,” the consultant explained.
Jason Chandler, for instance, moves from running the ultra-high-net-worth business to running sales in the mainstream business, according to Roame. “This is a clear step one likely must take in the line of promotion,” he said.