(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG hired a team of Credit Suisse bankers for the Middle East as the German lender expands in a region where oil wealth has helped swell a burgeoning class of ultra-rich families and businessmen.

Saad Osseiran is among a group of 10 wealth managers who will join Deutsche Bank’s private banking division after leaving the Swiss bank over the summer. The Credit Suisse veteran of 12 years will spearhead its efforts to expand its wealth division across the region.

Osseiran will be joined by Nasri Nohra who will head the firm’s Middle East private banking desk in Switzerland and develop private banking in the Levant, as well as Rabih Demashkieh who will lead its private bank in Saudi Arabia. They will be joined by a managing director, five directors and a vice president. 

“Because of the current geopolitical situation and our strength and history in the Middle East, we have an ambition to significantly progress the footprint and the performance of our franchise,” Marco Pagliara, head of emerging markets for Deutsche Bank’s wealth management unit, said in an interview. “The Middle East has strong development momentum tied to strong commodities which is generating impressive cash generation, so we are investing and dedicating resources there.”

The moves follow UBS Group AG’s takeover of Credit Suisse that was announced in March. 

Bigger Slice

The Middle East has emerged as a key battle ground for global wealth managers keen to capture a bigger slice of the regional market. Deutsche Bank’s global head of private banking Claudio De Sanctis has signaled that the Middle East and Asia Pacific are key to its ambitions of becoming the euro area’s largest private bank. Last year, the lender poached three Credit Suisse wealth managers for Saudi Arabia. 

Assets under management in the United Arab Emirates grew faster than any other booking center in the world last year as the country attracted inflows from Asia Pacific, Africa and Eastern Europe, notably from Russia, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group.

Most of Deutsche Bank’s recent hires are based in Dubai, the Middle Eastern finance hub, which has become a popular destination for the world’s ultra-rich including entrepreneurs, hedge fund managers and Russian oligarchs. 

“Dubai is the ideal place to cover the Gulf region; it’s well connected to Switzerland, it’s well connected to Saudi,” said Pagliara, who recently relocated to Singapore to oversee the Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

In a separate move, Loïc Voide, currently Deutsche Bank’s co-CEO for the Middle East and Africa, and head of its regional private banking activities, will relocate to Switzerland to lead the subsidiary’s franchise as Chief Country Officer for Switzerland and Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank Schweiz. Kees Hoving will take over as CEO for the Middle East and Africa.

(Updates with Kees Hoving move in last paragraph.)

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