UBS wins first step to stem staff exits
UBS has won the first round of its legal battle to ban start-up wealth manager Vestra from poaching its staff and clients.
High Court judge Mr Justice Openshaw granted an injunction preventing Vestra from making overtures to any UBS UK wealth management or stockbroking clients, or headhunting any more UBS employees.
Seventy-five UBS employees have left to join Vestra since it was founded last year by David Scott, himself a one-time employee of the Swiss bank.
UBS is now suing him and four other former UBS bankers, Duncan Carmichael-Jack, Neil Pedley, Paul Pollard and David Guild.
Openshaw said: “Every business is entitled to expect loyalty, fidelity and diligence from their staff. That is part of the bargain for which they are paid.”
Last week, several former employees said they had left due to clients’ concerns about the exposure of their investments to the bank’s hefty subprime losses.
In a statement, UBS said: “This legal action was to ensure that certain senior departing employees abided by the contractual obligations that they agreed to when they joined UBS and to defend UBS’s legitimate business interests.
Meanwhile, UBS announced yesterday that its general counsel David Aufhauser had resigned.
Aufhauser, who has been the bank’s top legal official in the US, is at the centre of an investigation by New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo into the sale of $21m (£10.5M) of personal holdings in auction-rate securities. He joined UBS in 2004.