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Report: UBS to cut hundreds of jobs in wealth management biz

UBS GroupAG will cut hundreds of jobs as part of plans to save severalhundred million Swiss francs a year by combining the back- and middle-officefunctions of its wealth management business, the Financial Times reported April 28, citing three people familiarwith the matter.

The plan — which will likely be announced on May 3, alongwith UBS' first-quarter results — is not linked to the division's recent weak performancebut an attempt to take advantage of a strategic opportunity, the sources said.

The restructuring of the wealth management business willreportedly involve the implementation of common IT systems and shared supportfunctions across global offices in over 50 countries. In the longrun, some back- and middle-office functions may also be shared between UBS'smain wealth management division and Wealth Management Americas, the FT said. It added that the two unitscould also use their combined strength to negotiate with third parties,although there are no plans for them to merge their operations.

With UBS' top executives increasingly focusing on savingcosts, other divisions are also looking to reduce staff, with the investmentbank letting a higher-than-usual number of employees go in its yearly cull, theFT said.