Morning Coffee: UBS now cutting Credit Suisse people who thought they were safe. Female banker shoes
Given that UBS has the intention of closing two thirds of Credit Suisse's investment bank and cutting the two banks' combined workforce by 40,000 people, it's probably wrong to presume that anyone there is safe. And yet some people were thought to be safer than others.
They included members of Credit Suisse's wealth management business in Asia. When the merger with UBS was first announced, the wealth management businesses of Credit Suisse and UBS were declared "complementary" in the region: “Our strength in Hong Kong, Singapore and China that will now be complemented by Credit Suisse’s strength in South East Asia,” enthused UBS. This was followed by some love bombing by Iqbal Khan, the head of UBS's wealth management business, who toured Asia in July, preaching the importance of asset gathering and showing some appreciation to his new combined team.
At the end of last year, Asian Private Banker says UBS had 850 private bankers in Asia and that Credit Suisse had 580. Yesterday, however, Bloomberg reported that UBS now plans to cut "hundreds" of wealth management jobs in Asia, including relationship managers (RMs) in Hong Kong and Singapore, and that the bulk of the cuts are likely to involve RMs at Credit Suisse.
It's not clear how Credit Suisse RMs feel about this, but it could be worse. In March, research firm Tricumen predicted that two thirds of Credit Suisse wealth management staff would be cut within 12 months. There's huge overlap between the Credit Suisse and UBS businesses, said Tricumen. Unless assets under management could be increased in regions where the two banks were already well-penetrated, Tricumen predicted that UBS would make cuts. That seems to be coming to pass.
Separately, male bankers have loafers and female bankers have... extremely pointed shoes.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a shoe that it dubs the "bitchy, pointy shoe" is having a comeback and has unearthed a female financial professional who wears them.
36-year-old Allison Prescott, who seemingly works in ESG investing, told the WSJ she wears the shoes for important work events: “It’s the staple of my work wardrobe. It’s what I feel confident in. And when I want to bring my ‘A’ game to the big meeting, I’m wearing a pointed shoe.”
The shoes, which are not just slightly but very pointed include Balenciaga's knife shoes and Alexander McQueen’s metal-tipped mules. It's a reaction to the casualness of lockdown, says one stylist: "When you’ve had too much of one thing for too long, the pendulum’s going to swing really far the other way. So we’ve gone from a Birkenstock to a bitchy, pointy pump.”
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