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UBS Culls Credit Suisse’s Top Leaders After Historic Deal Closes

Former Credit Suisse wealth management head Francesco de Ferrari remains as an advisor to UBS’s private banking head Iqbal Khan.

(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG said a slew of top Credit Suisse Group AG executives will leave, while others will take on lesser roles, as the larger bank exerts its dominance following the historic takeover. 

High-profile departures include Credit Suisse Chief Financial Officer Dixit Joshi and co-head of the investment bank David Miller. Only a fifth of the 160 leadership positions in the combined bank announced Monday are coming from Credit Suisse, according to a UBS spokeswoman. 

Of those staying, former Credit Suisse wealth management head Francesco de Ferrari remains as an adviser to UBS’s private banking head Iqbal Khan. Ex-Chief Technology Officer Joanne Hannaford becomes head of technology for UBS’s US wealth unit. The appointments were announced in internal memos seen by Bloomberg and confirmed by a spokesperson. 

The fusion of the two financial giants begins in earnest now after the formal closing of the takeover on Monday, almost three months after the Swiss government brokered the $3 billion deal as Credit Suisse headed for collapse. UBS executives including Chairman Colm Kelleher have made clear that the remaining Credit Suisse bankers would be put through a “culture filter” to weed out undesirable practices from the defunct bank. 

Former executive board member David Wildermuth was appointed to chief risk officer for UBS’s Americas division as well as the combined US legal entities. Ex-markets co-head Michael Ebert will lead the Americas investment bank and serve as the head of the Credit Suisse business within the UBS investment bank. 

Most of the rest of Credit Suisse’s highest ranking executives are either leaving the firm or keeping roles within the smaller remit of the Credit Suisse operating company. UBS appointed its key leadership team in May, with all positions being filled by existing management board members or long-term UBS senior leaders except for a liaison role given to former Credit Suisse CEO Ulrich Koerner. UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti will now move forward with a complex integration that’s likely to involve thousands of job cuts. 

Credit Suisse’s general counsel Markus Diethelm, head of APAC Edwin Low, and co-head of markets Ken Pang are also leaving the firm.

Four other Credit Suisse executive board members will also be staying on at UBS in their existing roles for the Credit Suisse AG entity.

  • Christine Graeff as head of human resources
  • Andre Helfenstein as CEO for the Swiss bank and region Switzerland
  • Francesca McDonagh as COO
  • Nita Patel as chief compliance officer and as the integration progresses will take on a global combined-bank compliance, regulatory and governance leadership role

Wealth Changes

Of the more than two dozen leadership appointments for UBS’s key wealth division, only five are from Credit Suisse, including De Ferrari. Khan has named Yves-Alain Sommerhalder, who left Credit Suisse in November, as head of Credit Suisse’s wealth arm, tasking him with working with the UBS wealth unit’s chief operating officer Wiwi Gutmannsbauer to integrate the businesses. 

Jin Yee Young, a star wealth banker for the Asia Pacific region, was rehired by UBS after leaving Credit Suisse earlier this year for a role with Deutsche Bank AG as its head of international private banking Asia, Bloomberg earlier reported. She will now co-head UBS’s wealth unit in Asia Pacific alongside Amy Lo.

UBS has appointed Benjamin Cavalli to run a global team for its most important and wealthiest clients, which creates a new team that reflects UBS’s former global family office unit and Credit Suisse’s strategic client unit. Cavalli, whose role will be effective July 3, was formerly the regional head of private banking for Credit Suisse in Asia.

UBS has also appointed Kinner Lakhani as chief financial officer for the combined wealth management division. Lakhani was Credit Suisse’s head of investor relations, group strategy and development.

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