Someday wizened UBS bankers of a certain vintage will gather the incoming class of young analysts around them at a cozy table at Ulysses, and explain to the spoiled new generation how things used to be. “When I was your age, we had to commute for 35 miles. Backwards. And uphill.” The Swiss bank, which built the world’s largest trading desk in Stamford, Connecticut, is reportedly very seriously considering moving its North American headquarters back to Manhattan, in part because convincing the “best and brightest” young recruits to move to the suburbs is harder than they thought.
UBS is considering a space at 3 World Trade Center, in a planned 80-story tower at 175 Greenwich Street, not far from where Condé Nast inked a deal to move its headquarters. (Good for the neighborhood’s revitalization, in addition to being convenient for Fashion Meets Finance.) The earliest such a move could happen would be 2015.
The Times files a possible UBS move next to Google’s recent purchase of a building in the meatpacking district as “the latest sign that New York has regained its allure as a caldron for the young and creative.” Felix Salmon doesn’t exactly buy that reading — he thinks the move would have much to do with being closer to clients — and asks, “Are investment bankers really ‘young and creative’?” (To be fair, there are some youthful bankers who have, even just looking at their juvenilia, created plenty.)