(Bloomberg) -- A senior UBS Group AG banker helping to expand loans and complex financing for the bank’s richest clients in the Middle East has left three years after joining from Credit Suisse, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Desh Sharma joined UBS in 2021, before the takeover of Credit Suisse, to lead corporate and institutional clients at the global family office unit. Three members of his team have also left UBS to join Sharma’s new venture — a credit fund focused on India and the Middle East, the people said, who asked not to be named discussing private details.

After 12 years at Credit Suisse, Sharma was hired on the back of his success in building a $6 billion book of assets through investment-banking style deals with wealth clients that could generate tens of millions of dollars in fees per transaction. Replicating that at UBS proved more difficult, partly due to an approvals process more stringent than at Credit Suisse, the people said. 

Separately, a team of bankers led by Sanjay Advani, who were focused on wealthy Indian clients in the Gulf region, is also leaving, the people said. 

“The Middle East is a key market for UBS given its strong growth trajectory,” UBS said in a statement. “We continue to make significant progress in our integration with Credit Suisse.”

UBS acquired its former rival in an emergency takeover last year, after years of missteps eroded confidence in the historic lender. UBS executives have stressed that their firm’s approach to risk management will dominate in the combined firm, and have spoken of a “culture filter” being applied. 

Sharma was primarily serving the existing clients at UBS in the global family office unit and focused on originating deals, syndicating structures and providing financing and lending for the unit’s most important clients. He worked closely with the investment bank and the asset management units.

UBS is bidding to cement its presence as a manager of wealth for the Middle East region’s oil-rich royalty and entrepreneurs. The acquisition of Credit Suisse has helped boost those ambitions in some areas, and UBS is continuing to hire bankers across the region. 

The Zurich-based bank has also suffered setbacks, including the departure of its key relationship manager for the Qatari royal family, Aladdin Hangari, to HSBC Holdings Plc. 

--With assistance from Myriam Balezou.

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