UBS chief quits after 18 months in job

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The Independent Online

The chairman and chief executive of UBS America said yesterday he was quitting after just 18 months in the job "to spend more time with my family".

Mark Sutton will step down at the end of the year to be replaced by Robert Wolf. The shock departure was accompanied by a short statement that also said he planned to "pursue other business interests".

Such announcements are often greeted with a considerable degree of cynicism but Mr Sutton said that in this case, at least, it was true.

"For the last 10 years, I commuted back and forth every weekend from Austin, Texas, to New York and that's long enough," he said. "It truly is a natural transition. The management team in place now, I think, is the right one."

Mr Sutton, 52, took the job on in 2005 when UBS integrated its wealth management operations and its Swiss corporate and retail banking operations into one division. He previously ran the wealth management business.

He will be replaced by Robert Wolf, the chief operating officer of UBS's investment bank, who will succeed Mr Sutton on 1 January but retain the COO position.

UBS is the world's biggest manager of money for wealthy people and is expanding its US operations to try to attract more of the country's high number of high-net-worth individuals.

The usually ultra-consistent and sure-footed bank has, however, endured a difficult time in recent weeks. Its third-quarter results were spoiled by a bad bet on interest rates by its trading division.