From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Traded as||SIX: UBSN NYSE: UBS|
|Predecessor||Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation merged in 1998|
|Headquarters||Zürich & Basel, Switzerland|
|Key people||Kaspar Villiger (Chairman)
Oswald Grübel (Group CEO)
Finance and Insurance
|Revenue||$47.529 billion (2010)|
|Net income||$8.007 billion (2010)|
|Total assets||$1.400 trillion (2010)|
|Total equity||$49.765 billion (2010)|
UBS AG (SIX: UBSN, NYSE: UBS) is a Swiss global financial services company headquartered in Basel and Zürich, Switzerland, which provides investment banking, asset management, and wealth management services for private, corporate, and institutional clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. It operates in more than 40 countries and considered as the world's second largest manager of private wealth assets, with over CHF 2.2 trillion in invested assets. UBS operates in all of the major financial centers worldwide with offices in over 50 countries and 64,000 employees around the world. UBS traces its heritage, through its predecessors, to 1854.
UBS was originally an abbreviation for the Union Bank of Switzerland, one of its predecessors; however, UBS ceased to be considered a representational abbreviation after its 1998 merger with Swiss Bank Corporation.
UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide, with about 37% of its 64,617 employees working in the Americas, 37% in Switzerland, 16% in the rest of Europe and 10% in Asia Pacific. UBS has a major presence in the United States, with its American headquarters located in New York City (Investment banking); Weehawken, New Jersey (Private Wealth Management); and Stamford, Connecticut (Sales & Trading).
On June 9, 2003, all UBS business groups rebranded under the UBS name as the company began operating as a unified global entity.
UBS Investment Bank
UBS Investment Bank, a bulge bracket bank, provides securities, other financial products, and research in equities, fixed income, rates, foreign exchange, precious metals and derivatives. Its 15,000 people across over 30 countries also advise and provide access to capital markets for corporate and institutional clients, governments, financial intermediaries, alternative asset managers and private investors.
The Investment Banking Department (IBD) provides a range of advisory and underwriting services including mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, equity offerings, investment grade and high yield debt offerings, leveraged finance and leveraged loan structuring, and the private placement of equity, debt, and derivatives.
The Sales & Trading division, comprises Equities (brokering, dealing, market making and engaging in proprietary trading in equities, equity-related products, equity derivatives, and structured products) and Fixed Income, Currencies, and Commodities (FICC) (brokering, dealing, market making and engaging in proprietary trading in interest rate products, credit products, mortgage-backed securities, leveraged loans, investment grade and high yield debt, currencies, commodities, structured products and derivative products).
Since the early 2000s, UBS Investment Bank has been among the top fee generating investment banks globally. For 2010 UBS ranked #5 globally in mergers & acquisitions advisory, #5 globally in debt capital markets bookrunning, #5 globally in follow-on equity offerings, #3 in European follow-on equity offerings, #1 in Asia M&A advisory, #2 in Asian equity capital markets bookrunning, #2 in Asian follow-on equity offerings, #2 in Canadian M&A advisory, #3 in Middle Eastern & African mergers & acquisitions advisory, and #2 in Middle Eastern & African equity capital markets bookrunning. UBS also ranked #1 on the 2010 M&A league tables in Australia, ahead of Macquarie Bank and Goldman Sachs.
UBS Global Asset Management
UBS GlobalAsset Management offers investment products in equities, fixed income, global diversified portfolios, alternative investments, quantitative investments, real estate, infrastructure and funds of funds for private clients, financial intermediaries, institutional investors and itself via proprietary trading.
The 1998 UBS-SBC merger and subsequent restructuring resulted in the combination of three major asset management operations: UBS Asset Management, Phillips & Drew (owned by Union Bank of Switzerland) and Brinson Partners (owned by SBC). The investment teams were merged in 2000 and in 2002 the brands were consolidated as UBS Global Asset Management.
UBS is the second largest asset management firm in the world with over CHF 2.2 trillion in invested assets. With over 3,500 employees in 25 countries, UBS Global Asset Management is the largest mutual fund manager in Switzerland and the largest fund of hedge funds manager in the world. UBS Global Asset Management has major offices in London, Chicago, Frankfurt, Hartford, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Zurich.
UBS Wealth Management
UBS Wealth Management offers high net worth individuals a range of advisory and investment products and services supported by the firm's underwriting and research. Until 2009, UBS was considered the largest wealth manager globally.
