- UBS just reshuffled its leadership ranks after completing its rescue takeover of Credit Suisse.
- Only six CS execs were tapped for IB and wealth leadership roles at the newly combined bank.
- Insider breaks down the top leaders of Switzerland’s biggest bank and their new roles.
Credit Suisse may be gone, but some of the investment bank’s highest-ranking executives will continue to make deals and pull levers at the top of Switzerland’s biggest bank.
On Monday, UBS completed its historic rescue takeover of Credit Suisse by unveiling new leadership teams, including its beefed-up wealth management unit and the investment bank.
UBS executives continue to reign supreme at the top of the newly combined firm — but some Credit Suisse veterans were tapped for high-profile roles, including Yves-Alain Sommerhalder, who was once Credit Suisse’s high-ranking wealth management exec, and Michael Ebert, former co-head of markets.
More than a fifth of the 160 leadership positions in the combined bank now hail from Credit Suisse, a person familiar with the transition told Insider.
The merger between Credit Suisse and UBS creates a new Swiss banking behemoth with $1.7 trillion in assets. It’s the banking industry’s largest tie-up since the 2008 financial crisis and marks the end of Credit Suisse after nearly 170 years.
Not all Credit Suisse units will be winners, as Insider has reported. When UBS announced its plans to buy Credit Suisse at the behest of regulators in March, its executives said the “emergency rescue” would bolster its wealth management ambitions. The bank’s execs were less enthused, however, about acquiring Credit Suisse’s markets and trading business and only selectively interested in its advisory business, focusing on areas where UBS is lacking like US technology.
This has led to a rush of Credit Suisse bankers pinging Wall Street recruiters about new jobs. It also reportedly forced the bank to dole out retention packages to keep key staffers from jumping ship before the marriage was complete.
Now that the dust on the merger has cleared, Insider can reveal which Credit Suisse executives made the cut and will hold positions of power in the newly combined company, including roles helping UBS integrate the two firms and deciding who else stays or goes.
Investment bank leaders
The president of UBS’s investment bank, Robert Karofsky, circulated a memo on Monday announcing his new leadership team. The change was the addition of Michael Ebert as head of Americas for the Investment Bank. Ebert, co-head of markets at Credit Suisse, was also named head of Credit Suisse for the Investment Bank, reporting to Karofsky.
Ebert will help “ensure operational continuity and client focus while supporting the integration process” between the two investment banks, Karofsky said in his memo.
The only other change involved Marco Valla, a Barclays banker UBS hired last month. Valla will join UBS in the third quarter as co-head of Global Banking along with Javier Oficialdegui, who has been with UBS since 2012.
Here are the new heads of UBS’s investment bank under Karofsky: (Note, the following bullets were pulled directly from the investment banking president’s Monday memo to UBS staff.)
- Michael Ebert, formerly co-head of Markets at Credit Suisse will now join the Investment Bank Management Forum as Head of Credit Suisse for the Investment Bank reporting to me. Mike will play a critical role in ensuring operational continuity and client focus while supporting the integration process of the Investment Bank. In addition, I’ve asked him to take on the newly created role of Head of Americas for the Investment Bank. With his extensive US-based experience and network, Mike is well placed to drive even greater momentum and focus into the growth of this strategically important region.
- George Athanasopoulos will remain Co-Head of Global Markets. Jason Barron will remain Co-Head of Global Markets.
- Javier Oficialdegui will remain Co-Head of Global Banking.
- Marco Valla will join UBS in Q3 to become Co-Head of Global Banking. Until then, Ros L’Esperance continues in this capacity.
- Dan Dowd will remain Head of Global Research & Evidence Lab.
- Imed Souki will remain Head of IB Risk & Resource Management.
- Taichi Takahashi will remain Head of APAC for the Investment Bank.
- Chris Leone will remain Investment Bank COO.
- Julie Beavan will remain Investment Bank Chief of Staff.
UBS has also made a slew of other hires to beef up its investment bank. Tricia Hazelwood will join the firm August as head of global markets Americas from MUFG Securities where she founded and headed its securitized products business, according to the person familiar with the transition.
The bank also plans to welcome a slew of new bankers from Barclays, where it has been on a hiring spree. It has hired Jeff Hinton, Barclays’ co-head of Americas M&A, Kurt Anthony, a consumer retail banker, and TMT bankers Laurence Braham, Richard Hardegree, Richard Casavechia, Ozzie Ramos, Jason Williams, Neil Meyer, and Ken Tittle, according to the person familiar with the transition.
Wealth management leaders
The new lineup of wealth management leadership includes a long-time Credit Suisse executive that left the firm to “chill, relax and recharge” last fall. UBS global wealth management president Iqbal Khan revealed the appointments to its critical wealth business in an internal memo titled “Becoming a global wealth powerhouse.” Of the appointments, only five come from Credit Suisse.
Credit Suisse’s former wealth management head, Francesco De Ferrari, will now be a senior advisor to Khan, who moved to UBS from Credit Suisse in 2019.
Yves-Alain Sommerhalder will be head of wealth management for Credit Suisse. Yves-Alain was most recently head of financing and products across wealth management globally at Credit Suisse before leaving the firm last October. In a Linkedin post, he said he wanted to spend some time “slowly skiing, reading, and doing some online courses” and recharging before going back to work. He will also jointly lead the firm’s integration team with UBS chief operating officer for wealth, Wiwi Gutmannsbauer.
Members of the current Credit Suisse wealth management leadership team will report to both Yves-Alain and to their respective UBS global wealth management regional leader.
Benjamin Cavalli will be the head of a new global strategic clients team focused on UBS and Credit Suisse’s wealthiest and most important clients, as of July 3. Khan said Cavalli would act as his deputy on “critical clients situations” and be part of the wealth unit’s leadership team. He was most recently Credit Suisse’s South Asia head of private banking.
Here are other new names and roles within the wealth management business:
- Kinner Lakhani, will take on the chief finance officer role for the combined business. He was most recently head of group strategy and development and head of investor relations at Credit Suisse.
- Amy Lo and Jin Yee Young, will be co-heads of UBS’s Asia businesses. Young will join UBS from Deutsche Bank’s private bank, which she only joined in January after nearly two decades with Credit Suisse.
- August Hatecke, formerly in charge of UBS’s wealth business in Singapore, will lead the Switzerland business. UBS’s Anton Simonet will become regional vice chairman Switzerland.
- Christl Novakovic will lead the Europe, Middle East, and Africa division, as well as Credit Suisse’s private banking business.
The $2 trillion America’s business, which includes the US and Latin America, will continue to be led by longtime UBS executive Jason Chandler.
After UBS agreed to buy Credit Suisse, the bank said also made a number of changes to its C-Suite. It tapped Sergio Ermotti as chief executive to replace Ralph Hamers, who stayed to advise on the transition. Ermotti was UBS CEO from 2011 and 2020 before joining Swiss Re, where he was Chairman of the Board of Directors until he was brought back to UBS in April 2023.
Todd Tuckner, CFO and head of business performance and risk management for UBS’s wealth management unit, was tapped to succeed Sarah Youngwood as the bank’s Chief Financial Officer.
Michelle Bereaux, UBS’s chief operating officer and head of human resources for the Investment Bank, was named Group Integration Officer, and Stefan Seiler was named the head of HR and corporate services.
The acquisition also delayed plans for Christian Bluhm to hand over the role of Chief Risk Officer Damian Vogel, which was originally planned for May 1.
Credit Suisse’s CEO Ulrich Körner was tapped to be a member of UBS’s executive board, responsible for supporting the integration process.