UBS says Credit Suisse CEO Koerner to join leadership of combined group

UBS says Credit Suisse CEO Koerner to join leadership of combined group

A logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen in Zurich

[1/2] A logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen in Zurich, Switzerland March 29, 2023. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

ZURICH, May 9 (Reuters) – UBS Group (UBSG.S) said on Tuesday that Credit Suisse CEO Ulrich Koerner will stay on after the takeover of its Swiss rival as part of a new leadership team of the combined group.

Announcing its leadership reshuffle, UBS also promoted Todd Tuckner, now finance chief of its core wealth management business, to group chief financial officer, succeeding Sarah Youngwood who decided to leave once the deal closes after a year in the job.

UBS is taking over Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) as part of a Swiss government-orchestrated rescue backed by as much as 250 billion Swiss francs ($281.25 billion) of state support after recent banking sector turmoil brought the country’s No. 2 lender to the brink of collapse.

Besides Koerner, who spent over a decade at UBS before returning to Credit Suisse in 2021, UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti largely leaned on UBS executives in pulling together his new team. Some media had speculated that a number of Credit Suisse bankers would take up senior roles at the new group.

“The new leadership team under CEO Sergio Ermotti clearly reflects the fact that UBS takes over CS. There are fewer changes than expected,” Vontobel analyst Andreas Venditti said in a note.

Commenting on Koerner’s future role, UBS said Koerner would be responsible for Credit Suisse’s operational continuity and client focus, while supporting its integration. Credit Suisse executive board members will report to both their relevant UBS executive board member and Koerner.

It is unclear whether he will stay on after the integration is completed.

Attention now shifts to UBS’s strategic plans for the combined bank.

UBS reiterated that it will evaluate all options for Credit Suisse’s Swiss business – which currently comprises wealth management, commercial and investment banking – and will “communicate further on this matter in the coming months.”

A person familiar with the matter said a decision on the Swiss unit’s future was likely to be taken by the end of the summer. UBS needs to act fast given that Credit Suisse is structurally loss making, said the person, who declined to be named because the discussions were private.

Reuters reported last week that options under consideration for that business include a sale or an initial public offering of Credit Suisse’s domestic unit.

Ermotti returned to UBS in April to steer the biggest banking deal since the global financial crisis, involving Switzerland’s two biggest banks employing around 120,000 people worldwide.

“This is a pivotal moment for UBS, Credit Suisse and the entire banking industry,” Ermotti said in the statement. “Together we will solidify and represent the Swiss model for finance around the world, one that is capital-light, less reliant on taking risk and anchored by stability and high-touch service.”

UBS said that following the legal closing of the transaction, which it expected in the coming weeks, UBS Group AG would manage two separate parent companies – UBS AG and Credit Suisse AG – throughout the integration process it has said could take three to four years.

During that time, each institution will continue to have its own subsidiaries and branches, serve its clients and deal with counterparties.

Zuercher Kantonalbank said this meant there would be initially no big changes for the current Credit Suisse management.

“We assume that through such approach bigger disruptions will be avoided. However the job uncertainty for the current CS managers will remain,” the bank said in its daily comment.

Tuckner, who joined UBS in 2004 from KPMG in New York, has held various leadership roles across finance in the United States and Switzerland, UBS said.

It also said Michelle Bereaux, who has been with UBS since 1998, will become group integration officer, while several top UBS managers will retain their jobs.

* Iqbal Khan will remain head of global wealth management

* Rob Karofsky stays on as president of investment banking

* Sabine Keller-Busse remains president of UBS Switzerland.

($1 = 0.8889 Swiss francs)

Reporting by Tomasz Janowski; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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