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UBS overhauls wealth management leadership in wider board shake-up

The three keys USB logo is seen outside the London office of Swiss bank UBS in central London, on March 20, 2023.

Daniel Leal | AFP | Getty Images

LONDON — UBS on Thursday announced a shake-up of its executive board in the latest phase of a radical overhaul of the Swiss banking giant, following its takeover of fallen rival Credit Suisse.

A newly split global wealth management division, led by co-presidents Iqbal Khan in Asia-Pacific and Rob Karofsky in the U.S., sees the bank double down across the two geographies as part of what it has dubbed its “sustainable, strategic growth” strategy.

It marks the first time a divisional UBS president has been based in Asia-Pacific, the bank said.

The new appointments provide an important signal on the future direction of the bank, as it tees up a replacement for outgoing CEO Sergio Ermotti, who is expected to step down by early 2027.

“The appointments to the Group Executive Board we are announcing today will allow us to continue to progress on our integration journey and realize the expected synergies and efficiencies, while putting even more emphasis on our long-term priorities and growth prospects, particularly in the Americas and Asia-Pacific,” Ermotti said in a statement.

George Athanasopoulos and Marco Valla also join the executive board as co-presidents of the investment bank, alongside Damian Vogel, incoming global chief risk officer.

The trio replace outgoing board members Credit Suisse CEO Ulrich Korner, UBS Asia-Pacific President Edmund Koh, and UBS Americas Regional President Naureen Hassan.

The reshuffle comes as part of a wider overhaul of the bank, following its emergency rescue last year of Credit Suisse — a shotgun marriage brokered by Swiss authorities to prevent the then 167-year-old institution’s collapse and protect the Swiss economy.

The FT reported Monday that UBS had ruled out an outsider as successor to Ermotti, who returned last year to steer the bank through its mammoth takeover.

The bank is said to be choosing from a shortlist of three internal candidates to assume the CEO role when Ermotti steps down in around three years’ time. A name could be announced as early as next year, sources told the FT.

UBS did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the reports.


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