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Marco Babic

Pfäffikon, Switzerland
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About Marco
Marco Babic is a journalist based in Pfäffikon, Switzerland specializing in economics, central banks and statistics. Also translating from German into English.

UBS Cutting All of Credit Suisse's Spain Investment Bankers

25 Oct 2023  |  finews.com
UBS is eliminating all 147 investment banking positions at Credit Suisse in Spain, which includes investment bankers as well as back- and middle-office staff in Wealth Management. Despite these cuts, UBS has retained Credit Suisse's private banking operations in Spain and remains committed to the Spanish market, aiming to enhance its growth strategy and deepen product capabilities.

Temenos Lifts Guidance as it Seeks New CEO

25 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
Temenos, a banking software provider, reported an 11 percent increase in revenues to $236.7 million in the third quarter, with software licensing growing by 25 percent. Adjusted EBIT was up 46 percent, and earnings per share increased by 61 percent. The company raised its full-year EBIT growth guidance to at least 8 percent and earnings per share to at least 7 percent. Free cash flow significantly increased compared to the previous year. Andreas Andreades will continue as interim CEO while the search for a new CEO, initially aimed to be completed by the end of the year, extends into the next year.

UBS Launches Investment Banking Data Analysis Team

24 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
UBS has created a new team called Strategic Insights and Advisory, which includes specialists from Credit Suisse. The unit will utilize complex data sets and AI analytics to provide transaction insights to investment banking clients. James Arnold of UBS and Rick Faery of Credit Suisse will co-head the team, reporting to David Kostel and Christian Lesueur, UBS's global co-heads of investment bank coverage. The team will analyze data from $5.5 trillion worth of equity deals, including ESG capital mapping.

The Dissipating Momentum in Swiss Asset Management

24 Oct 2023  |  finews.com
The Swiss fund market experienced a decline in the third quarter with muted market sentiment leading to losses and cash outflows, except for money market funds. Despite this, assets under management increased by 36.7 billion Swiss francs since the beginning of the year. UBS and Credit Suisse are the largest Swiss asset managers. Globally, asset management saw a significant drop in assets under management, with BlackRock leading followed by Vanguard and others. The Thinking Ahead Institute's research suggests investment managers face ongoing challenges with a higher-for-longer interest rate regime.

Better Late Than Never for Andrea Orcel

24 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
Andrea Orcel, CEO of Unicredit, is overseeing his first bank takeover with the acquisition of a 9 percent stake in Greece's Alpha Bank and a majority stake in its Romanian subsidiary. The deal, reported by the Financial Times, requires approval from the Greek government. This marks a significant move for Orcel, who has a history of involvement in major transactions during his tenure at UBS. Previously, Unicredit was rumored to be interested in Banco BMP, but no deal materialized.

UBS Engages With Top Partners for Quantum Computing

13 Oct 2023  |  finews.com
UBS is a lead partner in the Open Quantum Institute (OQI), which was launched in Geneva with partners including GESDA, CERN, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ETH Zurich, and EPFL. The foundation will focus on quantum computing projects that contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with UBS providing financial support and strategic expertise. Christian Bluhm, UBS Group Chief Risk Officer, joins the advisory board, emphasizing Switzerland's role in the quantum computing field.

SNB Tests Trading and Settlement of Digital Central Bank Money

12 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
The Bank for International Settlements and the central banks of France, Singapore, and Switzerland have completed Project Mariana, which tested cross-border trading and settlement in wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC) using decentralized finance concepts on a public blockchain. The project, developed by BIS Innovation Hub centers and the respective central banks, successfully tested trading and settlement between simulated financial institutions with hypothetical wCBDCs in Swiss francs, euros, and Singapore dollars. The initiative is experimental and does not indicate an intention to issue wCBDC or endorse DeFi or any specific technology.

