UBS Just Put This Star Aussie Dealmaker And This Revenue-Doubling Brit In Charge Of Its Investment Bank

matthew grounds simon warshaw ubs

UBS just tapped Matthew Grounds and Simon Warshaw as global co-head the firm’s investment banking division alongside Jimmy Neissa, Bloomberg reports.

They’re replacing John Wall, who just retired.

Before this promotion, Warshaw was head of investment banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Grounds is the CEO of UBS’s Australian unit, and will stay in that position in addition to his new global role.

UBS CEO Oswald Gruebel, who just announced he wouldn’t be taking a bonus for 2010, said that earnings at the investment bank “must improve significantly” this year.

So, some details on Grounds and Warshaw.

Grounds current title is Joint Head of investment banking for UBS Investment Bank, Australasia. He’s been the point man on “some of Australia’s largest and more complex mergers and acquisition advisory assignments,” including the BHP Billiton merger and the GKN Brambles merger. From 1998 to 2003, he headed up UBS’ equity origination business.

He advises Aussie media mogul James Packer, and one of Packer’s executives said Grounds is “Australia’s pre-eminent investment banker. He is very strategic, he is commercial nimble and above all, highly effective.”

He lives in an $11 million mansion on Sydney harbor, and tennis star Lleyton Hewitt is one of his neighbours, according to an article in Australian paper, The Age, that had the headline, “How UBS made a mint from the mess in Australia.”

Apparently one his major career coups involved the 2008 quarrel between Commonwealth Bank and Merrill Lynch ahead of a $2 billion capital raising says Financial News; “Grounds picked up the phone to Commonwealth Bank’s chief executive Ralph Norris at 8am on the morning the dispute broke out, and won the mandate for his team.”

He earned a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of NSW, and went to the same high school as the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Warshaw is a UBS stalwart, having joined the bank in 1986. He ran the Global Media Group in the 1990s and was eventually appointed to joint leadership of the UK investment banking business in 2003. Under his leadership, the UK i-bank doubled its revenue.

He’s reportedly a leading M&A adviser in media and telecoms, personally brought in in £60 million in fees for the UBS over the past five years, and is known for “his work ethic and his relentless pursuit of deals,” Financial News reported.

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