UBS Is Said to Hire Ex-Morgan Stanley Banker for Richest Saudis
(Bloomberg) — UBS Group AG hired a former Morgan Stanley banker to run its ultra-high net worth business in Saudi Arabia as the bank combines its wealth management operations, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Gabriel Aractingi will be based in Geneva and joins from Bahrain’s Investcorp Bank BSC where he’d been head of its Saudi Arabia business since May, said the person, asking not to be identified because the move isn’t public. The Zurich-based bank confirmed his appointment.
Aractingi left his role as Morgan Stanley’s CEO in Saudi Arabia in August 2016 after six years with the U.S. lender. Yasser Bajsair will replace Aractingi as Investcorp’s head in the kingdom, another person familiar with the matter said.
UBS Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti is merging UBS’s two key wealth management units into a combined business to be known as Global Wealth Management as he seeks to boost efficiency and better compete with U.S. competitors such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America. The so-called UHNW business caters to the bank’s richest clients.
In Saudi Arabia, UBS is among international banks managing the largest share of assets for wealthy Saudis, some of whom were investigated as part of a government probe into corruption, people familiar with the matter said in November. Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan and Credit Suisse Group AG also manage billions of dollars for some of the kingdom’s richest individuals, people familiar with the matter said in November, the people said.
The kingdom was the 16th most populous country for high-net-worth individuals in 2016 with 176,000, according to Capgemini’s 2017 World Wealth Report.
Saudi authorities said last month that they have reached agreements to recover more than 400 billion riyals ($107 billion) from dozens of billionaires, princes and former officials who were detained. An additional 56 suspects have refused to settle and remain in custody.