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Leadership transition UBS CEO Ermotti to step down in November

Sergio Ermotti

Rumours of Ermotti's exit had been circulating for several months.

(Keystone / Alessandro Della Valle)

Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, has announced that CEO Sergio Ermotti will step down this autumn to be replaced by Ralph Hamers, the current head of Dutch financial services group ING.

Ermotti will have served as UBS CEOexternal link for nine years when he exits on November 1. The Swiss national’s tenure is widely regarded as being successful and his exit will be more orderly than that of Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam earlier this month. But he also leaves behind an ongoing CHF5 billion tax evasion problem in France.

Rumours had been circulating in the media for several months that UBS was searching for a new CEO. Iqbal Khan, who was recently appointed head of the bank’s prestigious wealth management unit, was viewed in the press as a potential successor.

Instead, UBS announced on Wednesday nightexternal link that Hamers will take over from Ermotti. The Dutch national, who has led ING Group for more than six years, will join the executive board of UBS in September to ease the transition.

“A seasoned and well-respected banker with proven expertise in digital transformation, Ralph has an impressive track record,” stated UBS chairman Axel Weber.

“It has been a privilege to lead UBS. After nearly a decade as CEO, now is the right time to write my next chapter. UBS is in great shape, enjoys maximum strategic flexibility and is well positioned for sustainable growth,” Ermotti stated.

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