UBS Wealth Management in the U.S. is an outgrowth of the former Paine Webber brokerage business. The business changed its name first to UBS Paine Webber in March 2001 after it was acquired by UBS. The subsidiary further changed its name to UBS Wealth Management USA in June 2003.
UBS Wealth Management employs more than 27,500 personnel in 44 countries. In the U.S., UBS Wealth Management employs more than 8,000 financial advisors. UBS also offers traditional Swiss bank services to its non-US clients.
UBS Swiss Bank
Within Switzerland, UBS Swiss Bank provides a complete set of retail banking services, including checking, savings, credit card and mortgage products, for individuals and cash management and commercial banking services for small businesses and corporate clients.
Merger of Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation
During the mid-1990s, Union Bank of Switzerland came under fire from dissident shareholders, critical of bank's conservative management and lower return on equity. Martin Ebner, through his investment trust, BK Vision became the largest shareholder in Union Bank of Switzerland and attempted to force a major restructuring of the bank’s operations. Looking to take advantage of the situation, Credit Suisse approached Union Bank of Switzerland about a merger that would have created the second largest bank in the world in 1996. Union Bank of Switzerland's management and board unanimously rebuffed the proposed merger. Ebner, who supported the idea of a merger, led a shareholder revolt that resulted in the replacement of Union Bank of Switzerland's chairman, Robert Studer with Mathis Cabiallavetta, one of the key architects of the merger with Swiss Bank Corporation.
On December 8, 1997, Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation announced an all stock merger. At the time of the merger, Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation were the second and third largest banks in Switzerland, respectively. Discussions between the two banks had begun several months earlier, less than a year after rebuffing Credit Suisse's merger overtures.
The merger resulted in the creation UBS AG, a huge new bank with total assets of more than $590 billion. Also referred to as the "New UBS" to distinguish itself from the former Union Bank of Switzerland, the combined bank became the second largest in the world, at that time, behind only the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. Additionally, the merger pulled together the banks' various asset management businesses to create the world's largest money manager, with approximately $910 billion in assets under management. The combined entity was originally to be called United Bank of Switzerland, but foreseeing a problem with United Bank Switzerland, opted for UBS.
The merger, which was billed as a merger of equals, resulted in Union Bank of Switzerland's shareholders receiving 60% of the combined company and Swiss Bank's shareholders receiving the remaining 40% of the bank's common shares. Union Bank of Switzerland's Mathis Cabiallavetta became chairman of the new bank while Swiss Bank's Marcel Ospel was named chief executive officer. Nearly 80% of the top management positions were filled by legacy Swiss Bank professionals. Prior to the merger Swiss Bank Corporation was considered to be further along than Union Bank of Switzerland in developing its international investment banking business, particularly in the higher margin advisory businesses where Warburg Dillon Read was considered to be the more established platform. Union Bank of Switzerland had a stronger retail and commercial banking business in Switzerland and both banks had strong asset management capabilities.
Acquisition of Paine Webber
On November 3, 2000, UBS merged with Paine Webber, an American stock brokerage and asset management firm led by chairman and CEO, Donald Marron. The acquisition pushed UBS to the top Wealth and Asset Management Firm in the world. Initially the business was given the divisional name "UBS PaineWebber" but in 2003 the 123-year-old name Paine Webber disappeared when it was renamed "UBS Wealth Management USA." UBS took a $1 billion writedown for the loss of goodwill associated with the retirement of the Paine Webber brand when it integrated its brands under the unified UBS name in 2003.
Rising in the league tables (2000-2007)
John P. Costas, a former bond trader and co-head of Fixed Income at Credit Suisse First Boston and head of Fixed Income Trading at Union Bank of Switzerland in 1998, was appointed CEO of UBS's investment banking division, known as UBS Warburg in December 2001. He shifted the growth strategy from acquiring entire firms to hiring individual investment bankers or teams of bankers from rival firms. Costas had followed a similar approach in building out the UBS fixed Income business hiring over 500 sales and trading personnel and increasing revenues from $300 million in 1998 to over $3 billion by 2001.
The arrival of former Drexel Burnham Lambert investment banker, Ken Moelis, marked a major coup for Costas. Moelis joined UBS from Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette in 2001 shortly after that its acquisition by Credit Suisse First Boston. In his six years at UBS, Moelis ultimately assumed the role of president of UBS Investment Bank and was credited, along with Costas, with the build-out of UBS's investment banking operation in the United States. Within weeks of joining, Moelis brought over a team of 70 bankers from Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Costas and Moelis hired more than 30 senior U.S. bankers from 2001 through 2004. It was estimated that UBS spent as much as $600 million to $700 million hiring top bankers in the U.S. during this three-year period. Among the bank's other major recruits during this period were Olivier Sarkozy, Ben Lorello, Jeff McDermott. and Blair Effron.
