Koerner will be the only top Credit Suisse manager in the merged bank's leadership
Koerner will be the only top Credit Suisse manager in the merged bank's leadership AFP

Swiss banking giant UBS announced on Tuesday that Credit Suisse chief executive Ulrich Koerner would join its leadership team following the takeover of its fallen domestic rival.

Koerner will be the only top manager from Credit Suisse to join the executive board after the bank is absorbed by UBS, which expects the mega merger to be wrapped up "in the next few weeks".

The Swiss government strongarmed UBS into buying its rival for $3.25 billion after the collapse of three US lenders in March raised concerns about Credit Suisse's own financial health following a series of scandals in recent years.

"This is a pivotal moment for UBS, Credit Suisse and the entire banking industry," said UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti, who returned to Switzerland's biggest bank last month to handle the merger.

"Together we will solidify and represent the Swiss model for finance around the world, one that is capital-light, less reliant on taking risk and anchored by stability and high-touch service," he added.

Swiss-German Koerner, 60, held top positions at UBS and was a member of its executive board for 11 years before returning to Credit Suisse in 2021, where he had previously worked.

After heading Credit Suisse's asset management division, which was rocked by the bankruptcy of British financial firm Greensill, he was named CEO last year.

"With his knowledge of both organisations, he will be responsible for ensuring Credit Suisse's operational continuity and client focus, while supporting the integration process," UBS said.

The two banks will continue to operate independently "for the foreseeable future and UBS will carry out the integration in a phased approach", it said.

Ermotti said that the "integration of the businesses and legal entities will take time".

All the other executive board positions will be held by top UBS managers.

Among the top names, Iqbal Khan will remain president of global wealth management, while Rob Karofsky will stay on as head of the investment bank division and Sabine Keller-Busse will keep her post as president of personal and corporate banking.

UBS said that its chief financial officer, Sarah Youngwood, had decided to leave the firm after the merger is completed. She will be be replaced by Todd Tuckner, the head of risk management in its global wealth management business.

Tuckner, who has been at UBS since 2004, will join the executive board with immediate effect.

The combined firm will operate with five business divisions divided in four regions.

UBS unveiled a "new leadership team without many surprises", said Andreas Venditti, analyst at asset manager Vontobel.

"There are fewer changes than expected," Venditti added.