Khan, alongside Francesco De Ferrari, Credit Suisse’s current wealth management chief, made the comments at a townhall in Hong Kong to Asia Pacific staff on Friday, said the people, asking not be identified as the event is private. They were joined by UBS senior Asia executives including Amy Lo, co-head of Asia-Pacific wealth, and Asia-Pacific president Edmund Koh, said the people.
Khan’s presence in Asia and personal intervention signal that UBS is concerned rivals will use the Credit Suisse drama to poach valuable personnel and clients before the takeover by UBS is completed this year. Credit Suisse’s more than $1 trillion of client assets were the key appeal for a deal that bolsters UBS’s ambition to be the world’s top wealth manager.
The need to retain talent in Asia is especially acute. At least a dozen private bankers at the managing director-level and above have left Credit Suisse in Singapore and Hong Kong since September, or are planning to leave, Bloomberg reported earlier. Some senior bankers that left handled at least $1 billion in client assets, and are likely to take at least a quarter of the funds they manage to their new employers, rising to as much as 60% in some cases.
It’s unclear how many bankers will be offered the packages and whether that will be granted to other regions. The executives also told those attending that Asia is full of opportunities and the combined entity would be a powerhouse, the people said.
Representatives at UBS and Credit Suisse declined to comment.
Few within UBS are better placed than Khan to decide which bankers the firm should strive to keep. Before moving to UBS in 2019, Khan was head of international wealth management at Credit Suisse, with responsibility for operations in the Middle East and Americas. Credit Suisse was so concerned about losing bankers and clients after Khan left that it set up a spy operation to monitor him. Khan has already hired a number of former colleagues at his new bank.