Mar 23, 2023
UBS Sends Khan to Stem Credit Suisse’s Private Banker Exits
(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG wealth boss Iqbal Khan is working the phones and criss-crossing the globe to thwart the potential loss of top Credit Suisse Group AG bankers and clients as competitors seek to exploit the turmoil surrounding the Swiss lender.
Khan, a former Credit Suisse executive, is talking with private bankers in offices from Dubai to Doha as he tries to hang onto the stricken firm’s top talent, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Khan met managers in Hong Kong this week and plans to go to Singapore as well, the people said, asking not to be identified as the initiative is private and in early stages.
Khan’s personal intervention signals that UBS is concerned rivals will use the Credit Suisse drama to poach valuable personnel and clients before the takeover by UBS is completed this year. Credit Suisse’s more than $1 trillion of client assets were the key appeal for a deal that bolsters UBS’s ambition to be the world’s top wealth manager.
Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are among banks seeking to add both private and investment bankers, with some easing hiring freezes to take advantage of the Credit Suisse situation, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.
Even before the hastily arranged deal with UBS, Credit Suisse had seen a steady exodus of top private bankers and a drumbeat of asset outflows, reaching $110 billion in the fourth quarter. While the bank signaled earlier this month that outflows had slowed, they increased again last week when the bank received a liquidity line from the Swiss central bank.
UBS declined to comment.
Khan signaled during his Asia trip that relationship managers should stick around until the merger closes because UBS would be willing to offer incentives and retention packages in the future, the people said. His retention offers aren’t formal, and are part of UBS’s efforts to boost staff morale at Credit Suisse, one of the people said.
Read more: Credit Suisse Spying Fallout Widens as Swiss Escalate Probe
Few within UBS are better placed than Khan to decide which bankers the firm should strive to keep. Before moving to UBS in 2019, Khan was head of international wealth management at Credit Suisse, with responsibility for operations in the Middle East and Americas. Credit Suisse was so concerned about losing bankers and clients after Khan left that it set up a spy operation to monitor him. Khan has already hired a number of former colleagues at his new bank.
--With assistance from Chanyaporn Chanjaroen and Myriam Balezou.
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