Soon after Iqbal Khan joined Credit Suisse in 2013 he was invited to dinner at Zurich’s elegant Ristorante Bindella for a discreet conversation with the chief financial officer of UBS, his new employer’s fierce rival.
Khan had got to know Tom Naratil well over the previous two years while Khan was a partner at EY and lead auditor to Switzerland’s UBS. Over a chandelier-lit pasta meal, Naratil decided UBS would benefit from bringing the highly ambitious Khan onboard.
Now, two years after the ex-auditor finally joined his one-time client, Khan and Naratil are running UBS’s $3.6tn wealth business, the bank’s beating heart and its profits engine. “The fact that they didn’t end up in a situation where either got fired or they killed each other, that’s actually a pretty good relationship,” said a senior UBS executive.
But with profits hitting record levels, the pair must now prove they can keep returns high while also…