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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Former Investcorp banker to run Saudi Arabian UBS wealth unit 

Gabriel Aractingi will join the Zurich-based lender, one of the international banks managing the largest share of assets for wealthy Saudi Arabians

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Former Investcorp banker Gabriel Aractingi has been hired by UBS to handle the bank's services for the ultra wealthy in the kingdom. Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Former Investcorp banker Gabriel Aractingi has been hired by UBS to handle the bank's services for the ultra wealthy in the kingdom. Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters

UBS Group hired a former Morgan Stanley banker to run its ultra-high net worth business in Saudi Arabia as the bank combines its wealth management operations, according to a source.

Gabriel Aractingi will be based in Geneva and joins from Bahrain’s Investcorp Bank where he had been head of its Saudi Arabia business since May, said the source. The Zurich-based bank confirmed his appointment.

Mr Aractingi left his role as Morgan Stanley’s chief executive in Saudi Arabia in August 2016 after six years with the US lender. Yasser Bajsair will replace Mr Aractingi as Investcorp’s head in the kingdom, another source said.

UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti is merging UBS’s two key wealth management units into a combined business to be known as Global Wealth Management as he seeks to boost efficiency and better compete with US competitors such as JP Morgan and Bank of America. The so-called UHNW business caters to the bank’s richest clients.

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In Saudi Arabia, UBS is among international banks managing the largest share of assets for wealthy Saudi Arabians, some of whom were investigated as part of a government probe into corruption, sources said in November. That month, sources also said Citigroup, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse manage billions of dollars for some of the kingdom’s richest individuals.

The kingdom was the 16th most populous country for high-net-worth individuals in 2016 with 176,000, according to Capgemini’s 2017 World Wealth Report.

Saudi authorities said last month that they have reached agreements to recover more than 400 billion riyals (Dh392.95bn) from dozens of billionaires, princes and former officials who were detained. An additional 56 suspects have refused to settle and remain in custody.