UBS Said to Hire Credit Suisse's Bassan in Brazil Revamp

  • Executive said to start next month as managing director
  • Investment bank said also to be hiring in Colombia and Chile

UBS Group AG, the world’s biggest manager of money for the wealthy, hired Daniel Bassan from Credit Suisse Group AG as a managing director in Sao Paulo as part of a restructuring of its Latin America business, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Bassan will start in March and report to Andre Laloni in the Zurich-based firm’s investment-banking division, the people said, asking not to be identified because the move hasn’t been announced. UBS is also hiring executives in Chile and Colombia to expand there as competitors retreat, one of the people said.

UBS, which sold its local Banco Pactual SA unit to billionaire Andre Esteves in 2009, regained a Brazil banking license in 2012 after purchasing the brokerage Link Investimentos. Credit Suisse had consistently ranked among the top merger advisers in Brazil, though now it’s pursuing a strategy of focusing more on Switzerland and wealth management in Asia as capital requirements intensify.

UBS responded to the economic downturn and tougher capital rules with a worldwide investment-banking salary freeze at least until the second quarter, people with knowledge of the matter said this month. The last three months of 2015 were particularly difficult for the firm’s investment bank, which posted a 63 percent decline in profit as volatile markets discouraged clients from trading. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti has been scaling back the business to promote wealth management.

Lacerda’s Departure

UBS said in August it hired Laloni from Barclays Plc to head the investment-banking business in Brazil and South America’s Southern Cone nations. Carolina Lacerda, the former head of investment banking for UBS in Brazil, left in November.

Bassan and a press official for Credit Suisse declined to comment. UBS didn’t respond to e-mails and phone calls seeking comment.

Deutsche Bank AG, the German lender exiting Latin American countries including Argentina and Mexico, is planning to cut about half its employees in Brazil as it moves trading elsewhere, people with knowledge of the decision said in January. Barclays is closing its Brazilian office and Grupo BTG Pactual SA fired 305 of its 1,653-person workforce in Brazil last month.

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