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UBS Said Planning to Fire 60 in Brazil in Restructuring

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UBS AG, the biggest Swiss bank, will fire as many as 60 employees in Brazil as part of its international restructuring plan, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The dismissals will affect staff in investment banking, operations, back office, broker dealer, fixed income and commodities and be announced in coming weeks, said one person, who requested anonymity because the plans aren’t public. The Zurich-based bank, which has 220 workers in Brazil, aims to add people to its wealth-management division in the South American country, two people said.

Sylvia Coutinho, who heads retail banking and wealth management in Latin America for HSBC Holdings Plc, is the leading candidate to replace local Chief Executive Officer Lywal Salles, who will retire, two people said. Salles was hired in October 2010 under a two-year contract to build a local subsidiary for UBS and agreed to stay until the government authorized the company to open a bank in the country. That happened in January.

Coutinho and Salles declined to comment and a press officer for London-based HSBC said the company doesn’t comment on market rumors. A UBS spokesman said the firm has no knowledge of the job cuts or management changes.

UBS said in October it will cut 10,000 jobs worldwide as part of a plan to focus on wealth management and boost profitability. The firm took over brokerage Link Investimentos in February to tap growing demand for equity trading in Brazil.

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