Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG, the world’s biggest manager of money for rich people, imposed a partial hiring freeze at its wealth-management business as part of efforts to cut costs, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The restrictions apply only to support functions, and not client advisers, at the bank’s largest unit, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A spokesman for Zurich-based UBS declined to comment.

UBS Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti, 56, has been seeking ways to cut costs after first-quarter profit dropped 64 percent, hurt by a slump at the wealth-management and securities units. The lender has since eliminated jobs at the investment bank and announced plans to consolidate back office functions in wealth management.

The wealth-management business, led by Juerg Zeltner, employed 10,332 people as of March 31, 4,026 of which were client advisers. Personnel costs made up almost half of the division’s 5.5 billion Swiss francs ($5.6 billion) of expenses in 2015.

UBS is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings on July 29.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeffrey Vögeli in Zurich at jvogeli@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simone Meier at smeier@bloomberg.net, Michael J. Moore

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