Former Credit Suisse wealth head leaves UBS


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The former head of Credit Suisse’s wealth management business, Francesco de Ferrari, has become the latest executive of the fallen bank to leave UBS.

Less than a year after UBS’s rescue of Credit Suisse, just a handful of Credit Suisse senior managers remain at the enlarged Swiss bank, including former chief executive Ulrich Körner.

De Ferrari was head of Credit Suisse’s wealth management business, its most important division, and was seen by some internally as a potential future chief executive. But he missed out on an executive position at UBS after it took over its former rival last year.

The 54-year-old — who rejected a job at Goldman Sachs at the age of 20 to work with Mother Teresa in India — left UBS at the end of the year and is serving a period of gardening leave, according to people with knowledge of his position.

De Ferrari had been serving as a senior adviser to Iqbal Khan, the head of UBS’s wealth management business, since last summer. Swiss financial news outlet Tippinpoint was first to report his departure.

Born in the US and with dual Italian and Swiss citizenship, de Ferrari began his career as an auditor, before working at Credit Suisse between 2002 and 2018. He then moved to Australia, where he became chief executive of wealth manager AMP Capital.

De Ferrari had a bruising stint at the top of AMP, which was criticised over its handling of a sexual harassment case, while shareholders were unhappy over the group’s dealmaking record.

He was brought back to Credit Suisse at the start of 2022 to rejuvenate its wealth management division as part of a broad restructure under chair António Horta-Osório and chief executive Thomas Gottstein.

But less than a year later, under a new chair and chief executive, the bank underwent another restructuring.

In addition to Körner, the only other Credit Suisse executive board members still employed by UBS are André Helfenstein, who ran the domestic business; Christine Graeff, the head of people; and Nita Patel, the chief compliance officer.

Their roles will be reassessed when the UBS and Credit Suisse legal entities are merged this year.

Last year brought the departures of former Credit Suisse chief financial officer Dixit Joshi, general counsel Markus Diethelm, head of the Asia-Pacific region Edwin Low, co-head of the investment bank David Miller, co-head of markets Ken Pang, chief technology and operations officer Joanne Hannaford and chief operating officer Francesca McDonagh. 

More than 16,000 staff left the combined group in 2023, with tens of thousands more jobs expected to go in the coming years as the bank focuses on hitting cost-reduction targets.

UBS declined to comment and de Ferrari did not respond by the time of publication.

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