DHR International recently placed Deutsche Bank executive Richard Weber as the Americas head for financial crime at UBS in Stamford, Conn. Peter Metzger, vice chairman of the Chicago-based search firm, led the assignment along with director Eugene Patrone and associate Alyssa Kopervos.
Mr. Weber, who has more than 25 years of experience, is regarded as an expert on financial crime matters. At Deutsche Bank, he served as managing director and head of anti-financial crime for the Americas. Before that, he was with the Internal Revenue Service, holding the role of chief of the Criminal Investigation Division for five years.
Previously, Mr. Weber was deputy chief of the Investigation Division and chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He has also served as chief of the asset forfeiture and money laundering section at the U.S. Department of Justice and as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. The company has a presence in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in 52 countries, with about 34 percent of its employees working in the Americas, 34 percent in Switzerland, 18 percent in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 14 percent in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs about 61,000 people around the world.
Mr. Metzger has nearly two decades of experience advising clients and providing them with top leadership talent. Over the years, he has developed numerous personal relationships with national business and political leaders, and board chairs. This has helped to provide his clients with strong choices for their leadership teams. In addition to his private sector access, he maintains close ties to the leaders of the national intelligence/ law enforcement/cyber agencies, as well as the military departments and the joint chiefs of staff.
Mr. Metzger recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss the search and to outline what made Mr. Weber the right fit. Following are excerpts from that interview.
Peter, tell us about the Americas head financial crime role.
It is a managing director-level role and is critical to the financial crime business unit. This leader is responsible for ensuring the integrity of wealth management, investment banking, broker dealer activities and products, and correspondent banking. While the role has many components, it can best be described as the person responsible for establishing the framework to prevent and detect financial crime. The person in the role must proactively address emerging risks, ensuring and preserving the integrity of UBS, while assuring their clients, stakeholders and regulators that it is providing the highest level of scrutiny for all transactions.
What type of leader was UBS seeking?
UBS wanted an individual who had worked within a financial institution, led teams in multiple locations and who knew how to manage complex financial problems.
Where did you initially look for candidates?
Our firm primarily targeted the financial services industry, law firms, consulting firms and the federal government. This included the Department of the Treasury, FinCEN, IRS, OFAC, OCC, and the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the fraud section within the Criminal Division.
What made Richard the right fit?
Richard’s background represents more than two decades in law enforcement, specifically financial crimes. He has worked at the most prestigious, high profile entities at the local and federal levels: the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the Treasury Department (IRS) and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. In addition, he is very personable and easily engaged. Richard has led high-profile prosecutions and investigations, against FIFA, Credit Suisse, HSBC, to a name a few. His deep and broad government experience has allowed him to maintain strong relationships with leading regulators and law enforcement agencies. He understands the nuances of FinCEN, OFAC, the SEC, CFTC, FINRA, the Federal Reserve Bank and the OCC.
We keep hearing about the growing importance of security executives yet the talent pool for leaders is not the best. Is it difficult to recruit these types of leaders?
We recruit executives for many sectors, including technology companies, law firms, hospitality companies and telecommunications companies. The two most important qualities, which each client emphasizes, other than cultural fit, are management and leadership. The latter two are essentially the same skill-set. We look for people who are methodical planners, who not only want, but demand input from their team – no endeavor will succeed without some degree of consensus – and finally, who will execute the plan. It is a challenge to find people who can be both strategic leaders and visionaries with subject matter expertise who are also a cultural fit. We often will engage many people before we can find a slate of people who meet these criteria, which is why our firm moves with alacrity to interview and assess the best people for these senior roles. We place a premium on receiving client feedback sooner, rather than later, so that we can refine our search parameters, so we are using our clients’ and candidates’ time efficiently.