UBS sends Khan to stem exodus of Credit Suisse’s top private bankers

2 months ago 179

ZURICH - UBS Group wealth boss Iqbal Khan is working the phones and criss-crossing the globe to thwart the potential loss of top Credit Suisse Group bankers and clients as competitors seek to exploit the turmoil surrounding the Swiss lender.

Mr 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. Mr Khan met managers in Hong Kong this week and plans to go to Singapore as well, the people said.

Mr 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 US$1 trillion (S$1.33 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, Citigroup 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 US$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.

Mr 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 st...

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