UBS Hires Ex-UniCredit Executive to Run Wealth Management in Italy

(Bloomberg) — UBS Group AG hired Italian top manager Giovanni Ronca to head its expanded wealth management business in the country as the Swiss lender moves ahead with the integration of Credit Suisse.

Ronca, a former executive of UniCredit SpA and Telecom Italia SpA, will join Credit Suisse Italy on Sept. 11 and take responsibility for the combined wealth operations of UBS and Credit Suisse in the country, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News. Paolo Federici will keep his role as head of wealth management for UBS Italy, reporting to Ronca, according to the memo.

Ronca, 50, will be based in Milan and report to Toby Vogel, the head of global wealth management in Europe. His appointment follows the recent revamp of country heads responsible for UBS in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, in which Italy’s Riccardo Malone — a veteran at the bank — was confirmed in his role, which also includes running the investment bank unit. Gabriele D’Agosta’s mandate as CEO of Credit Suisse Italy remains unchanged.

UBS is in the middle of one of the most complex integrations in global banking since the financial crisis, as it seeks to retain the wealthy clients and private banking talent of its long-time rival. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti said last week that the firm is trying to win back roughly $200 billion in client assets that were pulled from Credit Suisse in the quarters preceding the takeover.

Credit Suisse’s wealth business started to see inflows in June, but it still faces headwinds as private bankers who left the firm try to lure longtime customers to their new employers. UBS has deployed incentive programs to retain relationship managers and has been able to keep some top talent.

Ronca’s managerial experience spans a wide range of sectors, from the automotive industry to corporate and investment banking as well as wealth management. He started his career in 1996 at the Agnellis holding company Exor SpA as a financial analyst and later worked in the treasury department of the Fiat Group.

At UniCredit, he held several management roles over a 13-year time span, including co-head of the commercial bank network in Italy, with a focus on corporate and wealth management activities. He later became chief financial officer of Telecom Italia, which he left last year. Most recently, he was an adviser for investment firms including CVC Capital Partners.

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