UBS Hires Team of Middle East Private Bankers From Credit Suisse
(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG hired a team of private bankers for the United Arab Emirates from Credit Suisse Group AG, as the world’s largest wealth manager expands in the Gulf region, people familiar with the matter said.
Georges El Khoury, a managing director and country head for the UAE, joins as deputy head for the country. He’ll report to Ali Janoudi, who runs UBS’s wealth business for the Middle East and Africa and Dubai private banking head Niels Zilkens, the people said, asking to remain anonymous as the hires are not public.
El Khoury will be joined by managing director Raoul Rahme, who becomes head of sales and advisory in Dubai. Iyad Tamim Jundi, Abdullatif Karami and Sarika Chandwani are also joining UBS, the people said.
“We confirm the departure of a small team based in the UAE,” Dominique Gerster, a spokesman for Credit Suisse, said by email. “Credit Suisse remains fully committed to the Middle East region and will continue to invest.”
Credit Suisse has seen a raft of departures -- especially at its investment banking business -- after the twin Archegos Capital Management and Greensill scandals earlier this year dented its reputation and caused huge losses. New chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio is also conducting a review of the business, leading to further uncertainty for many bankers.
The bank’s Middle East division has also seen significant exits in recent years, following complaints over a toxic culture promoted by regional head Bruno Daher. His management style, including fiery displays, personal attacks, and harangues peppered with expletives, alienated some of those working for him.
The bank said that Saad Osseiran will succeed El Khoury as country head for the UAE and Oman, and Fahad Al-Ebrahim will become market leader for Kuwait in addition to his current role as regional strategic client partner, according to Gerster.
UBS declined to comment.
Iqbal Khan, UBS’s wealth unit co-head and president for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, last year set a target to double the client assets it manages in the Middle East and Africa.
The hires add to a string of additions in the Gulf by UBS amid steps to deepen its presence with some of the countries holding the biggest wealth concentrations in the world. Earlier this year, it set up a second Middle Eastern hub in Qatar where it will eventually add investment banking and asset management services to its wealth business.
UBS has also hired Tarek Eido from HSBC Holdings Plc, to oversee the wealth business in Qatar and last year hired Dubai-based Desh Sharma, a heavyweight deal-maker for wealthy clients, from Credit Suisse along with four other bankers to join the unit dedicated to the Swiss bank’s richest customers, Bloomberg has reported.
UBS isn’t the only bank trying to take market share in the region. In April it lost Gabriel Aractingi, who ran the ultra business for Middle Eastern clients, to Goldman Sachs. The American bank pledged to double the size of its business in the region across headcount and assets.
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