UBS continues hiring spree as senior Deutsche staff depart

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UBS hired 20 staff for its prime brokerage and securities financing business in the first quarter of this year, as it tries to challenge the dominance of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs in hedge fund services.

The latest recruit is John Laub, former chief financial officer at Ziff Brothers, a hedge fund firm, as a managing director and chief administrative officer of the Swiss bank's prime service business.

Before joining Ziff, Laub was chief financial officer of the global securities services business at Goldman Sachs, where he worked with Alex Ehrlich, former head of prime brokerage at Goldman and UBS's global head of equity finance.

Sources close to UBS said the bank would hire a further 60 people in the division this year. Three managing director appointments are expected in the next two months.

Ehrlich has been busy recruiting since joining UBS two years ago. He moved back to the US last year and has since hired several former Goldman colleagues to assist in his bid to break the dominance of Morgan Stanley and their former employer.

In a separate development, at least four senior staff have left Deutsche Bank's global prime services division serving the lucrative hedge fund market in the past two months.

The latest departure is Roy Zimmerhansl, global head of sales and marketing in securities lending, who went last week. Julian Sale, global head of synthetic finance, and Jean-Paul Musicco, Zimmerhansl's former boss and global head of securities lending, left a few weeks ago. Mark Tidy, Zimmerhansl's deputy, left in February.

The exits follow a period of low staff turnover and come after Jim Rowen resigned this year as head of global prime services to become chief financial officer at SAC Capital, a $4bn (€3.1bn) US hedge fund manager. Rowen was replaced by Nick Roe, formerly European head of global prime services.

Roe said: 'We have made changes to allow the group to be in the best position. We are growing faster than we have grown. The merger of markets and equities has allowed us an enormous increase in distribution capacity.'

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