(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG hired Martin Blessing, the former chief executive officer of Commerzbank AG, to become head of personal and corporate banking, succeeding Lukas Gaehwiler.

Blessing, 52, whose tenure as CEO of Germany’s second-biggest bank ended on April 30, was also appointed president of UBS Switzerland and will join the group executive board on Sept. 1, the Zurich-based bank said in a statement on Wednesday. Gaehwiler, 51, has requested to step down from his current roles to assume new responsibilities within the bank.

“With Martin Blessing, we gain a professional with a proven track record and significant experience in all areas of the business for UBS,” CEO Sergio Ermotti said in the statement. “I am certain he will further advance our business in Switzerland and beyond.”

Blessing helped to restructure Commerzbank following its 18.2 billion-euro ($21 billion) rescue by German taxpayers during the global financial crisis. Under his leadership, the lender boosted returns by shrinking its pile of delinquent shipping and commercial real-estate loans.

Gaehwiler has been on the executive board of UBS since 2010, when he joined Switzerland’s biggest bank from Credit Suisse Group AG. He is in charge of Swiss retail, wealth management, corporate and institutional, investment banking and asset management.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeffrey Vögeli in Zurich at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simone Meier at, Jon Menon

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