UBS Puerto Rico is cutting 40 out of 350 positions as part of a restructuring announced earlier this year that could also entail closing at least two of its five local offices. The layoffs are effective immediately.
In a statement issued Monday, the company said it has “undergone a thorough review of the size of our financial advisory workforce, support staff and our real estate footprint. As a result, this week certain financial advisors whose production did not meet the standards of a previously issued performance improvement plan, and a number of support employees are leaving the firm.”
This media outlet learned that UBS may shutter its offices in Guaynabo and Condado as part of its planned “consolidation of office space in 2015.” A timeframe for when that would happen next year was not provided, at the request of this media outlet.
UBS has been under fire for losses related to investments in closed-end funds, for which it has paid hefty fines. Packed with Puerto Rican government bonds that UBS had underwritten, the funds plunged in value in 2012 as concerns grew about the persistent weakness in Puerto Rico’s economy and its ability to repay its debt.
Still, the company said it “is committed to Puerto Rico, our clients and our employees. We have maintained a strong presence and have been a part of the community on the island for half a century. We are and we intend to remain an important part of this community.”
Earlier this year, UBS announced a management reshuffling that included the exit of long-time chairman Miguel Ferrer.
The company is “currently conducting a further review of our advisory force, associated support staff and real estate footprint.”
“While decisions affecting people are always profoundly difficult, when these actions are taken, there is always a focus on providing the highest level of service to our clients and solidifying our business in the new environment,” the company said in its statement.
In 2015, UBS Puerto Rico will mark 50 years of doing business on the island.
“As we look ahead to 2015, we do so with optimism. Although challenging economic and fiscal conditions may remain, we are committed to helping you navigate the new landscape — and we have the right talent, expertise and tools in place to do so,” the company said.