- UBS AG
company_name = UBS AG
company_type = Public (nyse|UBS; SWX: [http://www.swx.com/market/quote_chart_en.html?id=CH0024899483CHF1 UBSN] ; tyo|8657)
foundation = 1998 merger of the
Union Bank of Switzerlandand the Swiss Bank Corporation
Peter Kurer, Chairman
Marco Suter, Vice Chairman
Marcel Rohner, CEO
num_employees = 81,577 (as end of 2Q 2007)
operating_income = loss 3,952 million CHF (1Q 2008) (about 3,838 million USD)
net_income = loss 11,535 million CHF (1Q 2008) (about 11,203 million USD)
slogan = You & Us.
homepage = [http://www.ubs.com/ UBS.com]
UBS AG (nyse|UBS; SWX: [http://www.swx.com/market/quote_chart_en.html?id=CH0024899483CHF1 UBSN] ; tyo|8657) is a diversified global financial services company, with its main headquarters in
Basel& Zürich, Switzerland. It is the world's largest manager of private wealth assets, "the world's biggest manager of other people's money"cite news |title=Down the Matterhorn |url=http://www.economist.com/finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9483621|publisher=" The Economist" |date= July 12, 2007|accessdate=2007-07-22 ] and is also the second-largest bank in Europe, by both market capitalisationand profitability. UBS has a major presence in the U.S., with its American headquarters located in New York City's Manhattan borough, ( Investment Banking); Weehawken, New Jersey(Private Wealth); and Stamford, Connecticut( Capital Markets). UBS's retail offices are located throughout the United States, and in over 50 other countries. "UBS" is an abbreviation, which originated from a predecessor firm, the Union Bank of Switzerland, however "UBS" ceased to be considered a representational abbreviationafter its 1998 mergerwith Swiss Bank Corporation. [cite web|url=http://www.ubs.com/1/e/investors/faq/about.html|title="Corporate FAQ" |accessdate=April 20|accessyear=2007]
UBS's global business groups are
Private Banking, Investment Banking, and Asset Management. Additionally, UBS is one of the leading providers of retail bankingand commercial bankingservices in Switzerland. Overall invested assets are 3.265 trillion Swiss francs (CHF), shareholders' equity is 47.850 billion CHF and market capitalizationis 151.203 billion CHF by end of 2Q 2007.
The AG in the company's name means "
Aktiengesellschaft", which is the equivalent to a shareholder-based " corporation" in the USA.
In some ways, UBS has evolved on a similar path to its cross-town rival
Credit Suisse. Both are Swiss commercial and retail banks which bought major US investment banks (and in the case of UBS, a leading retail stock broker, PaineWebber).
UBS has its roots as a Swiss Bank, originating in
1747, when its first branch was established in the Swiss region of Val Poschiavo. However, the three core components of the company date back to the second half of the nineteenth century. Union Bank of Switzerland, Swiss Bank Corporation, and Paine Webberor their antecedents, were all founded in the 1860s and 1870s.
Modern UBS was formed through a merger of the
Union Bank of Switzerlandand the Swiss Bank Corporationin June 1998. Although the merged company's new name was originally supposed to be the "United Bank of Switzerland," officials opted to call it simply "UBS" because of a name clash with United Bank Switzerland - a part of the United Bank Limited's Swiss subsidiary.
SBC had previously built a global investment banking business through its acquisitions of
Dillon Readin New York and S.G. Warburg in London. The first chairman of the merged bank had to step down in October 1998 due to the Long-Term Capital Managementcrisis, which affected the Union Bank of Switzerland. In 2000, UBS acquired PaineWebber Group Inc. to become the world's largest wealth management firm for private clients. Invested assets in all wealth management businesses, including the U.S., total CHF 3.265 trillion.
