In light of its planned acquisition of Credit Suisse, UBS has announced the appointment of Sergio Ermotti as group chief executive officer and president of the group executive board, effective from 5 April.
Mr Ermotti, who is currently chairman of Swiss Re, served as chief executive officer of the Swiss banking giant for nine years before being succeeded by current CEO Ralph Hamers in November 2020.
UBS said that Mr Ermotti was “ideally placed” to pursue the integration of Credit Suisse given his experience in repositioning the bank following the challenges that arose from the global financial crisis (GFC) as well as his deep understanding of the financial services industry in Switzerland and globally.
“I am honoured to be asked to lead this bank at a time that is so important for all its stakeholders and for Switzerland. I would like to express my gratitude to Ralph for steering UBS so successfully,” Mr Ermotti said on his appointment.
“The task at hand is an urgent and challenging one. In order to do it in a sustainable and successful way, and in the interest of all stakeholders involved, we need to thoughtfully and systematically assess all options.
“I am conscious of the uncertainty many feel and I promise that, together with my colleagues, our full attention will be on delivering the best possible outcome for our clients, our employees, our shareholders, and the Swiss government.”
Mr Hamers will remain at UBS and work alongside Mr Ermotti as an advisor during a transition period to ensure a successful closure of the transaction and a smooth handover.
“Integrating Credit Suisse is UBS’ single most important task and I am confident that Sergio will successfully guide the bank through this next phase,” commented Mr Hamers.
“I am of course sorry to leave UBS, but circumstances have changed in ways that none of us expected. I am stepping aside in the interests of the new combined entity and its stakeholders, including Switzerland and its financial sector.”
The UBS board expressed its gratitude to Mr Hamers for steering it to record results in two successive years and for his instrumental role in bringing about the acquisition.
“Ralph has been an outstanding CEO of UBS, driving the group to unprecedented success despite a challenging environment,” said UBS chairman Colm Kelleher.
“Under his leadership, UBS built the strengths that have put us in a position to stabilise Credit Suisse and ensure a successful integration.”
Mr Kelleher noted that, while the takeover of Credit Suisse will support UBS’ existing strategy, it also imposes new priorities on the bank.
“With his unique experience, I am very confident that Sergio will deliver the successful integration that is so essential for both banks’ clients, employees, and investors, and for Switzerland. I know Sergio will hit the ground running,” he concluded.