Top Regulatory Watchdog Seeks Tougher Crypto Banking Rules

06 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has announced a plan requiring banks to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings, following the collapse of several large crypto firms and US banks Signature and Silicon Valley Bank. The committee aims to prevent potential contagion within the financial system by introducing comprehensive disclosure requirements for banks' exposure to cryptocurrencies, complementing existing capital requirements for digital assets.

Long-Serving Senior SNB Executive is Retiring

06 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
Dewet Moser, a long-serving deputy member of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), is retiring at the end of March next year. Moser, who has been with the SNB since 1986, has held several key positions, including setting up the SNB's risk management and serving as operational manager of Department III. In his recent role, he was responsible for the operational resilience of the financial sector and financial stability.

Domestic Units of Credit Suisse and UBS Get a New Chairman

06 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
Following the decision to fully integrate Credit Suisse's Swiss business into UBS, both banks will undergo a board restructuring starting next month. Roger von Mentlen will become chairman of both boards to ensure coordinated supervision during the transition. Von Mentlen, with over 40 years at UBS, succeeds Markus Ronner and Peter Derendinger. The legal merger is expected to be completed next year.

ZKB is Putting a Lid on its Bonuses

06 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
Zuercher Kantonalbank is adjusting its remuneration model starting in 2024, capping variable compensation at 2022 levels despite a profit increase in 2023. Fixed salaries will be adjusted to be more market-oriented. The changes aim to meet owner demands and maintain the bank's successful model. The bank council reviewed compensation at all levels with external experts.

GAM Investor Alliance Gets the Regulatory Green Light

05 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
Investors associated with Newgame have received regulatory approval from the Swiss Takeover Board to proceed with their partial offer to acquire up to 28 million shares in the Swiss fund house GAM. This approval allows Newgame and Bruellan to increase their stake in GAM from 9.6 percent to over 10 percent, following their July offer to buy 17.5 percent of outstanding shares for approximately 15.4 million francs.

UBS Legend Raves About Sergio Ermotti

05 Oct 2023  |  finews.asia
Former UBS executive Tom Naratil praises current UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti as the ideal leader to handle the integration with Credit Suisse, likening it to a perfect Hollywood casting moment. Naratil, who retired from UBS in October 2022 after a long tenure, has now joined Lightyear Capital as an operating partner. He also commends UBS's chairman Colm Kelleher and the experienced board team.

Zwei Wealth Gains a Foothold in Europe's Largest Financial Center

04 Oct 2023  |  finews.com
Zwei Wealth, a Zurich-based financial boutique, has launched its Wealth Office services in the UK, marking its first international expansion. The platform has connected with eleven banks and asset managers in the UK and anticipates growing its customer portfolio to over 50 by the end of the year. The company has received a better-than-expected response in the UK. Zwei Wealth is considering further expansion into Germany and potentially Singapore next year, according to co-founder and CEO Patrick Mueller.

Credit Suisse, UBS Face Stepped up Russia Sanctions Probe

04 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
The US Department of Justice is expanding its investigation into Credit Suisse and UBS over suspicions of sanctions violations by Russian clients. The probe focuses on compliance with sanctions imposed after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The investigation is in its early stages, with no charges filed yet. US officials have criticized Switzerland for not adequately enforcing sanctions. Credit Suisse, known for its extensive Russian business, managed significant funds from Russian clients, which were reduced after the Ukraine invasion. UBS retained key Credit Suisse personnel for their Russian expertise during the integration process. Sanctions violations can result in severe penalties, as evidenced by BNP Paribas's $8.97 billion fine in 2014 for violating US sanctions related to Sudan.

Julius Baer Bolsters EAM Business with Dubai Desk

03 Oct 2023  |  finews.com
Julius Baer has set up a desk in the Dubai International Finance Center to strengthen its business with external asset managers and independent financial advisors, leveraging its early presence in the region. Marc Haefeli, a twelve-year veteran at Julius Baer with extensive experience in the Middle East, will lead the desk. New hires Aakanksha Raizada and Pebin Muriyamadom, previously with Credit Suisse Dubai and LGT Dubai respectively, have joined as relationship managers.