On June 9th, 2003, all UBS business groups rebranded under the UBS name as the company began operating as one large firm. UBS Paine Webber, UBS Warburg, UBS Asset Management, and others became simply "UBS". As a result of the rebranding, UBS took a $1B writedown for the loss of goodwill associated with the retirement of the Paine Webber brand. UBS is no longer an acronym but is the company's brand, like
3M. Its logo of three keys, carried over from SBC, stands for confidence, security, and discretion. [cite web|url=http://www.ubs.com/1/e/investors/history/1900_1939/1937.html|title="History of UBS (1937-1939)" |accessdate=Jan 10|accessyear=2007]
UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide, with offices in 50 countries. According to the UBS website, the bank had 81,557 employees on
June 30, 2007. The 2007 Q2 report breaks these Financial Business permanent staff down by region as: 27,315 in Switzerland, 31,933 in the Americas, 13,355 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa(EMEA / not including Switzerland), and 8,954 in Asia and Australasia(APAC).
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. [ [http://www.ubs.com/1/e/investors/boards/bod.html UBS - Board of Directors ] ] Its members are:
*Independent Vice Chairman and CEO Fiat S.p.A, Turin, and Fiat Group Automobiles:
*Group Human Resources Director, BP plc:
*Founder and Chairman, Horizon21:
*Chairman, Swiss Life Holding:
*Partner, Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler:
William G. Parrett
*CFO, Royal Dutch Shell plc:
*President and CEO, DKSH Holding Ltd:
The Group Executive Board is the executive body of the company.Its members are:
*Group General Counsel:
Markus U. Diethelm
*Chairman and CEO Global Asset Management:
John A. Fraser
*Deputy CEO Global WM&BB and Head Wealth Management Americas:
*Chairman and CEO Investment Bank:
*Group Chief Risk Officer:
*Walter Stuerziner, Chief Operating Officer:
*Rory Tapner, Chairman and CEO:
*Chairman and CEO Global Wealth Management & Business Banking:
*Chairman and CEO, UBS Group EMEA and Joint Global Head IB Department:
*Chairman and CEO, UBS Group Americas / President and COO Investment Bank:
Chairman Marcel Ospel did not seek re-election on
April 23 2008annual general assembly of shareholders and was succeeded by Peter Kurer, who was general counsel, the bank said, in a statement on April 1 2008. [cite web|url=http://edition.cnn.com/2008/BUSINESS/04/01/ubs.losses.ap/index.html|title=Swiss Bank UBS posts $12B Losses|accessdate=2008-09-19]
Swiss banking and Zurich"
One of the more unusual businesses operated by UBS AG is the UBS Polybahn, a
funicular railwayin Zürich, Switzerland. The group's ownership of this line dates back to 1976, when the Union Bank of Switzerland rescued the then-failing funicular company.Fact|date=July 2007
Main competitors are
Deutsche Bank, Fortis, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Banc of America Securities LLC, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan.
UBS was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers living in the U.S. in 2006 for the fourth consecutive year [cite web|url=http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7BCB63D4FE-DD46-44D9-89DB-D005ACFF6CFF%7D&siteid=bizjournal&sid=2366380&symb=|title="UBS Named a 2006 Working Mother 100 Best Company by Working Mother Magazine" |accessdate=Oct 29|accessyear=2006] by U.S. based "
Working Mothers" magazine. It is a member of the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme and has active Gay and Lesbian, ethnic minority, and women's networking groups. UBS was included on Business Week's " The Best Places to Launch a Career 2008", and ranked #96 out of the 119 total companies listed. [http://bwnt.businessweek.com/interactive_reports/career_launch_2008/index.asp?sortCol=name&sortOrder=ASC&pageNum=1&resultNum=50]
The UBS trading floor in
Stamford, Connecticutholds the Guinness World Recordas the largest securities trading floor in the world. The 103,000 square-foot operation has 40 foot arched ceiling freeing it of columns or walls. The size of three football fields, it is home to 1,400 traders and staff who handle about $1 trillion worth of transactions a day. It is roughly 227 feet wide by 410 feet long. UBS officials have boasted that a 747jet could turn around in it. Fact|date=November 2007
In full-year 2006, UBS reported net profit attributable to UBS shareholders (“attributable profit”) of CHF 11,253 million, with CHF 11,249 million from continuing operations and CHF 4 million from discontinued operations.
