UBS offers retention packages to Credit Suisse Wealth Management staff in Asia

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Insert Picture: Iqbal Khan

24th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) UBS, the Swiss multinational investment bank, has reportedly offered retention packages to wealth management staff in Asia who were previously employed at Credit Suisse. This move is part of UBS’s efforts to prevent a talent exodus after the takeover of its former Swiss rival.

According to two individuals with knowledge of the matter, UBS promised the packages during a town hall address in Hong Kong on Friday. The bank’s President for Global Wealth Management, Iqbal Khan, also focused on stabilising the Credit Suisse Asia team and boosting confidence, as per one of the sources.

UBS and Credit Suisse have yet to respond to requests for comment regarding the promised retention packages. However, insiders say that this move is likely an attempt to prevent an exodus of experienced staff from Credit Suisse’s wealth management unit following its acquisition by UBS.

The acquisition was a major deal in the banking industry, with UBS agreeing to take over Credit Suisse’s wealth management unit in Asia for a reported US$600 million. While the deal was seen as beneficial for UBS, concerns were raised about the potential loss of experienced staff from Credit Suisse.

UBS’s retention packages are aimed at preventing this from happening. These packages typically include incentives such as bonuses, stock options, and other perks that are designed to keep employees from leaving.

Apart from the retention packages, UBS is also said to be focusing on stabilising the Credit Suisse Asia team and boosting confidence among its members. Iqbal Khan’s town hall address in Hong Kong was reportedly part of this effort.

Khan is a well-known figure in the wealth management industry, having previously served as the CEO of Credit Suisse’s international wealth management unit. He joined UBS in 2019 and was tasked with overseeing the bank’s global wealth management division.

Before the acquisition deal with UBS, Credit Suisse was already experiencing a steady exodus of top private bankers and asset outflows amounting to US$110 billion in the fourth quarter. This trend raised concerns over the potential loss of experienced staff following the takeover by UBS.

To prevent a talent exodus, UBS has offered retention packages to wealth management staff in Asia who were previously employed at Credit Suisse. This move was reportedly announced during a town hall address in Hong Kong by Khan.

As the former head of international wealth management at Credit Suisse, Khan is well-placed to identify which bankers UBS should strive to retain. Credit Suisse was so concerned about losing bankers and clients after Khan left that it reportedly set up a spy operation to monitor him.

With Khan at the helm of UBS’s wealth management division, the bank has already hired several former colleagues from Credit Suisse. The retention packages are expected to include incentives such as bonuses, stock options, and other perks that are designed to keep employees from leaving.