UBS? More Like U B Our Subtenant!

Switzerland’s largest bank—which this week posted an incredible $1.3 billion loss, its third consecutive quarter of waning profits—continues to shed excess office space in Manhattan.

Last week, UBS sublet 28,000 square feet at 299 Park Avenue to a firm called MarketAxess, which, according to its Web site, trades in exotic instruments like “emerging markets bonds” and “credit default swaps” for institutional investors.

This comes less than two weeks after law firm Orrick Herrington signed a lease for some of UBS’ old space at CBS’ Black Rock building—space that will be refurbished using fees UBS paid to terminate its lease there early.

For its part, MarketAxess is trading up in more ways than one. First, it’s exchanging 25,000 feet for slightly more capacious digs at the Fisher Brothers’ 299 Park. Second, it’s moving uptown, relocating from Union Investment Real Estate AG’s 140 Broadway to a tower right smack in the middle of the coveted midtown Plaza district.

MarketAxess, apparently rather besotted of the space, has both an 8.5-year sublease from UBS, and, once that expires, a four-year direct extension from the Fishers. CB Richard EllisBrad Gerla represented MarketAxess in the complicated negotiations. CBRE’s Bob Alexander, Sinclair Li and James Ackerson represented UBS. Fisher Brothers was represented in-house.

The firm will relocate in 2010. UBS? More Like U B Our Subtenant!