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What happens to Credit Suisse wealth managers under UBS?

Like everyone else, I have read the good news about Credit Suisse wealth management jobs following the UBS merger. -  Iqbal Khan has been offering reassurances and retention packages are reportedly coming. The two banks will reportedly be one "big family."

However, I still feel skeptical about the viability of this. The problem is the overlap, which is considerable.

Our analysis says that at the end of 2022, staff were distributed geographically as follows. This is all wealth management units, Switzerland included, for both banks:

·         EMEA: CS had 2,110 staff, UBS 2,048.

·         APAC: CS 677, UBS 847.

·         USA: CS no presence, UBS 5,606.

·         Ex-USA: CS 233 UBS 637.

·         Support (global): CS: 3,831, UBS 12,026. (I doubt UBS needs any of CS support staff!).

If the two banks are to genuinely be a "big family", then to retain revenue/AuM at present level, UBS would need to keep practically all of CS’s revenue – and then grow it, in both EMEA (where they already have a commanding position) and almost all in APAC.

Call me a cynic, but I'm doubtful of the viability of this.

Instead, I think UBS will assess the situation at some point (say, at the end of the current year) and decide it doesn’t need all those staff.  Of course, they won't let go of everyone (key relationship managers’ connections matter), but they will let go of a lot. This is why we're projecting 2,000 staff reductions in wealth management alone.

Darko Kapor is a partner at Tricumen, a banking intelligence firm

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AUTHORDarko Kapor Insider Comment

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