UBS picks former Morgan Stanley president Kelleher as chairman By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Swiss bank UBS can be seen at the headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, February 17, 2021. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann / File Photo

By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Francois Murphy

ZURICH (Reuters) -UBS previously called Morgan Stanley (NYSE 🙂 President Colm Kelleher on Saturday as a surprising election to succeed Axel Weber as chairman of the world’s largest asset manager when his mandate ends in April.

Kelleher, an Irishman from County Cork, retired from his position at Morgan Stanley in 2019 after three decades at the US investment bank, including serving as finance director during the global financial crisis, but remained as a special advisor.

UBS was keen to hire a chairman with investment banking experience to work closely with former ING boss Ralph Hamers, who became CEO of Switzerland’s largest bank last year and committed to expanding its digital services after a career focused primarily on retail banking focused, to improve.

“UBS is pleased to propose a director and future president who has a deep understanding of the global banking landscape,” Weber said in a statement. “His more than 30 years of banking leadership experience and excellent relationships around the world make Colm an ideal partner for UBS.”

The bank’s goal is to elect a new chairman by the end of the year, and shareholders will now have to approve Kelleher’s appointment at its annual general meeting on April 6th.

During the financial crisis, Kelleher drastically downsized Morgan Stanley’s balance sheet, converting it into a traditional bank holding company for access to Federal Reserve funding and a $ 9 billion investment from Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ (NYSE 🙂 Financial Group to negotiate.

UBS also announced that it will nominate Lukas Gaehwiler as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.


Kelleher and Gaehwiler are selected because some of Europe’s largest banks select outsiders from other countries as executives. City rivals Swiss credit (SIX 🙂 brought in former Portuguese head of Lloyds (LON 🙂 bank, Antonio Horta-Osorio, as chairman this year to take them through an overhaul after a series of scandals that have cost them billions of dollars.

Deutsche Bank (DE 🙂 announced on Friday that the Dutch entrepreneur Alexander Wynaendts would be nominated as the next chairman of the supervisory board for Germany’s largest lender after a turbulent decade.

The nominations were surprising moves for some banks whose identities and governance are closely tied to their home countries. However, UBS took such a step in 2012 with the election of Weber, who comes from Germany and was previously President of the country’s national central bank.

Three sources told Reuters this week that the UBS board had shortlisted former UniCredit boss Jean-Pierre Mustier.

However, a source close to Mustier said the 60-year-old Frenchman had no immediate plans to leave the special purpose vehicle Pegasus Europe, which he founded and invested in after leaving UniCredit a year ago. Upon confirmation, Kelleher will take over the management of a Swiss bank with healthy accounts.

In October, UBS posted its highest quarterly profit in 11 years, with the world’s ultra-rich trading leading to a 23% increase in fee income.

With Gaehwiler’s admission to the Board of Directors, UBS will also hand over its second highest non-executive function to a Swiss citizen, succeeding Jeremy Anderson, who remains on the Board of Directors as an independent director.

Gaehwiler, currently chairman of the Swiss unit of the bank – UBS Switzerland AG – is to represent UBS in the most important associations in the country, in organizations of the financial industry and in political exchange, said the bank

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