Mar 29, 2023
UBS Tells Credit Suisse Bankers They Can Expect ‘Culture Filter’
(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG’s Chairman Colm Kelleher said that he’s keen to keep the most talented investment bankers at newly-acquired Credit Suisse Group AG — but they should expect to be screened for their fit with the bank’s values and approach to risk.
“We have to let everybody through a culture filter to make sure that we do not import something into our ecosystem that causes issues,” Kelleher said, speaking at a press conference in Zurich after UBS named Sergio Ermotti to replace current Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers from April 5.
UBS bought its long-standing rival in a government-brokered $3.3 billion deal this month, with Credit Suisse facing a collapse in market confidence and outflows of client funds on the back of years of management mistakes and scandals. Kelleher, who underlined the challenges in carrying out the integration, said that there were “clearly” parts of Credit Suisse that had cultural issues, particularly the investment bank and some risk functions.
He said he thought the Swiss retail bank, the wealth and asset management units were “clean,” in comparison.
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UBS executives have told their Credit Suisse counterparts that they prefer selectively bolstering their own investment bank while dumping the riskier operations, Bloomberg reported earlier. The emergency takeover has scuppered Credit Suisse’s plans to spin-off parts of that business under the Credit Suisse First Boston brand.
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On Wednesday, UBS executives stressed that while shareholders and investors see the value of the acquisition of Credit Suisse for UBS’s own growth ambitions, they are concerned about the execution risk.
Hamers said that building a global wealth management platform, supporting UBS’s investment bank platform, the Swiss bank and the asset management business are the main focus points of the bank’s execution strategy.
UBS had previously been focused on growing organically, but ‘it is now an inorganic move to deliver on our strategy. It is not perfect but it does a lot for us,” he added.
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