UBS is considering a plan to promote Iqbal Khan to sole head of the bank’s global wealth management business, potentially naming him as the possible successor to CEO Ralph Hammers.
Tom Naratil, who runs the private banking business with Khan, may retain his regional role as head of UBS’s Americas business, people with knowledge of the discussions said. No final decisions have been made and plans are still subject to change, they said.
It is also unclear whether Naratil will remain on the bank’s 12-member executive board as part of the reshuffle, the people said.
UBS declined to comment.
After surpassing the $3 trillion mark in assets under management, the Hammers-led Swiss lender is looking to make greater use of digital technology to increase savings and expand business with the world’s wealthy. UBS has acquired robo-advisor Wealthfront in the US and launched several mobile apps in Europe and Asia in an effort to encourage clients to engage with the bank for investment opportunities in the same way they watch movies on Netflix.
For Hahn, 46, the promotion to sole leadership of the bank’s biggest division would be a crucial domestic move, potentially positioning him to take over from Hammers in the future, although any change could still be a long way off as the Dutchman is only in charge for two years. Khan joined UBS in 2019 from Credit Suisse, where he led the international wealth management division.
Khan took on the role of regional head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at UBS in 2021, and has otherwise focused on expanding the bank’s lending portfolio with high-net-worth clients, hiring key managers such as Remy Maneson from his old firm to build territories , including structured products and private investments.
UBS has increased new lending to its high-net-worth clients to more than $25 billion a year, surpassing a target set by Khan when he first joined and boosting the bank’s net interest income. Lending to equity clients to finance their trading and investment activities generates significant fees for the Zurich-based bank.
More recently, Hahn, Naratil and investment bank chief Rob Karofsky restructured the wealthier division, merging it into a newly created larger business within the investment bank and ousting Joe Stadler, the division’s longtime head.
Naratil, 60, began his career in 1983 at Paine Webber, which was acquired by UBS in 2000. He spent several years as the bank’s chief financial and operating officer in Zurich before returning to New York to lead the US capital in 2016. .