A number of senior management with UBS Puerto Rico were terminated late last week, according to sources. It is believed that individuals from marketing, investment banking, lending and other areas of the bank’s operations on the island were all let go. Read the recent report by Reuters on this here.
Consistent with industry custom, those who were let go were reportedly offered a severance package which they have roughly two to three weeks to accept or reject. Since these packages are usually contingent upon a general release of liability (meaning that the individual cannot sue the firm), for those individuals who were offered packages, there are likely a number of factors that should be considered before deciding to accept or reject. Once a general release is signed, virtually all claims for monetary damages that could have been brought before are then lost forever.
For anyone, being fired is a major life event. For licensed professionals, being fired comes with the potential for an additional life-changing of having a mark on their license in connection with their termination. If you are a licensed professional and are asked to sign an agreement, whether or not you have any intention of filing an action or any possibility of a FINRA U5 issue, it is always wise to seek the advice of a lawyer to learn about both your rights and what you might be giving up before you sign anything. Once you sign, it is too late. This is not the time to be “penny wise and pound foolish” – this is the time to consult with counsel to make informed decisions. Many lawyers provide free consultations.
Firms will often negotiate severance packages. The language is almost always negotiable, and the amount can also sometime be negotiated as well. There may also be some rights that, by law, you do not have to waive. This is why it is important to consult with a law firm like Malecki Law that handles employment, securities and whistleblowing matters.
This shakeup in management at UBS is not surprising in light of UBS’s seemingly systematic termination of countless employees in Puerto Rico in the midst of the growing scandal regarding the firm’s proprietary closed-end Puerto Rican municipal bond funds.
Given the level of scandal that is surrounding UBS and senior level management, such as Miguel Ferrer and others, those who were just terminated should take time to consider whether or not they may have claims against UBS. Numerous UBS customers and former employees have sued the firm in FINRA arbitrations over the actions taken by the firm and the damage done to them professionally and personally. Others with unique information about the closed-end fund have believed to have filed whistleblower complaints with the SEC seeking a financial “bounty” for tips under Dodd-Frank.
The decision to sue or not to sue should not be made lightly. Those who may have potential claims are encouraged to contact an experienced securities law attorney familiar with the situation in Puerto Rico and employment actions in the securities industry. The securities law attorneys at Malecki Law currently represent multiple former UBS employees in actions against the bank.
If you or a family member were affected by these recent terminations, you are encouraged to contact the securities lawyers at Malecki Law for a free consultation and case evaluation at (212) 943-1233. Malecki Law takes a proactive and informed approach to the financial news of today: actively engaging in fact-finding analysis on prospective cases from around the world.