By 2003, UBS had risen to fourth place from seventh in global investment banking fees earning $2.1 billion of the $39 billion paid to investment banks that year, increasing 33%. Over the next four years, UBS consistently ranked in the top 4 in the global fee pool and had established a track record of 20 consecutive quarters of rising profits.
Impact of the financial crisis (2008-2009)
The bank's losses continued to mount in 2008 when UBS announced in April 2008 that it was writing down a further $19 billion of investments in subprime and other mortgage assets. By this point, UBS's total losses in the mortgage market were in excess of $37 billion, the largest such losses of any of its peers. In response to its losses, UBS announced a 15 billion CHF rights offering to raise the additional funds need to shore up its depleted reserves of capital. UBS cut its dividend in order to protect its traditionally high tier 1 capital ratio, seen by investors as a key to its credibility as the world's largest wealth management company. Marcel Ospel, who had been the architect of the merger that created UBS in 1998, also announced that he would step down as chairman of the bank to be replaced by Peter Kurer, the bank’s general counsel.
In October 2008, UBS announced they had placed CHF 6 billion of new capital, through mandatory convertible notes, with Swiss Confederation. The SNB (Swiss National Bank) and UBS made an agreement to transfer approximately USD 60 billion of currently illiquid securities and various assets from UBS to a separate fund entity. UBS raised an additional $11.5 billion of capital in December 2007, $9.7 billion of which came from the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and $1.8 billion from an unnamed Middle Eastern investor. In November 2008, UBS put $6 billion of equity into the new “bad bank” entity, keeping only an option to benefit if the value of its assets were to recover. Heralded as a “neat” package by the New York Times, the UBS structure guaranteed clarity for UBS investors by making an outright sale.
UBS announced, in February 2009, that it had lost nearly CHF 20 billion (US$17.2 billion) in 2008, the biggest single-year loss of any company in Swiss history. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007, UBS had written down approximately $50bn of mortgage related assets and announced 11,000 job cuts.
In the aftermath of financial crisis, UBS has prescribed a stricter dress code. Female employees are required to wear ‘skin coloured’ lingerie, not to wear too tight behind skirts, as also exists instructions about permissible hair-styles, type of socks to wear, that underwear must not be visible against clothing or spilling out, etc. The code for male employees is to wear a straight-cut two button jacket and pants, not to wear ties not matching the morphology of the face, nor cartoon motifs socks, etc. All employees are also to avoid smelling of strong scent, garlic, onion and cigarette smoke.
U.S. tax evasion controversy
In July 2008, a United States Senate panel accused Swiss banks, including UBS and LGT Group, of helping wealthy Americans evade taxes through offshore accounts. U.S. clients held about 19,000 accounts at UBS, with an estimated $18 billion to $20 billion in assets, in Switzerland, according to the findings. In response to the report and the FBI investigation, UBS announced that it would cease providing cross-border private banking services to US-domiciled clients through its non-US regulated units as of July 2008. In November 2008, a U.S. federal grand jury indicted Raoul Weil, Chairman and CEO of UBS Global Wealth Management and Business Banking and member of UBS's Group Executive Board, in connection with the ongoing investigation of UBS's US cross-border business. UBS would eventually cut ties to Raoul Weil in May 2009 and he would face charges after UBS had settled its criminal case with the government.
UBS agreed, on February 18, 2009, to pay a fine of $780 million to the U.S. Government and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement on charges of conspiring to defraud the United States by impeding the Internal Revenue Service. Of the $780 million that UBS will pay, $380 million represents disgorgement of profits from its cross-border business; the balance represents United States taxes that UBS failed to withhold on the accounts. As part of the deal, UBS also settled Securities and Exchange Commission charges of having acted as an unregistered broker-dealer and investment adviser for Americans.
The day after settling its criminal case, on February 19, 2009, the U.S. government filed a civil suit against UBS to reveal the names of all 52,000 American customers, alleging that the bank and these customers conspired to defraud the IRS and federal government of legitimately owed tax revenue. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) had given the United States government the identities of, and account information for, certain United States customers of UBS’s cross-border business as part of its criminal investigation in 2009. On August 12, 2009, UBS announced a settlement deal that ended its litigation with the IRS. However, this settlement set up a showdown between the U.S. and Swiss governments over the secrecy of Swiss bank accounts. It was not until June 2010 that Swiss lawmakers approved deal to reveal client data and account details of U.S. clients who were suspected of tax evasion.
