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UBS AG is a global financial services company. Headquartered in Zurich and Basel, the company provides financial services for private, corporate, and institutional clients worldwide, along with retail clients in Switzerland.


UBS traces its roots back to 1747, when one of the bank's branches was founded in the Swiss region of Valposchiavo. However, the three core components of the company date back to second half of the nineteenth century. Union Bank of Switzerland, Swiss Bank Corporation, and PaineWebber or their antecedents were all founded in the 1860s and 1870s.

UBS was formed through a merger of the Union Bank of Switzerland and the Swiss Bank Corporation in June 1998. SBC had just previously built a global investment banking business through its acquisitions of Dillon Read in New York and S.G. Warburg in London. The first chairman of the merged bank had to step back in October 1998 due to the Long-Term Capital Management crisis, which affected the Union Bank of Switzerland. In 2000, UBS acquired PaineWebber Group Inc. to become the world's largest wealth management firm for private clients. Invested assets in all wealth management businesses, including the U.S., total CHF 2.766 trillion.

On June 9th, 2003, all UBS business groups re-branded under the UBS name. UBS Painewebber, UBS Warburg, UBS Asset Management, and others became just "UBS". As a result of the re-branding, UBS took a $1B write off for the loss of brand value of PaineWebber. UBS is no longer an acronym but is the company's brand, like 3M or BP. Its logo of three keys stands for confidence, security, and discretion.[1]

UBS is present in all major financial centres worldwide, with offices in 50 countries. According to the UBS website, the bank had 70,210 employees on March 31, 2006. The 2006 Q1 report breaks these Financial Business permanent staff down by region as: 25,645 in Switzerland, 27,356 in the Americas, 11,341 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (not including Switzerland), and 5,868 in Asia and Australasia.


Manipulating prices

In May 2015 UBS pleaded guilty to interest rate rigging charges. US authorities discovered that between December 2007 and January 2013 traders at banks UBS, Citi, JPMorgan, Barclays, RBS and Bank of America had referred to themselves at 'The Cartel' in chatrooms 'where they used coded language to set benchmark rates'. During a trial period, one Barclays trader was even told 'mess this up and sleep with one eye open at night' with another Barclay's trader, in November 2010, saying 'if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying'. Between them, the banks have been fined nearly $6 billion.[2]


EU lobbying

In April 2015 the European Commission's transparency register revealed UBS' spending on lobbying in Brussels had increased from €100,000 in 2013 to €1.7m in 2014. The increase has come after the EU strengthened its disclosure rules and banned commission officials from meeting companies unless they were on the institution's transparency register by December 1 and for companies to include a proportion of trade association fees in their lobbying spending disclosures.[3]


Board of Directors

Executive Board

Former directors and managers

  • Raoul Weil (2002-2007), Head Wealth Management International, (2007) CEO, declared a fugitive by US court in January 2009[7]
  • Leon Brittan, Vice Chairman, UBS Warburg, 1999
  • Colin Buchan
  • James Sassoon (1985-2002), latterly as Vice Chairman, and then adviser to Alistair Darling and then after defecting to the Tories George Osborne[8][9]
  • Shriti Vadera, Warburg Dillon Read
  • Marcel Ospel (1995-1996) CEO, SBC Warburg; (1996-1998) President, SBC; (1999-2001) Group CEO, UBS AG; (2001-2008) Chairman of the Board of Directors, UBS AG
  • Peter Wuffli (1994-1998) CFO, SBC; (1998-1999) CFO, UBS; (1999-2001) Chairman & CEO, UBS Asset Management; (2001-2007) President, UBS; (2003-2007) CEO, UBS
  • Marcel Rohner (2007-2009) Group CEO, UBS
  • Huw Jenkins (1996-1997) Head of Asian Equities; (1997-1998) Co-Head of Asia Pacific Equities; (1998-1999)Head of Asia Pacific Equities; (1999-2000) Co-Head of US Equities; (2000-2005) Head of Equities for the Americas; (2005- 2007) CEO, UBS Investment Bank; (2006-2007) Chairman & CEO, UBS Investment Bank
  • Peter Kurer (2002-2009) Member of Executive Board, UBS; (2008-2009) Chairman, UBS
  • Clive Standish (2002-2007) Member of Group Executive Board, UBS AG; (2003-2007) CFO, UBS AG
  • Walter H. Stuerzinger (2001-2009) Chief Risk Officer; (2005-2009) Member of Group Executive Board; (2007-2009) COO of Corporate Centre, UBS
  • Rory Tapner (1984-2009) SG Warburg, SBC Warburg, UBS Warburg, UBS AG; (2005-2009) Chairman & CEO Asia Pacific, as a member of the Group Executive Board, UBS

