THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Are You Serious, UBS?

Grove O'Rourke here. I've been on book tour since September 1 with Norb Vonnegut, the author of Top Producer and the guy who created me. Last Tuesday, the Financial Times printed the following commentary from Oswald Grubel, the CEO of UBS.

Separately, Mr Grubel confirmed its US wealth management business, Paine Webber, was a non-core business. "We've had a lot of inquiries from potential buyers," he said. "But it wouldn't make sense to sell at current valuations."

Mr. Grubel, are you serious? I'm a stockbroker and a competitor. I live for comments like yours.

A non-core business?

Guess what I'm telling your US clients now. They're non-core ... Your strengths as an organization -- balance sheet and focus on wealth management as opposed to investment banking -- are no longer reliable in this country ... You've been distracted by your organization's struggles with the IRS.

Lucky for you, I'm a work of fiction. Otherwise, I'd be taking market share from UBS left and right. But you get my point. I wonder what the stockbrokers at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are saying.

And what about your financial advisers in the USA, Mr. Grubel? They total about 7,900 people. I presume they're non-core, too, just numbers in one of your Excel spreadsheets. You can bet that my firm, Sachs, Kidder and Carnegie, would invite any of your top producers to join our team. We don't have non-core employees. Lucky for you, Sachs, Kidder and Peabody is a work of fiction that exists only inside the pages of Top Producer.

What were you thinking, Mr. Grubel?