(Bloomberg) – Ralph Hamers, Chief Executive Officer of UBS Group AG, is assembling a new bank-wide team to drive the digitization of the bank with more artificial intelligence and data analysis.
The new team, called AI, Data and Analytics, will be led by investment bank chief Rob Karofsky and chief digital and information officer Mike Dargan, according to a memo Hamers sent to employees on Tuesday and seen by Bloomberg. The content was confirmed by a spokeswoman.
The AI and analytics team will be responsible for managing data, establishing best practices, and avoiding duplication of data analytics across the bank’s four divisions, according to the memo. It will operate in a hub-and-spoke model, with central employees at group level coordinating and interacting with the “spoke” teams located in UBS’s wealth, asset, investment banking and Swiss units.
The changes reflect Hamers’ first major steps towards realizing what has become his main theme since he joined the Swiss bank a year ago, namely the use of digital technologies to reduce costs. That will bring downsizing as the CEO has announced he wants to use artificial intelligence to attract wealthy clients amid increasing competition.
In addition, the bank plans to dissolve its Group Research and Analytics team, led by Juan-Luis Perez, who will be leaving UBS at the end of the month. The global research team, which writes on companies, markets, macro topics, and the data analytics team will be relocated back to the investment bank.
Read more: Hamers channels tech icons into UBS strategy that leads to downsizing
The remaining part of Perez’s team, which analyzes wealth management clients in order to better tailor product offerings, such as smart email campaigns, will be relocated to the wealth sector. It is headed by Barry Hurewitz who reports to Tom Naratil, Co-Head of Asset Management.
The Swiss bank plans to give investors a strategic update in the fourth quarter, including setting new financial targets. The lender has already met or exceeded its key metrics for the 2020-2022 period, including corporate returns and its cost / income ratio. Hamers is also changing the way the bank spends on technology projects, moving to a more flexible quarterly allocation of fixed funding on an annual basis. The bank spends about $ 3.5 billion annually on technology.