Job cuts begin at UBS
(16 January 2020 – Europe) UBS Group has started a sweeping round of job cuts at its global wealth management unit in Europe and Asia, targeting dismissals across the board as new co-head Iqbal Khan seeks to make his mark on the business.
UBS has cut as much as 20 percent of the workforce in some European regions and is reducing management layers in Asia to bring clients closer to top decision-makers, people with knowledge of the matter said.
It has introduced a new organisational structure in Asia and this will be followed by Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Job losses are reported to be taking place at every level from managing directors to assistants.
Mr Khan and co-head Tom Naratil are restructuring UBS' most important business to rein in costs and speed up decision making after chief executive officer Sergio Ermotti gave them 60 days to devise a plan to turn around the unit.
While UBS has not communicated the extent of the cuts, people familiar with the matter have said these will likely affect about 500 employees. This comes after thousands of investment banking dismissals over the past decade as UBS pivoted towards private banking.
Mr Khan is also working on other changes at the wealth management unit, saying UBS could score "quick wins" by increasing lending, a strategy he also used at Credit Suisse. The bank is targeting US$20 billion to US$30 billion in net new loans a year.