UBS Says Neissa Leaving, Hires Molinaro for Investment Bank

UBS AG (UBSN)’s joint head of global investment banking Jimmy Neissa plans to leave the company at the end of March to focus on family business, Carsten Kengeter, head of the investment bank, said in a memo to employees.

Neissa, who informed the firm of his wish to leave the Zurich-based bank in early 2011, stayed for a year to facilitate the handover to the other two heads of investment banking, Simon Warshaw and Matthew Grounds, Kengeter said in the memo today. Kengeter also told staff last week that Sam Molinaro will join the investment bank as chief operating officer on March 1. A spokesman for UBS confirmed the two memos’ contents.

Warshaw and Grounds were appointed to head the investment-banking department, which includes advising clients on mergers, acquisitions and capital-market transactions, together with Neissa last March, when John Wall retired. The firm’s revenue from investment banking fell 43 percent to 1.37 billion Swiss francs ($1.53 billion) in 2011 from a year earlier.

Neissa, 50, had been co-leading the business since 2009. Prior to that he was the joint global head of mergers and acquisitions and a co-head of Americas mergers and acquisitions.

Molinaro, 54, is a former chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Bear Stearns Cos. After Bear Stearns agreed to sell itself to JPMorgan Chase & Co. in 2008 as a run by clients and lenders threatened the firm with bankruptcy, he was working in advisory roles and as chief executive officer and chairman of Braver Stern Securities LLC.

Molinaro will succeed Tom Daula, who is moving to become the head of global research and analytics.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elena Logutenkova in Zurich at elogutenkova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net;

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