The UBS board, in bringing Sergio Ermotti back as chief executive, opted for someone who knows the bank well. Ermotti held the post from 2011 to 2020 and won acclaim for leading its recovery from the financial crisis.
The 62-year-old, born in Switzerland, is a career banker, having worked at Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and UniCredit before joining UBS. As chief executive, his main task was to shore up the bank after a 6 billion Swiss franc ($6.52 billion) bailout by the Swiss government during the financial crisis and a $2.3 billion fraudulent transaction scandal. He reduced the investment bank – although he did not close it completely despite some calls to do so – and expanded the core wealth management operation.
“My best decision was not to follow the consensus. . . I’m sure I wouldn’t be the CEO today if I had,’ he told the Financial Times in a interview in 2020. “As a leader, your first instinct is usually the right one.”
The stock price was about the same when he quit as when he started, but that compares favorably to a nearly 60% decline in the value of Credit Suisse over the course of the year. same period.
Ermotti stepped down in 2020, with the words: “After nearly a decade as CEO, now is a good time to write my next chapter. UBS is in great shape, enjoys maximum strategic flexibility and is well positioned for sustainable growth.
Ralph Hamers took over from Ermotti in 2020 and will now step down as the Swiss banker takes over the reins.
Since leaving UBS, Ermotti has held seats on the board of fashion group Ermenegildo Zegna and Innosuisse, the Swiss innovation agency. He was also chairman of reinsurance group Swiss Re, although his time there was not without controversy. Last year, proxy advisor ISS recommended investors vote against Ermotti’s re-election due to a lack of diversity on the board of directors.
Despite these distractions, he relishes his return to the head of UBS. “The task ahead is urgent and difficult,” he said in a statement on Wednesday, promising to deliver “the best possible outcome for our customers, our employees, our shareholders and the Swiss government.”
CV of Sergio Ermotti
Born in 1960
1978 — 2004 Merrill Lynch
2005 — 2007 Head of Markets and Investment Banking at UniCredit
2007 — 2011 Deputy CEO of UniCredit
2011 — 2020 Chief Executive Officer of UBS
2021 Becomes Chairman of Swiss Re and Member of the Board of Directors of Ermenegildo Zegna
2023 Joins the board of directors of Innosuisse, the Swiss innovation agency
2023 Renamed CEO of UBS