Mar 18, 2023
BlackRock’s Hildebrand Taking Part in UBS, Credit Suisse Talks
(Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc. Vice Chairman Philipp Hildebrand is taking part in discussions as Swiss officials race to put together a deal for UBS Group AG to take over Credit Suisse Group AG.
The exact nature of Hildebrand’s role wasn’t immediately clear, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. A BlackRock spokesman declined to comment on behalf of Hildebrand.
UBS is considering acquiring all or parts of Credit Suisse in a deal local regulators are trying to broker before the end of the weekend, after panicked investors dumped its shares and bonds following the collapse of several regional US lenders. Credit Suisse’s investment-banking and trading operations are a key sticking point in the talks, other people said.
Hildebrand, 59, has been a vice chairman at BlackRock for more than a decade, and before that was head of the Swiss central bank from 2010 until 2012. While there, he was a member of the SNB’s financial-stability board, which was created in the wake of the financial crisis. A former hedge-fund partner, he joined the central bank in 2003, becoming its youngest-ever policy maker.
While at the helm of the SNB, he forced UBS and Credit Suisse to boost capital buffers. He also lowered borrowing costs to zero and introduced the first currency ceiling since the 1970s to help protect the economy and fight deflation threats.
Hildebrand’s two-year stint as head of the central bank — the shortest ever for an SNB president — came to an abrupt end amid a scandal involving currency purchases by his then-wife. A probe concluded that her transactions didn’t breach any regulations.
BlackRock Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink brought him on board to help expand relationships with institutional clients overseas.
BlackRock earlier Saturday denied that it’s working on a possible rival bid for Credit Suisse, after the Financial Times reported the New York-based asset manager is interested in a deal.
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