As New Vontobel CEOs Step Up, Another Executive Steps Down

03 Oct 2023  |  finews.com
Vontobel announced that Georg Schubiger and Christel Rendu de Lint will become Co-CEOs, effective January 1, replacing Zeno Staub. Concurrently, Marko Roeder, once considered a potential CEO successor, has decided to step down from his role as head of Asset Management for personal reasons, with plans to assume a new position within or outside the Vontobel Group. Roeder had been with Vontobel for over a decade, contributing to its expansion as a global provider of actively managed investment solutions.

Vontobel Names Co-CEOs to Succeed Zeno Staub

03 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
Georg Schubiger and Christel Rendu de Lint have been appointed as Co-CEOs of Vontobel, effective January 1, succeeding Zeno Staub who is stepping down to engage more in Swiss civil society. Schubiger has been with Vontobel since 2012, while Rendu de Lint joined in May 2021. Both will continue their current roles alongside their Co-CEO duties, and Staub will support them until the General Meeting of Shareholders on April 9. Their appointments are pending regulatory approval.

HSBC Hires MENA Head of Private Banking

03 Oct 2023  |  finews.asia
HSBC's Swiss-based private banking arm has hired Aladdin Hangari as the head of global private banking for the Middle East and North Africa, succeeding Sobhi Tabbara. Hangari, along with Patrick D'Amico, Christian Hiller, Thomas Schaad, Simon Aeschlimann, and Kouroche Achtari, all former Credit Suisse employees, will join HSBC to expand its business with ultra-high-net-worth clients in the Middle East and Swiss-based international clients.

UBS's Legal Woes from CS Take on a Global Dimension

03 Oct 2023  |  finews.asia
The forced takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS for 3 billion Swiss francs has led to numerous legal challenges, with claims for damages already around $9 billion. British law firm Pallas is initiating proceedings in Switzerland over the write-off of mandatory convertible bonds, while Quinn Emanuel is considering a lawsuit in the United States. Several law firms are also filing arbitration proceedings at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington, DC. The legal ramifications of Credit Suisse's emergency bailout are becoming global, with lawsuits filed in Switzerland and potential actions in the U.S.

UBS's Legal Woes from Credit Suisse Take on a Global Dimension

03 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
The forced takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS for $3.3 billion has led to numerous legal challenges, with claims for damages already around $9 billion. British law firm Pallas is initiating proceedings in Switzerland over the write-off of mandatory convertible bonds, while Quinn Emanuel is considering a lawsuit in the United States. Several law firms are also filing arbitration proceedings at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington, DC. The legal ramifications of Credit Suisse's emergency bailout are becoming global, with lawsuits filed in Switzerland and potential actions in the US.

UBS and China's ICBC Mull Banking Collaboration

03 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
UBS and China's ICBC are in discussions to collaborate on banking, wealth, and asset management. They signed a memorandum of understanding to explore product development, client coverage, global market trading, investment, research, and asset custody. ICBC remains the world's leading banking brand, significantly surpassing UBS, Credit Suisse, and Julius Baer in brand value. UBS's acquisition of Credit Suisse included a stake in ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management Company.

HSBC Hires Credit Suisse Private Bankers for Swiss Private Bank

02 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
HSBC's private banking subsidiary in Geneva and Zurich has hired several bankers from Credit Suisse to expand its Middle East business. Aladdin Hangari is appointed as head of Global Private Banking for MENA, succeeding Sobhi Tabbara. Patrick D'Amico becomes Global Market head of Qatar, with Christian Hiller, Thomas Schaad, and Simon Aeschlimann joining as relationship managers. Kouroche Achtari is appointed market manager for international clients in Switzerland. These appointments aim to strengthen HSBC's services to Swiss-based UHNW clients and family offices.

