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Salary

New UBS Chief Robert McCann Champions Stingy-Salary Hiring

More cash in the weekly paycheck may be enough to retain top investment talent in a slow growth economy.

Robert McCann, UBS AG's new head of wealth management in the Americas, wants to scrap the notion that the highest salary draws the most talented employee.

Robert McCann, UBS AG’s new head of wealth management in the Americas, wants to debunk the notion that the highest salary draws the most talented employee.

UBS was previously perceived as offering the highest salaries to attract the best financial advisers, but McCann told Bloomberg Television he intends to end the practice if it ever really existed. “I don’t want people working with me, that the only reason they’re there is because we are the high bid in the market,” he said.

“I want to pay people and I want them to feel that they are getting paid fairly, but I won’t be the high bid in the market,” said McCann, who will be paid a fixed salary of $850,000 with no guaranteed bonus at UBS.

It might be a public relations reaction to the popular notion that the investment banks and financial institutions with fat salaries are the banks with problems.

“The firm perceived as having the most problems is often the highest payer,” Danny Sarch, president of Leitner Sarch Consultants in White Plains, New York, said in an interview. “If you want to turn the perception around that you have now turned the corner and there’s a new sheriff in town, then it makes sense not to be the highest payer.”

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