July 22, 2024

DealBook: Weber Tapped to Become UBS Chairman

Axel A. WeberKai Pfaffenbach/ReutersAxel A. Weber, the former German central bank president, was selected to join UBS’s board as vice chairman in 2012, then chairman a year later.

UBS said Friday that it had picked Axel A. Weber, the former German central bank president, to join its board next year, and that it planned to appoint him as chairman a year later.

Mr. Weber is set to join UBS’s board as nonindependent vice chairman, subject to approval by the bank’s shareholders. If elected, he would then be nominated to succeed Kaspar Villiger as chairman of the board. The shareholder vote to approve him is scheduled for May 3, 2012.

‘‘I am pleased that I can present a board member and future chairman who is an internationally renowned personality with an outstanding reputation,’’ Mr. Villiger said in a statement. ‘‘His appointment will guarantee a smooth leadership transition and stability.’’

Mr. Weber was a candidate to replace Jean-Claude Trichet as president of the European Central Bank before he withdrew from the race in February after making some controversial comments about monetary policy. He also resigned from the Bundesbank, the German central bank, saying he would return to academia. Before becoming a central banker, Mr. Weber had worked as an economics professor at universities in Germany.

‘‘Being able to help shape the bank’s future is an attractive prospect,’’ he said in the statement.

Mr. Weber, 54, was also seen as a potential candidate to take the top job at Deutsche Bank, once the contract of the current chief executive, Josef Ackermann, ran out in 2013.

UBS’s chief executive, Oswal J. Grübel, is still trying to repair a bank that was one of the hardest hit in Europe during the financial crisis. Its role in a recent legal case over tax evasion by some of its American clients had also hurt the reputation of its wealth management operation.

Some analysts have said previously that it is unclear how long Mr. Grübel would stay at UBS. Mr. Grübel, a 67-year old former chief executive of Credit Suisse, came out of retirement to help turn UBS around in 2009.

Mr. Grübel cut jobs, shrank the balance sheet and strengthened the private banking operations but said earlier this year that the investment banking unit’s performance was still not satisfactory. UBS posted a annual profit in 2010, its first since before the financial crisis.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=e4a3ebf857f57cef4194d48f09a25d01

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