This could be a huge boost for bonuses and hiring at UBS

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On one hand, this is a bad morning for UBS bankers. Reuters and the Swiss press are reporting that Swiss regulators have cut this year's UBS bonus pool by 25%. The bank will reportedly now pay bonuses of CHF3bn (1.8bn) for 2009, up 25% on 2008, but CHF1bn lower than it had reportedly intended.

On the other hand, however, UBS is in there with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley on the monolithic Kraft Cadbury deal. According to Reuters, the deal could generate fees of up to $49m for Cadbury's advisors. A spokesman for UBS tells us the Swiss bank's role is on a par with that of its US counterparts.

Sadly, Nick Reid, the UBS banker leading the Cadbury negotiations at UBS, is unlikely to see much in the way of cash compensation for his efforts in the coming bonus round. But he and his team should at least be able to count on generous deferrals for the future.

The Cadbury deal is also a shot in the arm for UBS's London M&A business, which lost two veteran consumer and retail bankers to Greenhill last year. In the US, UBS has also been haemorrhaging healthcare bankers to Jefferies.

One London M&A-focused headhunter says UBS preparing itself to hire at, "various levels," in M&A this year, but that nothing's been signed off as yet. The Cadbury deal may encourage it to get its pen out.

Last week, there were reports that Bill Winters might be about to join UBS as chief executive.

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