UBS Hires Morgan Stanley Executives for Outsourced Trading Desk

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UBS Group AG hired two executives from Morgan Stanley’s investment-management arm to head the bank’s execution hub, an outsourced trading desk in the U.S.

Jon Slavin, who most recently worked as global head of equity trading for Morgan Stanley Investment Management, will run the operation, according to a memo the bank sent to staff Monday seen by Bloomberg News. Joining him is Sherri Cohen, who will be responsible for business development. Cohen is also from Morgan Stanley’s investment-management arm, where she ran global emerging-markets trading, according to the memo.

The hiring comes more than a month after UBS announced efforts to expand its execution hubs, mostly in New York, to cater to buy-side firms. Outsourced trading desks act as a backup when clients’ staff are out of pocket or provide extra help during busy periods. They can even replace an investor’s trading desk entirely, handling all its orders.

A spokeswoman for UBS confirmed the contents of the memo.

The bank already manages outsourced trading desks in Europe and Asia and served about 300 clients as of May, including other banks, broker-dealers and wealth managers.

Money managers are increasingly turning to outsourcing as they compete with passive strategies that put pressure on margins. The trend could contribute further to the financial industry’s shrinking pool of traders, which is already being squeezed by the growth of electronic trading.

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