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UBS asks former boss Sergio Ermotti to oversee Credit Suisse acquisition

UBS asks former boss Sergio Ermotti to oversee emergency takeover of Credit Suisse

Banking giant UBS has recalled former boss Sergio Ermotti to oversee its emergency takeover of troubled rival Credit Suisse.

Less than two weeks after the shotgun wedding to save Credit Suisse from collapse, UBS said Ermotti would again take the reins, running the company for nine years before stepping down in 2020.

He replaces UBS chief executive Ralph Hamers, who this month helped broker a £2.6bn rescue deal but has agreed to step down.

Summit: From left, UBS bosses Ralf Hammers, Sergio Ermotti and UBS President Colm Kelleher meet in Zurich, Switzerland

The bank said it had taken action ‘in light of the new challenges and priorities facing UBS following the announcement of the acquisition’.

Ermotti ran Zurich Bank after the 2008 financial meltdown, a rogue-trading scandal in 2011 where it lost £1.6 billion, and the start of the pandemic.

Colm Kelleher, chairman of UBS, said: ‘I am confident that Sergio will deliver the successful integration needed for both the banks’ customers, employees and investors and Switzerland. I know Sergio will hit the ground running.

Victoria Schaller, an analyst at Interactive Investor, said he was a ‘dungeon at crisis management’.

Ashley Pittard, head of global equities at investment management firm Pendal, said: ‘Without doubt, he is the right person for the job.

‘He’s the person you want to right the ship as executive and then to be chairman for the long term.

‘Sergio was in the trough during and after the global financial crisis when UBS was in deep trouble.’

Hamers said it was separating ‘in the interests of the new combined entity and its stakeholders, including Switzerland and its financial sector’.

More than 40,000 jobs out of a combined 120,000 workforce are about to be lost.

Kelleher said his main objective was to align Credit Suisse with the ‘conservative risk culture’ at UBS.

Part of the plan is to pare down Credit Suisse’s massive investment banking arm – something Ermotti did at UBS in 2011.

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