In a significant development following their recent merger worth $5 billion, Credit Suisse's private bankers are set to leverage UBS' institutional equities research. The move aims to enhance the services provided by Credit Suisse's wealth managers, who will soon be able to offer clients UBS research encompassing 230 equities across over 25 ASX categories. This integration marks a unique collaboration, as UBS does not currently offer private banking services in Australia.
Credit Suisse's private bank, led by Michael Marr, is anticipated to relocate to UBS' offices in Sydney's Chifley Tower by the end of the year, subject to considerations such as desk space and IT infrastructure. The combination of the two banks' capabilities will enable financial counselors to make more informed investment decisions, while capital markets bankers can leverage the research to support their transactions for corporate clients.
The partnership between UBS and Credit Suisse will position UBS as a competitor to its former wealth management business. Additionally, Morgan Stanley and JBWere, both catering to Australia's affluent population, will further intensify the competition. UBS Australasia's joint country head and COO, Nick Hughes, expressed enthusiasm for welcoming Credit Suisse's Australian private bank. The private banking division will be led by UBS Asia-Pacific President Edmund Koh.
While UBS strengthens its presence in private banking, it has scaled back its investment banking, trading, and back-office workforce at Credit Suisse in London, New York, and the Asia-Pacific region, where the Swiss banks compete. The Financial Review reports that Credit Suisse's investment bank in Australia has witnessed a significant departure of managing directors, with UBS retaining a reduced number of investment banking personnel after the merger. Prior to the acquisition, Credit Suisse had 20 investment banking managing directors and approximately 60–65 Australian bankers.
Following the completion of the Credit Suisse acquisition, UBS's workforce expanded to 120,000 employees worldwide. The Swiss bank has been actively seeking personnel cost savings of $6 billion ($9 billion). This strategic move allows UBS to consolidate its position and streamline operations, enabling it to operate more efficiently and achieve economies of scale.
As UBS continues to optimize its global operations and achieve cost efficiencies, the long-term success of this partnership will depend on its ability to leverage complementary strengths and deliver superior value to clients in the Australian market.