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UBS hires Credit Suisse veteran Iqbal Khan as wealth head

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UBS has snapped up former Credit Suisse executive Iqbal Khan as co-president of its wealth management division, as Switzerland’s largest lender seeks to revive its flagship business.

A power struggle at the top of Credit Suisse last month prompted the departure of Mr Khan after almost four years as head of the wealth management division, the centrepiece and profit driver of chief executive Tidjane Thiam’s overhaul of the organisation.

Mr Khan is to replace Martin Blessing at UBS from October 1 as part of a shake-up announced on Thursday. Tom Naratil remains as the other co-president. UBS said Mr Khan, who had worked at Credit Suisse since 2013, had “successfully transformed” its rivals wealth management business.

The move comes after Mr Khan held talks with a view to joining Julius Baer, the wealth manager that has been poaching teams of bankers from larger rivals UBS and Credit Suisse over the past year.

It also comes after the $2.5tn wealth management business of UBS in July revealed a 12 per cent decline in quarterly pre-tax profits as clients shifted to lower margin products. Withdrawals from US clients and slower growth in Asia resulted in $2bn of cash flowing out of the Swiss lender.

As part of a broader reshuffle at UBS, the bank announced that Suni Harford would replace Ulrich Korner as president of asset management. Ms Harford is currently head of investments for the asset management business. Mr Korner, a former chief operating officer at UBS, is to step down but will remain an adviser until March next year.

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The Swiss lender was the world’s largest asset manager 12 years ago before it suffered a dramatic decline in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Investor outflows during much of the past decade have meant the business dropped to the 16th spot globally last year in a ranking compiled by Willis Towers Watson, the investment consultancy.

Earlier this year, the asset management arms of Deutsche Bank and UBS held merger talks in a deal that would have created a new European champion in the investment industry.

Via Financial Times

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