UBS CEO Oswald Gruebel Resigns Over $ 2.3 Billion Rogue Trading Loss

Posted by jwasserman in Blog on October 4, 2011

UBS announced that CEO Oswald Gruebel has resigned and that Sergio P. Ermotti will take over immediately until Gruebel’s permanent successor is identified.

UBS’s president, Kaspar Villiger said that the board regretted Gruebel’s decision to resign and that Gruebel “steps down having helped make UBS one of the world’s best capitalized banks.” 

“Oswald Gruebel feels that it is his duty to assume responsibility for the recent unauthorized trading incident,” he said.  “It is testimony to his uncompromising principles and integrity.”

UBS’ board tried to persuade Gruebel to stay on until the banks’ annual shareholder meeting next year, but Gruebel decided to step down now. 

A London based UBS trader, Kweku Adoboli was arrested on September 15, 2011 and charged with fraud and false accounting for the $ 2.3 billion loss.  Adoboli remains in jail until sometime later this month when he has a hearing. 

Gruebel, who came out of retirement, was appointed CEO two years ago to help revive the fortunes of the Zurich-based bank, and achieved “an impressive turnaround and strengthened UBS fundamentally.”  Gruebel arrived at UBS amongst the midst of the subprime meltdown and the embarrassing U.S. tax evasion case.    

Gruebel steered the bank back to profit and resolved the U.S. tax evasion case.  Gruebel accepted new Swiss government rules to hold far greater capital reserves to prevent a possible collapse during a banking crisis.

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