Credit Suisse Had Star Banker Followed Before He Joined Rival UBS
(Bloomberg) — A made-in-Zurich banking drama spilled out into the open over the weekend after it emerged that ex-top Credit Suisse Group AG banker Iqbal Khan had been shadowed by the lender, leading to a confrontation in broad daylight in the Swiss financial capital.
The private banker, hired by crosstown rival UBS Group AG last month, was followed by detectives trying to establish if he was attempting to poach ex-Credit Suisse colleagues to join him at the world’s top wealth manager, according to several people familiar with the situation. They asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
A spokesman for Credit Suisse on Sunday declined to comment on a report in SonntagsBlick that the bank’s head of security had authorized Khan’s surveillance. Khan, on leave before he is due to join UBS as co-head of wealth management on Oct. 1, was followed by unidentified men while driving his car with his wife last week. He eventually noticed that he was being followed and took pictures of his pursuers, which led to a physical confrontation in downtown Zurich when the men tried to take away his mobile phone, according to several people briefed on the events.
It’s the latest extraordinary twist in a tale that burst into the open earlier this summer with Khan’s abrupt exit from Credit Suisse after a rift with CEO Tidjane Thiam. Khan, a rising star at the bank’s key wealth-management business, abruptly left in July. Seen as a potential successor to the CEO, he’d enjoyed a rapid ascent to the highest echelons of the bank.
Khan, 43, made a police report, which prompted the arrest of three men, according to reports in Swiss tabloid SonntagsBlick and Sunday newspaper SonntagsZeitung.
The Zurich prosecutor said on Friday it had launched criminal proceedings in response to a complaint from Khan, saying he was threatened. The prosecutor declined further comment, citing ongoing investigations.
Last year, UBS attempted to hire Credit Suisse banker Marco Illy to run its Swiss investment bank but failed after it emerged Illy had contacted Credit Suisse clients while on gardening leave.