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MeC2001

Rumor: UBS Leaving Stamford

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Over the last few weeks there have been a lot of speculation/rumors that UBS would be leaving Stamford. Everyone involved, from the Mayor to the Governor to the company itself either denied that it was happening or claimed to have no knowledge of it. This was posted in the Stamford Advocate today: UBS Plannig to Move Workers.

It may not say UBS is leaving Stamford, but something is definitely up and I get the feeling this will end up being a slow to unfold story that will ultimately not be good news for Stamford (and the region). Stamford has built its identity on the financial service industry over the last decade or so; if UBS leaves or scales back, does that signal the first of many? Is RBS next? Will this signal the end of Stamford’s growth story?

One of the more interesting aspects of the rumor I've heard repeated several times is that UBS has had trouble recruiting and keeping top people because of the location.

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This could really be bad news for Stamford. They funny thing is they are moving to a much more expensive place because it will be easier to attract the top talent to somewhere that is exciting like NYC compared to somewhere bland like CT. Don't get me wrong, I love CT, but it is bland. I would not want to be a young guy with a lot of money and have to be stuck here when I could be in Manhattan either. This is why we need to make our cities truly competive in all regards. We will never be able to be more exciting than NYC but we can certainly do a much better job promoting entertainment and nightlife in this state.

Hartford Courant

Bloomberg News reported Wednesday, citing a source with direct knowledge of the plans, that UBS will move the entire investment bank staff to the World Trade Center in 2015.

UBS Spokeswoman Torie von Alt said the company would not have any comment on the Bloomberg report, saying, "That's complete speculation at this point. We didn't come out with any news."

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I thought this might be a slow-to-unfold story when it all started. Gov. Malloy was pretty adamant when this rumor started circulating that they were not leaving Stamford. Now it seems that, well, if they did, Stamford can "think big" again and would recover. My guess is: UBS is gone!

UBS Departure Would Hurt

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"One of the biggest fund managers in the world is Bridgewater. They're in Westport, for God's sake. They're not complaining about recruiting," Carstensen said. "Maybe UBS is having a hard time recruiting because it's one of the banks that have had some real severe problems in the last few years. They're not as competitive as they used to be because of who they are, not where they are."

Yet another article on UBS leaving Stamford: Connecticut Gold Coast not shiny enough for UBS traders ?

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UBS to make a major announcement today at 3PM regarding their future in CT

http://www.stamforda...out-2136901.php

This sure sounds promising to me! I am going out on a limb and will say that I assume this will be the 4th of the 1st Five announcements. Hopefully Stamford and CT can breath a collective sigh of relief about the fate of UBS after this afternoon.

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http://www.stamforda...ars-2136901.php

UBS will stay in Stamford, for a while. And all it will cost the state is $20 million. They have agreed to stay put for 5 years, until 2017 when their lease is up, and keep at least 2,000 jobs and would get an additional $7 million if they add jobs in "increments of 250." Maybe I'm being cynical, but I think they will leave in 5 years. It would take them a while to close down shop and look for a new building anyway, so this is like free money for them. Now they can take their time and use this $20 million towards the down payment on the new headquarters in Manhattan. These sorts of things make great headlines, but I don’t think they make sense for the long run.

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http://www.stamforda...ars-2136901.php

UBS will stay in Stamford, for a while. And all it will cost the state is $20 million. They have agreed to stay put for 5 years, until 2017 when their lease is up, and keep at least 2,000 jobs and would get an additional $7 million if they add jobs in "increments of 250." Maybe I'm being cynical, but I think they will leave in 5 years. It would take them a while to close down shop and look for a new building anyway, so this is like free money for them. Now they can take their time and use this $20 million towards the down payment on the new headquarters in Manhattan. These sorts of things make great headlines, but I don’t think they make sense for the long run.

This deal is definitely disapointing. I think it really shows that they are pretty much ready to bail and it's not because of taxes or regulation but basically because young, highly paid traders want to work and live in NYC where they can live a certain type of lifestyle that just doesn't exist in CT. There is really nothing we can do in the near or intermediate future to counter this and most likely we'll never be able to compete in that area. Honestly, I don't think this deal would have been made if there wasn't a real possibility of an abrubt and catastrophic pullout of Stamford on the table for them.

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