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UBS Veteran Surfaces at Wealth Start-Up

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The heavyweight who revived the Swiss bank’s American brokerage following the financial crisis is joining former UBS colleagues at an ultra-wealthy boutique.

Newedge is naming Robert «Bob» McCann co-chairman, effective immediately, the financial services boutique said in a statement. The firm recently joined up with four ex-UBS private bankers who oversaw $4.5 billion, «Advisor Hub» reported last month.

McCann is both a veteran of the U.S. wealth management industry as well as a key person in UBS’ post-crisis revival: the Swiss bank was on the brink of selling its American brokerage arm – and then tasked McCann with fixing it.

Reversal Of Fortune

McCann’s biggest achievement for the U.S. unit, born from the $12 billion acquisition of Chicago’s Paine Webber in 2000, is sharpening profitability by winnowing its broker force compared to industry giants like Morgan Stanley, focusing on larger clients, slashing costs, and adding more lucrative services like Lombard loans.

UBS merged the U.S. unit, which it had toyed with selling, into its wider private bank four years ago; the combined unit is now run by Tom Naratil and Iqbal Khan. McCann, who began his career as a trader at Merrill Lynch, left UBS after 11 years last summer.

«Star» Power

At Newedge, McCann will co-preside with Charles Warden, who founded Mid Atlantic Capital Group. Some of Mid Atlantic was recently rebranded as Newedge, which consolidated wealth management activities it had either launched or acquired since 2018.

The hire of McCann helps Newedge’s ability to hire new advisors, Warden noted. The company said its more than 300 financial advisors manage $30 billion in client assets.