According to Bloomberg, Hangari’s employment is not yet official and UBS Group may decide to keep him on.

Four other employees are also in talks about leaving with him, according to the sources. 

Hangari, the chief executive of Credit Suisse’s operations in Qatar, is well-known for his involvement in managing the connection between the Swiss bank and the Qatari royal family, one of the firm’s biggest shareholders and clients over the last decade.

Since 2004, Hangari has worked for Credit Suisse, where he also manages the bank’s joint asset management business with Qatar Holding LLC, Aventicum Capital Management.

In order for UBS to increase its on-the-ground presence in the area, Hangari’s resignation is a disadvantage.

After the Swiss bank’s near-collapse and takeover by UBS earlier this year, Credit Suisse’s established links could prove advantageous if the larger company can retain key personnel. 

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Existing team members will continue to service clients, and successions will be announced as needed, stated a Credit Suisse representative.

In 2021, UBS opened a new wealth office in Doha to take leverage of the expanding hydrocarbon business.

The action also gave UBS the chance to perhaps manage assets on behalf of the Qatar Investment Authority, one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world.

UBS efforts in the Middle East

UBS has recruited several private bankers from Credit Suisse, including teams covering the UAE and Israel.

It has been paying a unique fee for some UBS and Credit Suisse private bankers to bring in new money in an effort to stop the departures. 

Additionally, UBS has distributed incentives to mission-critical employees in an effort to persuade them to remain with the firm.

After the government-brokered acquisition, UBS sent Iqbal Khan, the head of wealth management at the company, on a global speaking tour, stopping in the Middle East, to reassure key employees that the larger competition intended to keep them.

Khan formerly led a similar operation at Credit Suisse.

In contrast, the recruitment would be an outcome for HSBC and Deutsche Bank in an area where oil money has contributed to the growth of a class of ultra-rich families and businesspeople.

For international wealth managers hoping to gain a larger share of the Middle Eastern market, the region has become a significant target.

Claudio de Sanctis, head of global private banking at Deutsche Bank and formerly a private banker at Credit Suisse, intends to “significantly invest” in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

Three bankers who were formerly covering wealth clients in Saudi Arabia for Credit Suisse have already been poached by the German institution.

Last year, HSBC increased its presence in the United Arab Emirates in an effort to strengthen its international private banking division and capitalise on the region’s rising wealth.