Goldman Sachs and UBS have actively poached senior dealmakers from rivals this year — but their fortunes have been notably different

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  • Goldman Sachs and UBS have been the most active banks in hiring
    senior dealmakers from rivals in 2018, according to a Business
    Insider analysis. But their stories diverge from there. 
  • Goldman has made inroads on its goal of boosting investment
    banking revenues by $500 million by 2020; UBS’ investment bank has
    seen key senior departures and revenue is down 4% in advisory and
    capital markets. 

While Goldman and UBS have been the two most aggressive firms

in poaching senior dealmakers away from rivals
this year, their
fortunes have been notably different.

In the
most active year for investment-bank recruiting
in the US since
the financial crisis, Goldman and UBS each have lured at least 13
managing directors or other senior investment bankers as of early
November, according to
reports and interviews with industry’s top headhunting

But their paths diverge from there. 

Goldman, which is on a mission to generate $500
million in additional investment-banking revenues
 by 2020, is
the only bulge-bracket bank to hire more senior bankers than it
lost according to our headhunter reports, stealing marquee talent
and bringing them in at the partner level — something the bank
used to do rarely.

Among their notable hires are Chris Gallea and Kurt Simon from
JPMorgan, David Hammond from Credit Suisse, and Adam Nordin from

Under new CEO David Solomon
, the bank is dropping serious cash
in its effort to snatch market share from rivals JPMorgan and
Morgan Stanley in the industry league tables. Through the third
quarter of 2018, Goldman’s investment-banking revenues are up 11%
to $5.8 billion, and the firm is ranked second in the global and US
league tables, according to Dealogic. 

UBS, meanwhile, has seen many big name bankers leave as it’s

The bank has lost at
least 21 senior bankers in the US, according to headhunters

second only to Deutsche Bank. That figure doesn’t include Andrea
Orcel, the hard-charging London-based global investment banking
chief, who
left for Santander in September

The losses — which include US investment banking head Joe
Reece, who lasted just one year at the firm, US M&A co-head
Larry Grafstein who left for RBC Capital Markets, and at least four
managing directors who left for Rothschild — have been more
notable than the additions, according to top investment-banking

None of the hires were among
the 40 most significant investment banking moves of 2018
, based
on analysis and recommendations from senior headhunters, who asked
not to be named speaking about individual companies.

Of the bankers who left UBS, 17 of those resigned to join
another firm, according to a person familiar with the matter. UBS
has also hired three additional senior bankers since November, the
person said. 

[Read more: 2018
has been one of the wildest years in M&A since the financial
crisis — here are the 40 biggest investment-banker moves

Through the third quarter, global investment-banking revenues
(which includes advising on deals as well as equity and debt
capital markets) are down 4% to $1.9 billion at UBS, according to
Bloomberg data. UBS is absent from the top-10 on the US investment
banking league tables and comes in 9th in overall investment
banking revenue globally, according to Dealogic. 

Representatives for Goldman and UBS declined to comment.

To be sure, the Swiss lender has a highly profitable global
wealth management business, which has increasingly become the focus
at UBS since the financial crisis as other units like fixed income
trading have scaled back. Bank executives have said that UBS’
investment bank is focused on profitability, not on scale and
giving out loans to lure clients. 

And while Goldman is trending in the right direction, it remains
to be seen whether their expensive bets on talent will be enough to
topple No. 1 ranked JPMorgan in the league tables. 

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Goldman Sachs and UBS have actively poached senior dealmakers from rivals this year — but their fortunes have been notably different