Revolving Door

  • Ken Anderson, former Commercial Director at Department of Health, joined UBS Bank as a Managing Director and Vice Chairman in 2007.[10]
  • U.K. Life Peer Leon Brittan, Lord Brittan of Spennithorne, was appointed Chairman, UBS Ltd and Vice Chairman, UBS Investment Bank in 2000.[11]
  • U.K. Life Peer and former Foreign Office Minister Tristan Garel-Jones, is a senior adviser to UBS Warburg.[12]
  • Former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm was appointed Vice Chairman of UBS Americas in 2002.[13]
  • U.K. Life Peer David Howell, Lord Howell of Guildford, was an Advisory Director to UBS Warburg 1997-2000.[14]
  • The diplomat Sir Christopher Mallaby, a former Ambassador to France and Germany, was a Managing Director at UBS Investment Bank from 2000 to 2006.[15]
  • Marcel Ospel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBS AG between 2001-2008, is a member of the International Capital Markets Advisory Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and holds mandates with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s International Advisory Panel.[16]
  • Lucinda Riches, Non-executive Director at UK Financial Services Ltd was head of the global equity capital markets division at UBS until 2006.[17]
  • Tim Sykes, Non-executive Director at UK Financial Investments Ltd is a former UBS banking analyst.[18]
  • Kaspar Villiger was appointed the Chairman of UBS in March 2009. He was President of the Swiss Confederation in 1995 and 2002. He was previously a member of the parliament of the canton of Lucerne and, from 1982, in the Swiss Federal Parliament. He became a Federal Councillor in 1989, and became Finance Minister in 1995 as Head of the Federal Department of Finance until the end of 2003.[19]
  • U.K. Life Peer William Waldegrave, Lord Waldegrave of North Hill, was appointed a Director of Investment Banking and Vice-chairman at UBS in 2003.[20]


Revolving Door.jpg This article is part of the Revolving Door project of Spinwatch.



  1. UBS, History of UBS > 1900 - 1939 > 1937 - 1939, accessed 07 February 2011.
  2. Hazel Sheffield 'If you ain't cheatin, you ain't trying': four global banks plead guilty to felony charges of fixing the price of dollar and euros Independent, 20 May 2015, accessed 21 May 2015.
  3. Duncan Robinson and Tom Braithwaite Goldman Sachs’ reported spending on EU lobbying rises 14-fold Financial Times, 28 April 2015, accessed 29 April 2015.
  4. UBS, Board of Directors, accessed 07 February 2011.
  5. UBS, Group Executive Board, accessed 09 February 2011.
  6. UBS Investment Bank, Executive Committee > Robert Wolf, accessed 09 February 2011.
  7. Kolker, Carlyn, "Ex-UBS Executive Raoul Weil Declared a Fugitive by U.S. Judge," Bloomberg, 14 January 2009, accessed 07 February 2011.
  8. Financial Action Task Force, Sir James Sassoon, accessed 15 March 2009.
  9. Kirkup, James, "Gordon Brown's former City envoy James Sassoon defects to Conservatives," Daily Telegraph, 28 September 2008, accessed 09 February 2011.
  10. Who's Who 2009, ANDERSON, Kenneth Walter, online edition, Oxford University Press, accessed 24 March 2009.
  11. Who's Who 2009, BRITTAN OF SPENNITHORNE, online edition, Oxford University Press, accessed 24 March 2009.
  12. Who's Who 2009, GAREL-JONES, online edition, Oxford University Press, accessed 24 March 2009.
  13. UBS, "Senator Phil Gramm to join UBS Warburg," Media Release 07 October 2002, accessed 09 February 2011.
  14. Who's Who 2009, HOWELL OF GUILDFORD, online edition, Oxford University Press, accessed 24 March 2009.
  15. Who's Who 2009, MALLABY, Sir Christopher (Leslie George), online edition, Oxford University Press, accessed 24 March 2009.
  16. UBS, Annual Reporting 2005 > Board of Directors, accessed 09 February 2011.
  17. UKFI, The UKFI Board > Lucinda Riches, accessed 09 February 2011.
  18. UKFI, "Tim Sykes to join UKFI," Press Release 22 December 2008, accessed 09 February 2011.
  19. Global Reinsurance, "Swiss Re board member resigns," 04 March 2009, accessed 09 February 2011.
  20. Who's Who 2009, WALDEGRAVE OF NORTH HILL, online edition, Oxford University Press, accessed 24 March 2009.