The Business On... Sergio Ermotti, chief executive, UBS
Wednesday 16 November 2011
The new boss of UBS? He must have faced lots of competition
Not necessarily. Mr Ermotti is rumoured to have been the bank's fallback option after Axel Weber, the chairman designate, cast around for other options.
Why so little interest from elsewhere?
Frankly, UBS is a mess. After being saved from oblivion by the Swiss government, it appeared to have steadied itself before revealing a $2.3bn (£1.5bn) alleged rogue trading scandal in September.
What's his record at UBS?
He only arrived in April as head of Europe, Middle East and Africa and was drafted in as interim CEO in September when Oswald Grübel was forced out. He's struck a conciliatory tone internally but public remarks that Switzerland had prospered from looking after undeclared funds were less welcome.
What did he do before?
Mr Ermotti was a sports-mad youth who scrapped plans to be a ski instructor after a stint at Corner Bank in his native Italian-speaking Ticino region of Switzerland. He spent 16 years at Merrill Lynch before a two-year sabbatical and then joined Italy's UniCredit in late 2005, becoming deputy CEO.
What else do we know?
The dapper 51-year-old is Swiss, which helps, is still an avid skier, and commutes to UBS's Zurich headquarters from nearby Zug.
What's the first thing he has to do at UBS?
There's the small matter of unveiling a new strategy at tomorrow's investor day. Expect big job cuts, a drastic cutback of the disaster-prone investment bank and soothing words for jittery rich private banking clients.
And after that?
With UBS turning 150 next year, Mr Ermotti wants to put the bank on track to emulate Apple and IBM, which famously proved the doubters wrong after being written off. Bona Fortuna, Mr Ermotti!
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