Swiss banking group UBS is set to slash 500 jobs, equivalent to 2% of the unit’s workforce, as part of a revamp of its wealth management unit.
The move, which is the most significant under new global wealth management co-head Iqbal Khan, is aimed at improving decision making.
The decision was announced by Khan and co-head Tom Naratil in an internal memo.
Khan joined UBS last year from Credit Suisse, where he adopted a similar strategy.
As part of the overhaul, UBS will break down the private banking business in EMEA into three parts. The region’s current head Christine Novakovic will continue to have responsibility for Western Europe after the restructure.
Caroline Kuhnert will take charge of Central and Eastern Europe while Ali Janoudi will manage the Middle East and Africa region.
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At the same time, the bank intends to use a separate risk book in its investment bank to manage loans originated in its wealth management business.
The changes also include an expanded chief investment office that brings together mandates and wealth planning. The enlarged unit will be headed by Mark Haefele.
The memo said that the bank “will accelerate decision-making and time to market by delayering, reducing organisational duplication, and increasing business unit autonomy, which comes with more accountability”.
The latest news comes shortly after Bloomberg reported that UBS plans to restructure its business for ultra-rich customers led by Joseph Stadler.
The revamp will involve the movement of UHNW customers not requiring investment banking services into existing regional units.
Meanwhile, Stadler will spearhead a new unit that will house the remaining customers and also include UBS’ global family office.