What UBS’ Credit Suisse Deal Means for Advisor Recruiting


What You Need to Know

  • UBS Group’s deal to buy rival Credit Suisse is expected to create a business with more than $5 trillion in total invested assets.

  • The deal isn’t expected to have much impact on advisor recruiting, advisor consultants said Monday.

  • There could, however, be an impact on recruiting if UBS has to shift priorities away from its U.S. wealth management franchise.

UBS Group AG’s agreement to buy Credit Suisse Group AG for about $3.3 billion in a deal brokered by the Swiss government isn’t expected to have much of an impact on advisor recruiting, consultants told on Monday.

The acquisition is expected to create a business with more than $5 trillion in total invested assets, up from its current $3.9 trillion.

“Though the idea that these two firms have been arch-rivals for years are now merging is fascinating because Credit Suisse only had a tiny wealth management business (they have been in and out of the business for years), the effect on recruiting is negligible,” said Danny Sarch, president of Leitner Sarch Consultants.

“We don’t see the UBS/CS deal having too much of an impact on wirehouse recruiting overall,” according to Louis Diamond, president of Diamond Consultants.

Credit Suisse sold its U.S. wealth management franchise to Wells Fargo a few years ago, “so there is very little wealth management overlap between the two businesses,” Diamond told us.

However, Diamond said, “there could be an impact on recruiting if UBS has to allocate its capital and focus on this transaction and integration, so, in turn, it would invest less in the U.S. wealth management franchise.”

He added: “UBS has been a very aggressive player in the recruiting wars of late, so does this dampen their interest in continuing to attract top teams? I think it remains to be seen. Open question!”

Diamond was also “not seeing how this impacts RIAs/IBDs, or big BDs on the wealth management side,” he added.

Andy Tasnady, managing partner of Tasnady Associates, predicted there will be “no impact on … industry recruiting aside from potential bias toward the safer larger firms (for both advisors and clients).

The acquisition will enable UBS to scale up its leading global wealth and asset management franchise in “highly attractive growth areas,” making UBS the “undisputed” leader in Switzerland, according to the firm.

UBS will become a top 3 asset manager in Europe (up from No. 5), and No. 11 globally (from No. 19), it said.