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COO steps down at UBS Bahamas

UBS Bahamas is parting ways with its Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ramzi Zuraikat – a shift not expected to impact customer services, according to a spokesperson.

“Under mutual agreement with the bank, Mr. Ramzi Zuraikat is repatriating back to Switzerland, leaving his post for personal reasons,” read a statement from the spokesperson.

Late in September this year, the bank laid off 8 employees – four from the banking side and another four from the trust side of the business.  While it was speculated that move was part of a global rebalancing of staffing levels to cut costs following a $2.3 billion rogue trading loss, Zuraikat’s departure is likely unrelated as the company is seeking his replacement, according to a UBS spokesperson.

“UBS will conduct a search for a new COO for The Bahamas and until a replacement has been found, our deputy COO for The Bahamas will be responsible for daily operations.  This change has no impact on the services provided to our clients.  UBS remains committed to The Bahamas and our current strategy here.”

The bank has a current staff compliment of around 160, Guardian Business understands.  UBS announced in August that it would eliminate 3,500 jobs or about 5 percent of its staff globally, according to reports.

Meanwhile, another Geneva-based bank is putting to rest rumors circulating in financial services circles that its trust business will exit this jurisdiction.

“Lombard Odier is not closing its trust business in The Bahamas.  Our firm is reorganizing to concentrate this activity in Bermuda.  Limited trust services are still available in The Bahamas,” read the statement from a spokesperson for Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Private Bank & Trust Limited.

According to the spokesperson, with over 30 employees, the bank remains as strongly committed to The Bahamas and its financial sector as it has been over the past 32 years.

The bank did not indicate whether or not the Bermuda focus for its trust business would result in any job losses at its Bahamas operations.

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