EFG Names New CEO for Liechtenstein Subsidiary

02 Oct 2023  |  finews.com
Tobias Wehrli has been appointed as the new CEO of EFG Bank von Ernst in Liechtenstein, a subsidiary of EFG International. He succeeds Daniel Taverna, who now becomes head of private banking in Liechtenstein at EFG. Wehrli, with nearly three decades of experience, previously worked at VP Bank and St. Galler Kantonalbank. He will report to Franco Polloni and focus on strengthening EFG's position in Liechtenstein and expanding the business.

SNB Will be Stingier on Interest Rate Payments

02 Oct 2023  |  www.finews.com
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is adjusting the rules for interest on sight deposits to reduce interest rate costs. Banks will receive interest at the full rate of the current key interest rate for a smaller proportion of their sight deposits. The adjustments, effective December 1, include reducing the factor limit for the graduated interest rate on sight deposits and ceasing interest on deposits held to meet reserve requirements. These changes aim to ensure effective monetary policy implementation and cost reduction without altering the current monetary policy stance.

Former UBS Manager Lands on Her Feet

01 Oct 2023  |  finews.ch
Sarah Youngwood, previously deemed surplus in UBS's management under CEO Sergio Ermotti, has been appointed as the new CFO of Nasdaq, effective December 1. Youngwood, who had a brief tenure at UBS following a long career at J.P. Morgan, replaces Ann Dennison. Her departure from UBS followed the bank's acquisition of Credit Suisse. Nasdaq, under CEO Adena Friedman, is undergoing a reorganization to strengthen its position in the fintech sector, including recent strategic appointments and the acquisition of fraud detection specialist Verafin for $2.75 billion.

VP Bank Chairman Thomas Meier is Stepping Down

29 Sep 2023  |  www.finews.com
Thomas Meier, the chairman of the board of directors at Liechtenstein private bank VP Bank, has decided not to stand for re-election after six years and two terms. The bank has announced the need to find a successor and aims for an optimal handover of staff. Meier's significant contribution to the bank's strategic development was acknowledged, and his official farewell will occur at the annual general meeting on April 26.

A Changing of the Operational Swissquote Guard

27 Sep 2023  |  finews.com
Swissquote, an online bank, will have Nestor Verrier as its new COO starting January 1, succeeding the retiring Lino Finini. Verrier, with a 20-year career in banking, is currently the general manager of Swissquote Bank Europe. Swissquote oversees over 56 billion Swiss francs in assets and is part of Swissquote Group Holding, which is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and co-owns the fintech app Yuh with PostFinance.

UBS Taking the Wind Out of Credit Suisse's Markets Business

21 Sep 2023  |  www.finews.com
UBS is integrating units from Credit Suisse, focusing on its traditional investment bank while reducing new business in Credit Suisse's Global Markets unit starting September 22. Existing Credit Suisse clients will need to transition to UBS for new activities. UBS aims to reduce investment banking's share of risk-weighted assets to 25% from the current 30%. The winding down of Credit Suisse's trading unit, a significant expense, could help UBS achieve its $8 billion savings target by 2027. UBS's second-quarter results, the first since acquiring Credit Suisse, may reveal plans for Credit Suisse's domestic business.

UBS Job Cuts Hit US Investment Bankers

15 Sep 2023  |  finews.asia
UBS is proceeding with its reorganization of investment banking, eliminating about a dozen jobs in the US as part of its integration with Credit Suisse. Many of the affected positions are in overlapping areas. UBS investment bankers in New York are set to move to the former Credit Suisse offices at 11 Madison Avenue.

Activist Investor Group Proposes New CEO for GAM

30 Aug 2023  |  finews.com
An activist investor group, including Newgame and Bruellan SA, holding nearly ten percent of GAM shares, has nominated Randel 'Randy' Freeman as the new CEO for the Swiss asset manager GAM. Freeman's appointment is anticipated following GAM’s extraordinary general meeting around September 27, pending regulatory approval. His background includes roles at Sterling Strategic Value, Goldman Sachs, Banque Paribas, Centaurus Capital, and Fortress Investment Group.

