The bank is also dividing the EMEA wealth business into three regions/Bloombergby Bloomberg
UBS Group has started a sweeping round of job cuts at its global wealth management unit in Europe and Asia, targeting dismissals across the board as the new co-head Iqbal Khan seeks to make his mark on the business.
UBS has cut as much as 20 per cent of the workforce in some European teams and is reducing management layers in Asia to bring clients closer to top decision-makers. Job losses are taking place at every level from managing directors to assistants.
Khan and co-head Tom Naratil are restructuring UBS’s most important business to rein in costs and speed up decision making after Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti gave them 60 days to devise a plan to turn around the unit.
While UBS has not communicated the extent of the cuts, the dismissals will likely affect around 500 employees. The follows thousands of investment banking dismissals over the past decade as UBS pivoted toward private banking.
As part of the changes, UBS is dismantling a unit dedicated to the ultra-rich—moving some client advisers into the regional divisions and others into its Globally Family Office unit. The bank is also dividing the EMEA wealth business into three regions.
Khan pursued a regional strategy when he ran the international wealth management unit at Credit Suisse, splitting his division into seven regions to boost local decision-making. Now he and Naratil are doing the same at UBS, some two years after the bank merged its Americas and global wealth units into a single business.
UBS aims to hand more decision making power to its client advisers and reduce the time previously spent going through as many as seven layers of managers for approvals.
The US and Switzerland are likely to be less affected by the restructuring at the wealth management division.