Swiss banking giant UBS is set to change the way its European, African and Middle Eastern business operates.
In a memo sent to employees, seen by International Adviser, the firm explained it is going to split its global wealth management Emea division into three units: Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and Middle East and Africa.
Newswire Bloomberg and the Financial Times both reported that around 500 jobs are being cut from the private banking division, but a spokesperson for UBS told IA this was not the case.
No job losses or redundancies were mentioned in the memo, but there are a couple of references that suggest some changes are likely; specifically “reducing organisational duplication” and “we will merge CIO, mandates and wealth planning and further strengthen our successful collaboration with AM, particularly in the US”.
Ringing in the changes
UBS said the three business units are going to be more autonomous in resource allocation and accountability, will be able to work closer with advisers, make faster decisions and improve customer outcomes.
Christl Novakovic, Caroline Kuhnert and Ali Janoudi will lead the Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East and African divisions, respectively.
The restructure is part of UBS’ push to increase time spent with clients, the memo said, as it believes high net worth individuals (HNWIs) will continue to control the largest pool of wealth in the 2020s.
In addition, the firm said its global wealth management clients will be able to benefit from improved access to financing, global capital markets and portfolio solutions, thanks to partnerships with the investment bank and asset management parts of the business.