* Cronje replaces Molinaro as investment bank COO
* Molinaro follows Kengeter to wind-down unit
* Cronje was head of UBS's UK private banking arm
ZURICH, Jan 22 UBS has named private
banker Andre Cronje as the chief operating officer of its
investment bank, which is shutting vast swaths of its
"Andre's experience from investment banking, wealth
management and corporate centre, as well as his international
perspective, is a major asset as we seek to reposition
ourselves," UBS said in a memorandum seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
Zurich-based UBS is cutting staff and winding down its
fixed-income business, save for select areas like foreign
exchange and precious metals trading, and returning to its
private banking roots as it adapts to tough capital rules that
make it harder to turn a profit from trading. [ID: nL5E8LU0PK]
Cronje replaces Sam Molinaro, a former Bear Stearns
financial chief who was hired as the investment bank's chief
operating officer last March.
Molinaro followed investment banking head Carsten Kengeter
to a smaller unit of several hundred bankers tasked with winding
down the fixed-income activities UBS said in October it will
Cronje has been head of UBS's flagship private bank in
Britain and Jersey since 2008. Before that, he was active in
UBS's mergers and acquisitions team and an investment banker at
Warburg, a British merchant bank bought by UBS in 1995.
His appointment is a sign UBS will push harder to foster
cooperation between its investment bank and private banking arm,
which is seen by experts as the "holy grail" of financial
The strategy - dubbed "one bank" - is an effort to wring
more revenue out of existing clients by linking investment
bankers more closely to the wealthiest of private clients,
particularly entrepreneurs and business owners.
(Reporting by Katharina Bart; Editing by Mark Potter)