An $831B Global AM's Chief Passes the Reins
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Thursday, August 29, 2019

An $831B Global AM's Chief Passes the Reins

This fall, the head of a publicly traded multinational's $831-billion-AUM asset management arm is stepping down, and a familiar face will rise to succeed him.

Suni Harford
UBS Asset Management
Head of Investments
Suni Harford, head of investments for UBS Asset Management [profile], will take over as president of asset management for UBS Group AG on October 1, group CEO Sergio Ermotti confirms this morning. Harford will replace UBS' current asset management president, Ulrich Koerner, who will stay on until at least March 31, 2020 as a senior advisor to Ermotti.

Ulrich Koerner
UBS Group AG
Outgoing President of Asset Management, and Outgoing President of UBS Europe, Middle East, and Africa
New York City-based Harford will also join Zurich-based UBS' group executive board. Meanwhile, chief operating officer Sabine Keller-Busse will take over Koerner's other role, president of UBS Europe, Middle East and Africa. And Iqbal Khan will join UBS to succeed Martin Blessing as co-president of global wealth management.

"I want to thank Ueli [Koerner] for his significant contribution to our successful strategic transformation and its execution after the financial crisis. I also want to thank Martin for his leadership and contribution to our Swiss and Global Wealth Management businesses as well as the firm. I wish both of them all the best," Ermotti states. "I congratulate Sabine on the expansion of her role. And I'm looking forward to having Suni and Iqbal join the Group Executive Board. Both of them bring strong leadership and people skills along with a track record of successful execution. They are great additions to the team and will help us drive sustainable growth and profitability for UBS."

Harford's rise and Koerner's move come after deal-making speculation around UBS' asset management business. This past spring, rumored asset management merger talks between UBS and another multinational bank reportedly stalled.

Harford joined UBS AM in 2017 after 24 years at Citigroup, most recently as regional head of markets for North America. Before that she worked in investment banking at Merrill Lynch. And last year she was named one of the 25 "Most Powerful Women in Finance." (Harford was one of only five asset management executives on the list.)

Koerner joined UBS ten years ago, in the wake of the financial crisis, as group COO and CEO of the corporate center, then took over asset management at the beginning of 2014. Before that he worked at Credit Suisse, McKinsey, and Price Waterhouse.

Worldwide, UBS Asset Management has about $831 billion in AUM (as of June 30, 2019) and about 3,400 employees (as of December 31, 2018).

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