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UBS to divest CEFS International business to Montagu Private Equity

Swiss global financial services company UBS has reached an agreement to divest its Corporate Employee Financial Services (CEFS) International business to Montagu Private Equity, for an undisclosed sum.


Pending receipt of regulatory approval, the transaction is likely to conclude in 2014 and will not have any impact UBS’s US-based Equity Plan Advisory Services (EPAS) business.

A part of UBS Wealth Management, CEFS International manages employee share participation programs for around 100 corporate clients in Europe and Asia.

The Switzerland-based conglomerate said that the divestment represents another step in its effort to make its operations more simple and flexible.

Under the terms of the agreement, CEFS International will be legally bifurcated from UBS and transferred into its own legal entity, along with its employees.

"CEFS International is well positioned to capitalise on this and increase market share through organic growth and opportunistic add-on acquisitions or partnerships," Montagu Private Equity said in a statement.

Montagu Private Equity director Mads Hansen said that the company is pleased by this opportunity to invest in CEFS International and looks forward to partnering with its strong management team to help the firm realise its full potential as a standalone business.

"UBS has developed CEFS International into one of the leading firms in the employee compensation plan industry in Europe and Asia. Our research has shown that there is nevertheless clear scope for further organic and acquisitive growth," Hansen added.

UBS’s US-based Equity Plan Advisory Services (EPAS) business will remain an integral part of UBS Wealth Management Americas’ strategy and is not affected by this transaction.

EPAS offers equity compensation services to US-domiciled, multinational corporate clients and will continue to actively support and pursue current and prospective clients.

In November, UBS integrated its currency, interest rates and credit trading businesses into one unit, while foreign-exchange and precious-metals business into another unit, according to a memo circulated at the bank earlier this month.

Image: UBS Investment Bank lobby at 299 Park Ave in New York. Photo courtesy of Urbanrenewal.