For the year ended
December 31, 2006
*Net profit CHF 11,257 million
For the year ended
December 31, 2007
*Net loss CHF 4,384 million
Swiss bank UBS AG told
April 1 2008it expected to post net losses of 12 billion Swiss francs (US$12.1 billion) for the first quarter of 2008and would seek 15 billion Swiss francs (US$15.1 billion) in new capital. UBS, hard hit by the U.S. Subprime mortgage crisis, also said it sees losses and writedowns of approximately US$19 billion on U.S. real estate and related credit positions. [http://edition.cnn.com/2008/BUSINESS/04/01/ubs.losses.ap/index.html] In April 2008 UBS's long term credit ratings were cut to AA- by Fitch Ratingsand Standard & Poor's, and Aa1 by Moody's.
Major Sponsorship Deals
Alinghi( America's Cup)
*Athletissima Lausanne (
* In January 1997,
Christoph Meili, a night watchman at the Union Bank of Switzerland (as UBS was then known), found the bank historian destroying archives compiled by a subsidiary that had extensive dealings with Nazi Germany, in direct violation of a recent Swiss law (adopted on December 13, 1996) protecting such material. UBS acknowledged that it had "made a deplorable mistake", but maintained that the destroyed archives were unrelated to the Holocaust. Meili was suspended from his job at the security company that served UBS, following a criminal investigation into whether his whistleblowing had violated bank secrecy laws. [cite web|url=http://listserv.muohio.edu/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind9701c&L=archives&T=0&F=&S=&P=4995|title="Bank Says Shredded Papers May Not Have Involved Nazis, New York Times, January 16, 1997" |accessdate=Apr 22|accessyear=2007]
* In 2001, UBS was blamed for refusing to extend
Swissair's line of credit, forcing a grounding of Swissair's planes on October 2, 2001. UBS Chairman Marcel Ospelwas blamed by many for ostensibly evading the request for an extension of Swissair's line of credit, and the day after the grounding, thousands of demonstrators marching in front of the Swissair headquarters carried a banner reading "Bin Ospel" (comparing him to Osama bin Ladenbecause of the effect of his actions on airlines' business). [cite web|url=http://www.woz.ch/archiv/old/01/41/7307.html|title="Die kurze Woche Anarchie"|accessdate=May 8|accessyear=2008]
* In April 2002,
Bank of Americasued five people who left its asset- and mortgage-backed securities groups for UBS, alleging that the five conspired to steal trade secrets, proprietary software and clients from Bank of America. Bank of America filed a lawsuit for US$ 20 million against Shahid Quraishi, Peter Faigl, Paul Scialabba, Reggie DeVilliers and Daniel Huang, who had previously worked for their asset-backed group based in Charlotte. [ [http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/stories/2002/07/22/story7.html?t=printable BofA asks $20M in dispute vs. ex-employees] from the Charlotte Business Journal22/07/2002]
March 20 2003UBS client, HealthSouthand its founder/CEO Richard M. Scrushywere accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) of an accounting scandalwhere the company's earnings were falsely inflated by $1.4 billion. In 1996, Scrushy allegedly instructed the company's senior officers and accountants to falsify company earnings reports in order to meet investor expectations and control the price of the company's stock. In certain fiscal years, the company's income was overstated by as much as 4700 percent. The $1.4 billion represents more than 10 percent of the company's total assets. Three senior bankers at UBS Howard Capek, Benjamin Lorelloand William McGahan, all whom had extremely close relationships with HealthSouth's management, all testified for congressional hearings, but none was convicted of any wrongdoing. McGahan, who was in jeopardy of losing his employment with the firm at the height of the scandal [ [http://www.twglawyers.com/pdf/healthsouth_wsj_7-26-04.pdf HealthSouth Ex-CFO Helps Suit] from the Wall Street Journal] , later resigned on April 10, 2004for "personal" reasons not related to the scandal. [ [http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/health/healthsouth_ties_aud_bnk.html HealthSouth: Auditors and Banks] from University of Wollongonglibrary ]
May 10, 2004UBS was fined $100 million by the U.S. Federal Reservefor illegally transferring funds from an account set up by the Federal Reserve at UBS to Iran, Cubaand other countries presently under a U.S. trade embargo. [ [http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_23/b3886192.htm BW Online | June 7, 2004 | Peter Wuffli ] ]
* In April 2005, UBS lost the high profile case "Zubulake v. UBS Warburg", a
