Mon, Sep 26, 2011 - Page 10 News List

New UBS boss seeks fresh start

Reuters, ZURICH, SWITZERLAND

New interim UBS boss Sergio Ermotti faced a daunting task yesterday as he tries to get the Swiss bank back on its feet after Oswald Gruebel quit as CEO over the US$2.3 billion loss it ran up in alleged rogue trading.

Ermotti said on Saturday the scandal had revealed a risk -exposure that was “totally unacceptable” and his first priorities would be to review the bank’s controls and conclude an internal investigation into the losses.

A 51-year-old from Switzerland’s Italian-speaking region of Ticino, Ermotti was being groomed as a possible successor for the position since he joined UBS as head of Europe, Middle East and Africa in April from UniCredit.

“We are aware that we are facing turbulent times externally and this latest incident is only adding much more necessity for us to react. But let’s not forget that UBS is one of the best capitalized banks worldwide,” he told journalists.

UBS shares have fallen more than 10 percent since the news broke on Sept. 15, trading at their lowest level since early 2009, but they rose 4.8 percent on Friday on hopes the board would agree to major restructuring.

Ermotti said an internal investigation of what went wrong at the bank should be concluded in 10 to 14 days.

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