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The reading list emailed to UBS investment bankers


UBS Investment Bank recently sent its employees in the Americas a summer reading list, which it then shared with Business Insider. This year’s theme is growth through change.

Sam Kendall, head of corporate client solutions for the Americas at UBS and the list’s author, said the original compilation was a long list of reads he wanted workers to keep handy when they needed to reflect on changes or transitions. He pared down the list to 10 books, and sent it on August 6.

“When we sent out the list we encouraged people to take their own journey either via other books or venues where they may learn from others about dealing and preparing themselves for change,” Kendall told Business Insider.

The list kicks off with a quote often attributed to Charles Darwin: “It’s not the strongest or most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” The University of Cambridge traces the quote to a Louisiana State professor paraphrasing the scientist in 1963.

Self-growth through adaptation is, of course, a timeless theme applicable to any organization. And it’s a natural progression from last year’s UBS book list, which was focused on leadership, and included libertarians’ favorite novel, “Atlas Shrugged.” (That list began with a quote attributed to the author and women’s rights pioneer Margaret Fuller, “Today a reader; tomorrow a leader,” though that one is of dubious origin.)

This year’s theme comes at a time when investment banks are struggling with the slowing economy and trade war, leading UBS’s peers to announce as many as 30,000 job cuts. Bloomberg reported that UBS’s co-heads of investment banking, Piero Novelli and Rob Karofsky, are mulling an overhaul of the business and also considering cutting hundreds of jobs.

Regardless of internal and external changes, Kendall has been big on reading since assuming his role early last year, going so far as to establish a small lending library outside his office. The exec has sought ways to encourage his bankers to embrace innovation and extolled the virtues of being well rounded.

The bookshelves at UBS have three or four copies of each of the books featured in Kendall’s email, which we’ve included in full below.


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