discriminationand retaliationsuit. The plaintiff Laura Zubulake, a former institutional equities saleswoman at the company's Stamford office, alleged her manager, Matthew Chapin, had undermined and removed her from professional responsibilities, excluded her from business outings, belittled her to colleagues and generally treated her different from the men on her desk. Also, she alleged that there were several sexist policies in place, such as entertaining clients at strip clubs, that made it difficult for women to foster business contacts with clients. [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/04/07/business/ubs.php $29 million award in UBS in bias suit] from International Herald Tribune08/04/2005] An important event in the case was that UBS had not preserved relevant e-mails after the litigation holdhad been in place. Because of this, federal judge Shira Scheindlingave the jurya final " adverse inference" instruction, in part stating, "The fact that some UBS employees failed to preserve their e-mails after being instructed to do so, and that such e-mails cannot now be produced, is sufficient circumstantial evidence from which you are permitted, but not required, to conclude that the missing evidence was unfavorable to UBS.". The jury found in favor of Zubulake on both claims and awarded $9.1 million in compensatory damages (including back pay and professional damage), and $20.2 million in punitive damages. The case was seen as a landmark in the realms of e-discovery, document retention, computer forensics, and human resources. [Laura Zubulake, Plaintiff v. UBS Warburg LLC, UBS Warburg and UBS AG, Defendants , 02 Civ: 1243 (SAS) (GWG) Trial transcript pp. 1700-02.] [ [http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000006&sid=aCPuJDfC9x.4&refer=home "UBS Must Pay Ex-Saleswoman $29.3 Mln in Sex Bias Case"] from Bloomberg 06/04/2005]
* The Securities and Exchange Board of
India( SEBI) alleged that UBS had played a role in the 2004 Black Mondaystock market crash which followed the National Democratic Alliance government’s defeat in the general elections. SEBI's ruling of May 17, 2005barred UBS from issuing or renewing participatory notes for a period of one year.The ban was later lifted on appeal, as a result of a government tribunal ruling on September 9, 2005.
October 18, 2005, three African-Americanemployees filed a class actionlawsuit against the company in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging racial discrimination in hiring, promotion and other employment practices. The three plaintiffs in "Freddie H. Cook, Sylvester L. Flaming Jr. and Timothy J. Gandy v. UBS Financial Services, Inc.", claim that segregation and discrimination in job assignments and compensation were widespread and the firm had done nothing to diversify its workforce. The lawsuit also claims offices operating in Largo, Marylandand Flushing, New Yorkwere illegally created to serve African-Americans and Asian-Americans respectively, and that the firm’s management frequently ridiculed the Largo branch office and its staff, referring to it as a “diversity” office. On April 23, 2007, U.S. District Judge, Peter J. Messitte, granted plaintiff's request to dismiss the class allegations without prejudice. As a result of this dismissal, the case now comprises the individual claims of three plaintiffs. [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6448213/did/9744703 Lawsuit alleges discrimination at UBS:Ex-employees say brokerage firm's diversity attempts mocked non-whites] from "msnbc.com" 18/10/2005] [ [http://www.ubsfsdiscrimination.com/news_1.asp NATIONWIDE CLASS ACTION FILED AGAINST UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. ALLEGING A COMPANY-WIDE PRACTICE OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION] from "Berger & Montague" 18/10/2005]
* In an article published by
Reuterson Feb 23, 2008, Brazilian public prosecutor Karen Kahn announced that several employees of UBS as well as others from Credit Suisse, Clariden Leu and AIGwere under investigation by federal authorities. [ [http://www.letemps.ch/template/economie.asp?page=9&article=236052 Des banques Suisses contournent nos règles Brésiliennes] from LeTemps.ch (French) ] In 2007, police arrested 20 people, including bankers at UBS, Credit Suisse unit Clariden and AIG Private Bank after the discovery of illegal activities including money laundering, tax evasion, fraudulent banking and operating without a banking license. [ [http://www.reuters.com/article/companyNews/idUSN2336321920080424 UBS and Credit Suisse bankers arrested in Brazil tax probe] from Reuters 23 April 2008]
* In an article published in
BusinessWeekon February 26, 2007, it was announced that the firm was under investigation by federal prosecutors in the United States after it was discovered that traders working for at least two unidentified hedge funds were paying a UBS employee for information on impending ratings changes on stocks. [http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/feb2007/db20070226_521857.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index_businessweek+exclusives] It was later announced on March 1st, that Mitchel S.Guttenberg, an executive director in the firm's equity research department, was being charged along with 13 other individuals from various firms with insider-trading fraud of more than $15 million. [ [http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aChYsOYSGJ28&refer=us UBS Executive, Ex-Morgan Lawyer Charged With Fraud] from Bloomberg 01/03/2007]
* During the third quarter of 2007.
