UBS CEO takes blame for rogue trading, quits

Former UBS CEO Oswald J. Grübel

The CEO of Swiss bank UBS quit on Saturday in the wake of a rogue trading scandal that the bank says cost it $2.3 billion.

The resignation of Oswald J. Grübel comes amid changes at the bank designed to make operations less risky. UBS Chairman Kaspar Villiger said those changes would be pushed through faster by interim CEO Sergio Ermotti, Europe, Middle East and Africa head.

"Oswald Gruebel feels that it is his duty to assume responsibility for the recent unauthorized trading incident," Villiger said in a statement.

The following is from UBS...

Leadership change at UBS

Sergio P. Ermotti named Group CEO on an interim basis following the resignation of Oswald J. Grübel from the bank

The UBS Board of Directors has accepted today the decision of Group CEO Oswald J. Grübel to resign from the bank.

The Board of Directors asked Sergio P. Ermotti to take up the position of Group CEO on an interim basis. The appointment will take effect immediately.

UBS's Chairman Kaspar Villiger said: "The Board regrets Oswald Grübel's decision. Oswald Grübel feels that it is his duty to assume responsibility for the recent unauthorized trading incident. It is testimony to his uncompromising principles and integrity. During his tenure, he achieved an impressive turnaround and strengthened UBS fundamentally. He steps down having helped make UBS one of the world’s best capitalized banks. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to him for everything he has done for UBS."

Kaspar Villiger continued: "I would like to thank Sergio Ermotti for taking over the interim leadership of UBS. With his extensive industry experience and together with the executive leadership team he will continue to implement UBS's strategic alignment."

The Board of Directors will continue the ongoing internal and external evaluation process to find a permanent successor as Group CEO.

The Board is deeply disappointed by the recent loss arising from unauthorized trading. It will fully support the independent investigation and will ensure that mitigating measures are implemented to prevent such an incident from recurring.

The Board also held its regular discussions about the firm's strategy. It reconfirmed the Group’s integrated strategy, with its wealth management, investment bank, asset management and Swiss retail and corporate businesses as essential and complementary pillars of UBS’s unique client franchise. The Board of Directors has asked the Group Executive Board to accelerate the implementation of the Investment Bank's client-centric strategy, concentrating on advisory, capital markets, and client flow and solutions businesses. This strategy is consistent with the industry's changing capital requirements and will lead to a reduction in complexity. It will also help to ensure that UBS delivers the best-quality risk-adjusted returns for shareholders.

Kaspar Villiger said: "We are committed to further expanding our already leading global wealth management franchise. The Investment Bank will continue to strengthen its alignment with UBS's wealth management businesses, in addition to serving its corporate, sovereign and other institutional clients. In the future, the Investment Bank will be less complex, carry less risk and use less capital to produce reliable returns and contribute more optimally to UBS’s overall objectives."

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