People Moves

Change At Top Of UBS' Wealth, Asset Management Arms

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 29 August 2019

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There is a new co-president for the firm's global wealth management arm and the group also announced changes at the top of its asset management business.

The co-president of UBS Global Wealth Management, Martin Blessing, who has been in the post since February 2018, has decided to step down. He is being replaced by Iqbal Khan, formerly chief executive of international wealth management at Credit Suisse, and one of its executive board members for four years.

UBS said today that Blessing will stay until 31 December to ensure a smooth transition of roles.

“After successfully managing the UBS franchise in Switzerland and then positioning the new Global Wealth Management business for the future, Martin Blessing has decided to step down from his current role,” the bank said in a statement. 

Blessing “played a crucial role in the smooth and successful combination of our international and US wealth management businesses, reaching the planned synergies and driving initiatives for sustainable growth,” it said.

As for Khan, UBS said he takes on Blessing’s co-presidency role at the global wealth management arm, working alongside Tom Naratil. At Credit Suisse, Khan served as chief financial officer of Private Banking and Wealth Management from 2013 to 2015. Prior to that he was with Ernst & Young, Switzerland, in various positions including managing partner Assurance and Advisory Services − Financial Services.

All changes are effective from 1 October 2019.

Asset management
Separately, UBS announced that Ulrich Koerner has decided to step down from his current roles as president Asset Management and president UBS Europe, Middle East and Africa. He will remain with UBS as senior advisor to the Group CEO until at least 31 March 2020 to support the group with several initiatives. Koerner has been president Europe, Middle East and Africa for UBS since November 2011 and, additionally, president Asset Management since 2014.

Suni Harford will join the group executive board of UBS and succeed Koerner as president Asset Management. Harford joined UBS in 2017 in her current role as head of investments for UBS Asset Management. She joined following a 24-year career at Citigroup, during the last nine of which she was the regional head of markets for North America. Harford started her Wall Street career at Merrill Lynch in investment banking.

Sabine Keller-Busse will succeed Koerner as president UBS Europe, Middle East and Africa in addition to her current role as group chief operating officer (COO). Since being named Group COO in January 2018, Keller-Busse has overseen significant parts of Corporate Center (including global functions such as technology, operations, human resources, and corporate and consulting services).

Keller-Busse joined UBS in 2010, first as chief operating officer UBS Switzerland and then group head Human Resources. Prior to UBS, she led Credit Suisse's Private Clients business for the Zurich region and also advised financial services firms across Europe as a McKinsey & Company partner.

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