"I'm leaving UBS because it's mediocre compared to Credit Suisse"
I was a senior technologist at Credit Suisse. I was given the option to move to UBS, but am taking a job elsewhere rather than moving down a tier.
In my opinion UBS is not an investment bank; it is a wealth manager. Compared to Credit Suisse, I find it slow and steady, and mediocre.
In my opinion, this approach is particularly visible in the UBS markets business and in the technology that supports it. At Credit Suisse in the US, we were run as an investment bank. We had the investment bank pedigree and culture. We understood that we needed to be paranoid to survive; we were lean and fast moving.
At UBS, there are layers of administration. The technology teams are run by people who have never been developers themselves, who do not roll up their sleeves and do the work themselves when it needs to be finished. To me, it felt like working somewhere in 2009.
Yes, Credit Suisse collapsed and UBS didn't, but may of the errors that led to Credit Suisse's collapse were reversible. The closure of the Credit Suisse prime business was a knee-jerk reaction; it could have been remedied. We had good technology and a strong culture. Poor senior management let us down.
This is why senior Credit Suisse people are going. It's not that UBS is a bad place to work; it's just that it's a different kind of environment. At UBS, things are run by groups and committees and it's difficult to establish who has personal responsibility for anything. At Credit Suisse, we were at SWAT team and we were the best. We had resisted the malaise that comes with being part of a large, Swiss, bank.
This is why a lot of people on my team are leaving and joining algorithmic trading firms or hedge funds. We have that option. I suspect that many at UBS do not.
Bruno Allard is a pseudonym. This is one individual's opinion and does not reflect the opinion of eFinancialCareers
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