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UBS shuffles bank bosses in bid to better compete with Wall Street

FILE PHOTO: Logos of Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse are seen in Zurich

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) -UBS on Monday announced an overhaul of its investment banking division, including naming the unit's M&A chiefs, marking a key step in integrating Credit Suisse.

UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti is seizing on the opportunity presented by the rescue takeover of Credit Suisse in March to reorganize its investment bank to better compete against Wall Street firms.

UBS is hiring top bankers from competitors as well as promoting staff from within its ranks and Credit Suisse as part of the shake-up, which will also lead to hundreds leaving.

As a result of the investment bank overhaul, Credit Suisse's David Kostel will become global co-head of coverage, while Tom Churton, also from Credit Suisse, was named global chief of staff, a memo to staff seen by Reuters showed.

Christian Lesueur, who was global head of TMT Investment Banking at UBS, has been promoted to global co-head of coverage and will continue to oversee technology, media and telecoms, which will now be split into two groups.

Nestor Paz-Galindo and Marc-Anthony Hourihan will be global-co-heads of M&A in the merged organization.

UBS said Michael Santini, former executive chair of global banking, is among executives who will leave as a result of the changes, some of which were reported on by Reuters on Friday.

In the Americas, UBS appointed Solon Kentas and Jeff Hinton as heads of mergers and acquisitions and Brad Miller as head of equity capital markets. Michele Cousins will lead leveraged capital markets in the Americas and Anthony DeRosa and Yuriy Oren will be co-heads of leveraged finance, according to a separate memo.

Among the group of more than 40 senior executives announced by UBS to lead the Americas businesses, 12 came from Credit Suisse.

In the Americas, the financial institutions group leader will be Vik Hebatpuria; Emre Gunalp will lead global industries; Seth Damergy and Jason English will co-head healthcare; and Max Justicz and Diron Jebejian will lead the financial sponsor group.

Among the global group heads based in the Americas, UBS appointed Terry Sullivan as global head of the financial institutions group, and David Kostel as global head of healthcare. Consumer and retail will be led globally by John Levin, the memo added, and TMT will have Neil Meyer as global co-head.

In APAC, UBS has put together a team which its regional head Gaetano Bassolino said "has the potential to be the undisputed leader" due to the "combined footprint and complimentary platforms" in the region.

The line-up is tasked to compete with major Wall Street banks which had to launch rounds of layoffs to downsize their banking workforce since late last year amid China dealmaking slump.

UBS veteran Basolino remains head of global banking. John Lee, who was UBS vice chairman and head of Greater China, and former Credit Suisse banker Kuan-Ern Tan will co-head Asia country coverage, according to an internal memo sent by Basolino, which was seen by Reuters.

Former Credit Suisse head of North Asia M&A, Keith Leung, will remain on UBS M&A team, which will continue to be co-headed by Samson Lo and Nick Brown, the memo said.

Christian Deiss, former Credit Suisse head of Asia-Pacific M&A, will take a new role of co-head of global industries group Asia.

Former Credit Suisse head of Asia-Pacific TMT, Allan Chu will head UBS TMT sector coverage jointly with Axel Granger and Tim McKessar, the memo said.

A Hong Kong-based UBS spokesperson declined to comment.

UBS could axe around 30% of its combined workforce, which has expanded to 120,000 after the state-brokered rescue, Reuters reported in June, with Credit Suisse's investment bank, back office, and its Swiss retail bank likely taking the biggest hit.

Hundreds of Credit Suisse bankers have already left to other institutions and UBS has been laying off employees from Credit Suisse's investment bank around the globe.

Around 80% of Hong Kong-based investment banking staff at Credit Suisse will be laid off and the cuts will start from this week, Reuters also reported on Monday, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

Hong Kong makes up Credit Suisse's biggest share of investment bankers in Asia.

Other UBS changes announced on Monday include Marc Warm, who will join David Slade as global co-head of leveraged and debt capital markets, while Scott Lindsay and Robin Rankin will both be global M&A chairman.

(Reporting by Andres Gonzalez, Oliver Hirt, Tatiana Bautzer, Scott Murdoch, Kane Wu and Selena Li; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Stephen Coates)

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