UBS Chief Strategist Hirakawa, Three Tokyo Analysts Depart

UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank, said Tokyo-based chief equity strategist Shoji Hirakawa has left the firm along with three analysts covering electronics, media and insurance companies.

Mariko Eguchi, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman for the bank, confirmed the departures. She declined to comment on the timing of the moves or whether they were voluntary.

UBS, which took a $2.3 billion loss from unauthorized trading last year, is among banks worldwide that are paring operations to cope with Europe’s debt crisis and stricter banking regulations. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti said in November that he plans to cut 2,000 jobs in investment banking by 2016 to help reduce risk and boost profit.

Fumihide Goto, an analyst covering makers of electronic parts, Shinsuke Iwasa, who covered media stocks, and Aya Fujiki, an insurance company analyst, have also left the company, Eguchi said. Attempts to contact the former UBS employees at their work phone numbers were unsuccessful.

Hirakawa, who started at Zurich-based UBS in 2002 according to data compiled by Bloomberg, was ranked Japan’s fifth-best equity strategist last month by Nikkei Veritas magazine. Goto was the No. 2 analyst for the electronic-parts sector.

The bank’s Tokyo-based team of equity analysts was ranked second in Japan behind Nomura Holdings Inc. by the magazine.

To contact the reporter on this story: Toshiro Hasegawa in Tokyo at thasegawa6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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