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UBS Plans to Close Mergers Investment-Banking Unit in Toronto

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, shut its mergers investment-banking team in Toronto.

Karina Byrne, spokeswoman for the bank in New York, said mergers coverage for Canada would be done from New York.

“These changes are part of the investment bank strategy we announced last fall, and will enable us to better focus on areas where we can be successful,” Byrne said in an emailed statement today.

The move comes a month after UBS cut 20 jobs at its Canadian investment-banking unit as part of cost cuts by the Zurich-based bank.

UBS said on Jan. 31 said it fired Rick Meslin, head of Canadian equities, and Chief Economist and Strategist George Vasic as part of the moves that eliminated 10 jobs in equity research and the rest in cash sales and trading.

UBS said in October it will eliminate 10,000 jobs over three years and dismantle portions of the investment bank to increase profitability. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti is overhauling the bank as Swiss regulators pressure UBS to boost capital and scale back trading and investment-banking operations.

To contact the reporters on this story: Doug Alexander in Toronto at dalexander3@bloomberg.net; Sean B. Pasternak in Toronto at spasternak@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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