Bob McCann, a leading figure in the American Ireland Fund in New York, has been appointed UBS new head of wealth management in America.

McCann will oversee 8,000 financial advisors and almost $700 billion in assets at UBS.

He was previously with Merrill Lynch for 26 years where he earned a stellar reputation as one of the nation’s best wealth management executives

He will also continue on the U.S. economic advisory board for Northern Ireland, where he has made several trips to help develop an economic strategy for the new government there.

The Pittsburgh native was recently presented with his Irish citizenship by the Irish government when he attended the Farmleigh Global Irish Conference in Dublin. He called it “one of the greatest honors I have ever received."

Speaking to McCann said he was looking forward to the new challenge at UBS and that the nine months he had taken off between positions was one of the most productive times in his career.

“It allowed me to become more active in the American Ireland Fund," he said "and the great work they are doing.”

He welcomed the opportunity to become involved in Northern Ireland and to ensure the peace process there holds up.

McCann said UBS would be a welcome challenge. "We are big enough and agile to adjust to a new model of wealth management which is far more client centered," he said.

"It is more about delivery, to stay focused on opportunities."