UBS Sales Head Santucci Regains Power Seat Under New Boss
Tom Naratil, the new boss of UBS AG’s American businesses, has airlifted seven new people onto the executive committee of his flagship U.S. brokerage business as he reshapes his predecessor’s operational and management priorities.
Of the new committee members, only one—national sales head Paul Santucci—works directly with the firm’s sales force of just over 7,000 financial advisors. The others run key administrative or operational areas that are not directly linked to business-line profit-and-loss statements.
Santucci, who began his career as a broker in 1984 at Kidder Peabody, had not been part of the “kitchen cabinet” of former Merrill Lynch managers who had helped Bob McCann run UBS Wealth Americas and UBS Americas from 2009 until his “retirement” in January. Santucci appeared to have lost some power in 2014 when McCann handed his senior recruiting responsibilities to Bill Carroll, who oversees some 3,000 brokers west of Pittsburgh.
In the new administration, Santucci has regained responsibility for “experienced financial advisor acquisition and integration” while continuing as a managing director and head of national sales, according to his biography on a company website. And he moves onto the expanded 20-person executive committee.
Other new committee members are: Bob Anselmo, UBS WMA’s head of technology; Marsha Askins, UBS Group Americas’ chief communications and public relations officer; Thomas Giacalone, head of operations for WMA and UBS Group Americas; Kate Newcomb, a 25-year PaineWebber veteran who has run retirement and mutual fund products and is Naratil’s chief of staff; Joseph Pigott, WMA’s chief risk officer; and Dana Ritzcovan, UBS Group Americas’ and WMA’s human resources head since September.
The changes, which have not been publicly announced, may reflect an attempt by Naratil to better coordinate controls in an era of intensified regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and in UBS’s Swiss homebase. Switzerland is losing its protected position as a safe tax-sheltering haven for very wealthy people at the same time that UBS in the Americas continues to battle complaints and litigation over sales of municipal bond funds stuffed with paper from near-bankrupt Puerto Rico issuers.
Advisors, managers and industry vendors have been anxiously watching to see whether Naratil—who most recently served as group Chief Financial Officer and Group Chief Operating Officer of UBS AG—will rein in expenses as part of the parent bank’s global restructuring efforts. Although McCann helped trim WMA’s retail brokerage army by several thousand advisers, he also made a significant contribution to the more than $3 billion of forgivable loans on its balance sheet from recruiting new advisors.
McCann took a new largely ambassadorial position as vice chairman of UBS Wealth Management Americas in January.
As previously reported, Michael Blum has replaced Rosemary Berkery on the executive committee and as head of UBS Bank USA and of WMA’s banking group. Following an extended medical leave, Berkery remains chairman of the bank.
Naratil has spent his entire 32-year professional career at UBS and its predecessor PaineWebber. Following UBS AG’s 2000 acquisition of PaineWebber, he held senior product, market strategy and client development roles until becoming WMA’s chief financial officer and chief risk officer under McCann in 2009. By 2011, the Yale graduate was elevated to the parent company’s executive board along with his promotion to the corporate CFO post.
UBS WMA spokesman Gregg Rosenberg did not respond to requests for comment about the changes.