By the spring of 2009 UBS announced another management restructuring and initiated a plan to return to profitability. Jerker Johansson, the head of the investment bank division, resigned in April 2009 and was replaced by Alex Wilmot-Sitwell and Carsten Kengeter. At the same time, UBS announced the planned elimination of 8,700 jobs and had implemented a new compensation plan. Under the plan, no more than one-third of any cash bonus would be paid out in the year it is earned with the rest held in reserve and stock-based incentives that would vest after three years; top executives would have to hold 75% of any vested shares. Additionally, the bank's chairman, Peter Kurer, would no longer receive any extra variable compensation, only a cash salary and a fixed allotment of shares that could not be sold for four years. Also, in April 2009, UBS announced that it has agreed to sell its Brazilian financial services business, UBS Pactual, for approximately $2.5 billion to BTG Investments.
By the summer of 2009, UBS was showing increased signs of stabilization. Taking advantage of conditions in the stock market, UBS placed $3.5 billion of shares with a small number of large institutional investors. The Swiss government sold its CHF 6 billion stake in UBS in late 2008 at a large profit.
In August 2010, UBS launched a new advertising campaign featuring the slogan: “We will not rest" and signed a global sponsorship agreement with Formula 1.
On October 26, 2010 UBS announced that its private bank recorded net new funds of 900 million Swiss francs during the third quarter, compared to outflow of 5.5 billion Swiss francs in second quarter. UBS's third quarter net profit of $1.65 billion beat analyst estimates, continuing a string of profitability.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is the most senior corporate body with ultimate responsibility for the strategy and the management of the company and for the appointment and supervision of its executive management., the members of which are:
- Kaspar Villiger, Chairman
- Michel Demaré, Independent Vice Chairman
- Sally Bott, Group Human Resources Director, BP plc
- Rainer-Marc Frey, founder and chairman of Horizon21
- Bruno Gehrig, vice-chairman, Roche Holding Ltd
- Ann Godbehere
- Axel P. Lehmann, Group Chief Risk Officer of Zurich Financial Services
- Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman and CEO of Lufthansa
- Helmut Panke
- William G. Parrett
- David Sidwell
Chairman Marcel Ospel did not seek re-election at the 23 April 2008 annual general meeting of shareholders and was succeeded by Peter Kurer, who was general counsel. On 15 April 2009, Peter Kurer was succeeded by Kaspar Villiger.
Group Executive Board
The Group Executive Board is the executive body of the company, the members of which are:
- Group Chief Executive Officer: Oswald Grübel
- Group Chief Operating Officer & CEO Corporate Center: Ulrich Körner
- Group Chief Financial Officer: John Cryan
- Group General Counsel: Markus U. Diethelm
- Group Chief Risk Officer: Philip Lofts
- CEO Global Asset Management: John A. Fraser
- CEO Investment Bank: Carsten Kengeter
- CEO Wealth Management Americas: Robert J. McCann
- CEO Wealth Management: Jurg Zeltner
- CEO Wealth Management & Swiss Bank: Lukas Gähwiler and Jurg Zeltner (joint)
- CEO UBS Switzerland: Lukas Gähwiler
- Chairman and CEO UBS Group Asia Pacific (APAC): Chi-Won Yoon and Alex Wilmot-Sitwell (joint)
- Chairman and CEO UBS Group Americas, President, Investment Bank : Robert Wolf
On 26 February 2009, Marcel Rohner resigned and was succeeded by Oswald Grübel. On 1 April 2009, Oswald Grübel hired Ulrich Körner, in a newly established role as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and CEO of Corporate Center. Körner's task will be to cut administrative expenses and boost profits.
UBS has been or is currently a sponsor of the following sporting events and organizations. UBS is particularly active in sponsoring various golf tournaments, cross-country skiing in Switzerland ice hockey, and a range of other events around the world. UBS was the sponsor of the Alinghi sailing ship, winner of the Americas Cup in 2003.
UBS has been or is currently a sponsor of the following cultural events and organizations. Typically UBS's cultural sponsorships are related to classical music and contemporary art although the firm also sponsors a range of film festivals, music festivals and other engagements.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: UBS|
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