Peter Wufflistepped down as CEO of the firm amid significant writedowns related to subprime banking exposure (CDO's/derivatives) in the United States. More than US$13 billion in mezzanine debtand more than US$20 billion in total subprime exposure were written off, forcing UBS to cut its dividend or increase capital in order to protect UBS's traditionally high tier 1 capital ratio, seen by investors as a key to its credibility as the world's largest wealth management company.
* On April 1st, 2008 UBS announced—and it was writing down a further $19 billion on its investments in American subprime and other mortgages, as part of an unexpected SFr12 billion projected loss in the first quarter. The Swiss bank also said it would call on its shareholders to supply SFr15 billion in additional funds to shore up its depleted reserves of capital. That means shareholders face dilution, and UBS's sovereign-wealth backers may add to the potential losses (albeit paper ones) they have suffered since December. In penance,
Marcel Ospel, architect of the merger that created UBS in 1998, said he would step down as chairman, to be replaced by Peter Kurer, the bank’s general counsel. With only 86% approval this appointment was controversial at the shareholders meeting. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, there were many "boos and hisses" upon the announcement of Kurer's appointment
* On May 6th, 2008 UBS announced plans to cut 5,500 jobs by the middle of the next year. [ [http://www.business-standard.com/common/news_article.php?tab=r&autono=322196&subLeft=1&leftnm=2 UBS to cut 5,500 jobs next year ] ]
* It was reported on June 22, 2008 that the US
Federal Bureau of Investigationhad made a formal request to travel to Switzerland to probe a multi-million-dollar tax evasioncase involving UBS. [ [http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jTfwAG7pDZAUUS8_feZQgnnHAeaQ AFP: FBI 'to probe Swiss bank UBS' in tax dodging case ] ] The New York Timesreported that the case could involve some 20,000 US citizens. This is reported to be a consequence of information revealed in 2006 by a UBS client at risk of prosecution for US tax evasion [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/jun/29/ubs.banking Tax scandal leaves Swiss giant reeling, The Observer, 29 June 2008] ] .
* On July 17, 2008 the US Senate disclosed that the U.S. loses around $100 billion annually due to offshore tax evasion. [ [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hk-mm00boIq1wYgfpJIn-4M4TBowD91VCV8O0 US Senate: UBS, Liechtenstein aided US tax cheats] ] The Senate report accused Swiss bank UBS AG and Liechtenstein's
LGT Groupfor allegedly marketing tax-evasion strategies to wealthy Americans. [ [http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article4348822.ece US Senate claims UBS 'colluded' behind Swiss bank secrecy laws] ] U.S. clients hold about 19,000 accounts at UBS, with an estimated $18 billion to $20 billion in assets, in Switzerland, according to the findings from the Senate probe and Justice Department prosecutors. [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121624391105859731.html?mod=googlenews_wsj Offshore Tax Evasion Costs U.S. $100 Billion, Senate Probe of UBS and LGT indicates] ]
* Nolmans, Erik (Nov. 14, 2005). "UBS Fastens its Seatbelts". "Fortune", p. 20.
* Vincent, Isabel. "Pursuit of Justice". New York: Morrow, 1997.
* [http://www.ubs.com Official website]
* [http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/41/41649.html Yahoo! - UBS AG Company Profile]
* [http://advancedtrading.com/photos/trading-floors/ubs/ AdvancedTrading - UBS Trading Floor photo gallery]
* [http://home.globalcustodian.com/newsshow.do?newsid=26791 UBS Launches Retaliatory Lawsuit Against HSH Nordbank]
* [http://www.artcollection-china.ubs.com UBS Art Collection China]
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