The Swiss bank’s plan for a second hub in the region is advancing. It snapped up rival HSBC’s top Qatari private banker as the starting shot in a hiring drive.
UBS boss Ralph Hamers inked an agreement with Qatar’s government shortly after taking over in the top job in November, now the Swiss bank is ready to go in Doha, where it wants to hire as many as 20 people by year-end, according to «Bloomberg» (behind paywall).
To do so, Zurich-based UBS is poaching Tarek Eido from HSBC, where he was most recently market head of Qatar for wealth management. Eido will report to Ali Janoudi, who oversees the private bank in Middle East and Africa.
Initial Foray Vs Deep Ties
Further out, UBS plans to offer investment banking as well as asset management services out of Doha. So far, UBS has offices in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates, but not been active in Qatar.
Qatar has long been the Middle East hub for UBS’ crosstown rival Credit Suisse, which maintains deep ties to both the emirate as well as the ruling al-Thani family. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is among the largest investors in the Swiss bank.