UBS Sends Midwest Compliance Vet, Branch Manager and Broker Packing
In a daisy-chain of apparent supervisory flaws that resonated up the chain of command, UBS Financial Services has terminated a regional compliance officer, a producing branch manager and a junior associate on a large team in the Midwest, according to multiple sources.
The U.S. wealth management arm of the Swiss banking giant gave pink slips in mid-April to Mark A. Pent, its Madison, Wisc. branch manager, and Mark Munizzi, its Chicago Tower market supervisory officer who had been with UBS for half of his 30-year career as a registered broker.
They were allegedly tied to a trading issue involving Travis Collings, a junior associate on one of UBS’s largest teams, who also has lost his job, according to two sources familiar with the actions.
A company spokeswoman declined to confirm the dismissals, and sources said the circumstances behind them were murky but underscore the increasingly strong arm of compliance. The issue appears to involve failure by Pent and his sales-supervision boss Munizzi to ensure that Collings had closed out a losing trade as ordered by senior compliance personnel, the sources said.
Collings was part of The Burish Group, a Madison-based group of “38 financial professionals” whose leader Andrew Burish ranks as a top state and national team in Forbes and Barron’s rankings, according to its web page. A Madison adviser at a competing firm called the group, which oversees about $4.6 billion of customer assets, “the whale in this town.”
Pent, whose BrokerCheck record indicates he has spent his entire 15-year brokerage career at UBS, confirmed his departure but declined to comment on the circumstances. The Burish team website listed the former branch manager as a director on its team.
Munizzi did not return a call to his home phone, but a close relative confirmed that the longtime official who began his career as a runner on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange left UBS in April. Collings, whose registered rep career began at UBS in 2010, also did not return a call for comment.
Andrew Burish, who another UBS source said pays his sprawling team in five offices salaries, with production credit going to his account, did not return a request for comment.
A “Forbes” profile of Burish in 2016, when he ranked as #11 among its list of the Top 200 Wealth Advisors, said his client base was largely older people with net worths of at least $2 million and highlighted his predilection for putting them into high-dividend European stocks.
The Madison branch is now overseen by Bob Vasa, the assistant market area head for the Chicago Tower market, according to the branch’s website.
—Jed Horowitz contributed to this story.