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23-04-2012 16:10:00

Forbes Departs BofA, Joins UBS As Americas Vice Chairman - Memo

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Spot on, Goodwrench

By Brett Philbin

Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- UBS AG (UBS, UBSN.VX) has hired Jim Forbes, a veteran health care investment banker, from Bank of America Corp. (BAC) as vice chairman of the Americas region, effective immediately.

In an internal memorandum reviewed by Dow Jones Newswires, UBS Americas Chief Executive Robert McCann and Investment Bank CEO Carsten Kengeter said Forbes will "spend the majority of his time calling on our key clients in health care and financial sponsors, as well as broadly supporting our coverage teams on targeted accounts across the investment-banking division and the region."

Forbes will report to McCann and Brian Hull, head of strategic clients and partnerships, and will work closely with Rob DiGia, UBS's global head of health care, to help "broaden our coverage footprint," the memo said.

In his most recent position, Forbes was head of Bank of America's global principal investments group, where he oversaw management of $30 billion of equity investments. In his career, he has helped companies raise more than $100 billion in financing, has advised on over $120 billion of M&A transactions and has represented companies including HCA Holdings Inc. (HCA), Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX), and Ventas Inc. (VTR).

He was also previously global head of the health care investment-banking group at Merrill Lynch, which was acquired by Bank of America.

The hire comes after UBS lost two top North American executives last week after Aryeh Bourkoff resigned from his position as head of investment banking for the Americas and Ehren Stenzler, co-head of U.S. mergers and acquisitions, left the firm.

In the Americas region, UBS faced a wave of banker departures early in 2011, with complaints of low compensation. Last autumn, the company itself revealed detailed plans to pare down its investment bank in the wake of an embarrassing trading scandal and said it would instead shift its primary focus to client and advisory businesses.

Last fall, McCann, a former head of Merrill's brokerage force, took on the leadership role in the Americas at UBS, and recently named five executives to a new leadership group in charge of helping him more closely integrate business lines and boost market share in the region.

In the memo, McCann and Kengeter said, "Jim's decision to join UBS is an endorsement" that the firm is "executing on this strategy."

-By Brett Philbin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2173; brett.philbin@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2012 10:10 ET (14:10 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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