MEDICAL supplies firm Smith & Nephew has fired Swiss bank UBS as its corporate broker, hiring Bank of America Merrill Lynch instead, City A.M. understands.
It is the second major change in recent months for the firm, which is reviewing all of its corporate relations roles – last summer it sacked PR firm Brunswick in favour of rivals FTI. Bank of America joins JP Morgan as corporate broker for the company.
Corporate brokers give advice to the firm on investor relations, including market sentiment around the firm, and advice on any possible fundraisings or distribution of profits to shareholders.
The role is typically not paid directly – instead, the investment banks hope that their work and advice will be repaid with roles on transactions. In Smith & Nephew’s case, it is often the target of takeover speculation, and so in such an event would take advice from investment banks. Smith & Nephew, Bank of America and UBS declined to comment on the appointment.
UBS has reshaped its business away from areas such as securities trading, and into its traditional stronghold of wealth management.