NEW YORK - UBS AG named investment banker Jim Spencer as head of banks in its North America financial institutions group, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.

Spencer, who joined UBS in May 2002, will be responsible for setting the strategic direction of the company's regional bank coverage and report to Gary Howe and Halle Benett, who co-head the financial institutions group in Americas.

Spencer's recent deals include Bank of America Corp's $18.8 billion equity transaction in December to repay the U.S. government and the $3 billion sell-down of its China Construction Bank stake.

Spencer spent seven years before business school as a Federal Insurance Deposit Corp bank examiner and capital markets specialist, according to the memo. (Reporting by Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)