Vontobel Offers Wealthy Clients Private Markets Access

30 Aug 2023  |  finews.com
Vontobel, a Zurich-based financial institution, is set to offer private market investments to its wealth management clients through a collaboration with Portfolio Advisors, a global private asset manager. This new service, starting next month, allows clients to invest in a fund with multiple strategies, marking Vontobel's first partnership with an international private markets specialist. Portfolio Advisors, which recently merged with FS Investments, manages $75 billion in assets and specializes in the US middle market across private equity, credit, and real estate.

UBS Keeps CS Banker to Russian Billionaires

29 Aug 2023  |  finews.asia
Babak Dastmaltschi, a top banker known for managing the wealth of Russian billionaires at Credit Suisse, has been retained by UBS and is joining a newly created unit in their global wealth management business. Despite his past focus on Russian clients, UBS's decision to keep Dastmaltschi is likely due to his shift towards Middle Eastern and European clients since 2014. Credit Suisse, which holds over a third of Swiss-reported assets linked to Russia, has seen international private clients, particularly Russians, needing to find new banks due to the sensitive nature of the business. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Switzerland has frozen assets linked to Russia and Belarus worth over 7.5 billion francs.

UBS Books Profit, Fully Integrates Credit Suisse's Domestic Business

03 Aug 2023  |  www.finews.com
Switzerland's UBS reported a substantial $29 billion profit for Q2 2023, primarily due to negative goodwill from its acquisition of Credit Suisse, which continued to post losses. UBS announced the full integration of Credit Suisse's Swiss business, a move expected to have significant repercussions in the domestic finance sector. The integration aims to be completed by 2026, with anticipated cost savings of over $10 billion. UBS's Global Wealth Management saw modest revenue growth, while personal and corporate banking revenues surged due to higher interest rates. Despite geopolitical uncertainties, UBS expects positive net new asset flows and higher asset valuations to boost recurring income.

Mirabaud Weathers the Storms

30 Jun 2023  |  www.finews.com
Geneva-based private bank Mirabaud reports a consolidated net profit of 19.2 million Swiss francs as of June 30, driven by a 9 percent revenue increase. The bank's assets under management were 31.2 billion francs, with income rising to 162.2 million francs for the first six months. Operating expenses increased slightly, resulting in an operating profit of 24.1 million francs. The Group's Tier 1 capital ratio remains strong at 20.3 percent, reflecting stable and prudent balance sheet management.

German Business Sentiment Records Jump in June, Ifo Says

23 Jun 2023  |  Mace News
The article reports on the significant improvement in business sentiment in Germany for June as indicated by the Ifo Institute's business sentiment index. The index rose to 86.2 from a revised 79.7 in May, marking a record increase. Both current conditions and expectations components saw a rise, the first simultaneous increase since December of the previous year. The improvement was observed across major economic sectors including manufacturing, services, trade, and construction. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann also provided insights, acknowledging the sharp recession but noting positive developments and a gradual recovery, with expectations for the economy to return to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2022. The next Ifo business sentiment report is scheduled for release on July 27.

Article on how purchasing managers plans are a barometer for business activity.

German Economic Indicators Show Signs of Improvement

16 Jun 2020  |  Mace News
The article by Marco Babic discusses the recent improvements in Germany's economic indicators according to the ZEW institute. The ZEW Economic Sentiment Index for Germany rose to 63.4 in June, indicating a more positive outlook and the first concurrent improvement in both current conditions and economic sentiment this year. Despite the current conditions index remaining negative at -83.1, there is a growing confidence that the economy may recover by summer 2020. Additionally, the Federal Statistics Office's Truck Toll Mileage Index showed a 6.1% increase, suggesting a correlation with a potential rise in industrial production. The article also mentions the IFO business sentiment index, which improved in May, with expectations for the June data to provide further insights into the economic trend.

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