Exclusive: UBS nears major investment bank restructuring

NEW YORK (Reuters) – UBS Group AG (UBSG.S) is poised to make sweeping changes to the senior ranks of its investment banking division globally as soon as Monday, marking a new milestone in the process of integrating Credit Suisse, people familiar with the matter said.

The changes are aimed at producing unified teams following the completion of UBS’s emergency takeover in June of Credit Suisse.

The changes are broad and involve several dealmaking groups, including healthcare, consumer/retail, financial sponsors and equity capital markets, the sources said.

Under the shake-up some Credit Suisse bankers will take on bigger roles in the combined company while some others leave, the sources said. Some UBS bankers will leave the firm as a result of the reshuffling, the sources said.

The restructuring is the latest move by CEO Sergio Ermotti to integrate UBS and Credit Suisse in a process that the bank has said would be painful, with tens of thousands of jobs hanging in the balance.

One of the team heads who is in discussions about potentially exiting is UBS’s global head of consumer products and retail deals, Jeff Rose, two of the sources said. Jon Levin, who has served as Credit Suisse’s head of retail investment banking, is in talks to replace him, the sources added.

Matt Eilers, UBS’s global head of financial sponsors, is also in talks about possibly leaving, two of the sources said. Rob DiGia, UBS’s global head of healthcare, will remain with the bank and is in talks about assuming a chairman-level role, according to two separate sources among those familiar with the matter.

The sources cautioned that the changes have not been finalized and details of restructuring remained in flux. They asked not to be identified ahead of an official announcement. Rose, Levin, Eilers and DiGia did not respond to requests for comment. A UBS spokeswoman declined to comment.

Reuters reported earlier on Friday on the reshuffling of one of the teams, UBS’s technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) group. The bank is in talks to name Laurence Braham, who joined the Swiss bank from Barclays Plc (BARC.L) earlier this year, as global co-head of technology, people familiar with the matter said.

His co-head would be Christian Lesueur, who has been global head of TMT investment banking, the sources added. Steve Pettigrew, who just joined UBS from Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), would be leading software M&A under Braham, according to the sources. Neil Meyer, who worked alongside Braham at Barclays and followed him to UBS, would co-lead media and communications dealmaking globally alongside Lesueur, the sources said.

UBS has been trying to regain dealmaking market share. It ranked eighth in Refinitiv’s global mergers and acquisitions league table in the first half of 2023, down from sixth a year earlier. In the Americas, UBS was 14th in the first half, down from seventh a year earlier.

UBS’s savings targets and indications from insiders and analysts suggest it might be looking at cutting about a third of the combined group’s global workforce, or some 30,000-35,000 jobs, Reuters reported on Thursday.

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