UBS snags Groothaert in Luxembourg Financial Group acquisition

UBS’s €25 million acquisition of Luxembourg Financial Group signals its intent to keep increasing the size of its presence in the world of structured products

Swiss bank UBS has bolstered its structured products operations in Europe with the €25 million acquisition of Luxembourg Financial Group (LFG), a London-based structured products boutique. The purchase, which is scheduled to close in the second quarter of 2011, brings with it Johan Groothaert, chief executive of LFG and formerly head of structured products at Deutsche Bank in London.

The LFG personnel will become part of UBS’s global equities division, reuniting Groothaert with Yassine Bouhara, co-head of global equities at UBS and prior to that holder of a similar position at Deusche Bank.

The 22 employees that will make the move from LFG will form the investment products and platforms group, a new business led by Groothaert, who will report to Bouhara and sit on UBS’s global equities committee.

The new group is a structuring group within the bank’s equities business, alongside the equity derivatives (trading and sales) group headed by Jason Barron, global synthetic equities, cash equities and prime services. “Long-term, there is clearly an aspiration that there would be a way of leveraging the new team across multi-asset classes,” says a spokesman for UBS.

The bank flagged the deal as “an important building block in achieving the division’s strategic aim of expanding its investment products offering for its global equity derivatives and global synthetic equities businesses.”

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