1998 - 2007

Global banking welcomes a new leading player as SBC and Union Bank join forces

UBS

Switzerland and the world

1998

UBS AG Zurich & Basel is created through the merger of the Union Bank of Switzerland and the Swiss Bank Corporation, becoming the world's premier private bank and ranking 4th among global institutional asset managers. Together with its investment banking activities, UBS AG manages total assets worth more than 1,300 billion CHF.

The collapse of the LTCM hedge fund creates losses of 1 billion CHF for UBS and leads to the resignation of the President of the Board.

Google

Larry Page and Sergei Brin

Larry Page and Sergei Brin found Google Inc.

The Rome Statute provides the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

International Space Station (ISS)

Mission STS-88, US Space Shuttle Endeavour, astronaut Jerry Ross

The International Space Station (ISS) is built in orbit as a joint project between five participating space agencies from the U.S., Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe.

1999

UBS takes over Bank of America's Private Banking activities in Europe and Asia on March 11. The unit's total client business volume exceeds 6 billion US dollars.

UBS is founding member of Wolfsberg Group, an association of eleven global banks, which aims to develop financial services industry standards, and related products, for Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing policies. The Group is named after UBS's conference centre Wolfsberg in Switzerland where the banks first met.

UBS becomes first bank to obtain ISO 14001 certification for its worldwide environmental management system in banking business.

Bertrand Piccard

Bertrand Piccard becomes the first person to circumnavigate the world non-stop in a hot air balloon.

2000

UBS acquires PaineWebber

PaineWebber, 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York

UBS acquires PaineWebber to position itself as the world's top wealth and asset management firm. At that time, PaineWebber is the 4th largest private client firm in the United States with 8,554 brokers in 385 offices.

UBS acquires Fondvest AG, Zurich, an asset management company specializing in independent advisory and distribution services for fund management business.

UBS is among the first 38 companies to sign the U.N. Global Compact, the largest global corporate responsibility initiative in the world with over 6,000 corporate adherents in 2011.

Brinson Partners and Phillips & Drew, the two institutional investment management businesses of UBS Asset Management, combine their investment management and research resources to establish a common global platform in all major financial centers worldwide.

In July New York Judge Edward Korman approves the 1.25 billion US dollars settlement between Swiss banks and Jewish organizations and plaintiffs in a class action law suit.

2001

UBS launches "The Bank for Banks" marketing initiative. "Bank for Banks" enables financial institutions to outsource non-core elements of their business and operations in an efficient, flexible and modular way, across the full range of banking business and product areas.

Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management, Inc., PaineWebber's investment management subsidiary, joins the UBS Asset Management business group, and is renamed Brinson Advisors, Inc.

UBS becomes founding member of the European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum (EUROSIF) which is launched at the Corporate Social Responsibility Conference of the Belgian Presidency of the European Commission in Brussels.

iPod

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs presents Apple's revolutionary iPod to the world.

9/11

The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September mark the beginning of a global war on terror.

War in Afghanistan

War in Afghanistan commences with U.S. aerial attack on Al Qaeda and Taleban positions.

2002

UBS Trading Floor, Stamford

UBS Trading Floor, Stamford, 2003

With over 1,400 traders and staff, UBS Warburg's Stamford trading becomes the world's largest securities trading floor.

In support of its strategic commitment to environmental sustainability, UBS becomes a founding signatory of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

Hu Jintao becomes successor of Jiang Zemin as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

The Bergier Commission

Switzerland Jean Francois Bergier

The Bergier Commission examining Switzerland's history during World War II completes a five-year study with the publication of the last of its 25 reports. More than 60,000 documents were consulted at UBS archives.

Euro

Euro banknotes and coins are introduced.

The UBS-sponsored international art fair Art Basel Miami Beach opens for the first time in the U.S. as the sister event of the highly successful Swiss Art Basel show.

2003

UBS moves to a simpler branding reflecting its integrated business model and "one firm" approach.

With its official certification as a Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII), UBS is allowed to participate in China's securities market.

UBS acquires Lloyds Bank S.A., the French wealth management business of British bank Lloyds TSB.

UBS takes over the U.S. prime brokerage operations of ABN AMRO.

Team Alinghi

The UBS-sponsored Team Alinghi, representing the Société Nautique de Genève and Switzerland, win the 31st America's Cup, defeating Cup holders, Team New Zealand.

Saddam Hussein

Statue Saddam Hussein

Third Gulf War ends Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime in Iraq.

The first Chinese astronaut

China becomes the 3rd country in the world to launch a man into space.

2004

UBS's Beijing branch begins operations, allowing UBS to offer foreign currency deposits, foreign exchange and remittance services to clients in China.

The merger of UBS and Sauerborn Trust in Germany creates that country's leading advisory service for ultra-high net worth individuals.

UBS acquires Laing & Cruickshank, a leading UK provider of wealth management services, from Crédit Lyonnais.

NASDAQ

UBS integrates Schwab Capital Markets (SCM) with its NASDAQ trading system and becomes one of the top traders in NASDAQ securities…

Tsunami

A devastating earthquake and tsunami kills more than 230,000 people across eight Asian countries.

Mars

An unmanned U.S. spacecraft lands on Mars.

Australian Open Melbourne, Roger Federer

Roger Federer is ranked as the world's no. 1 tennis player.

2005

In a regional landmark deal, UBS Global Asset Management launches a joint venture fund management company in partnership with the Chinese State Development Investment Corporation.

MoMA, New York

New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), opens "Contemporary Voices: Works from The UBS Art Collection", which includes about 60 works either donated or loaned to MoMA by UBS.

Earthquake  Pakistan

Pakistan

An earthquake hits South Asia, killing at least 54,300 people, mainly in Pakistan. An estimated 75,000 others are injured.

Hurricane Katrina becomes one of the five deadliest hurricanes to ever hit the U.S.

2006

UBS sells its private banks Banco di Lugano, Ehinger & Armand von Ernst (Cantrade) and Ferrier Lullin as well as specialist asset manager GAM to Julius Baer.

The Russian Central Bank awards UBS a banking license to expand its business operations in Russia.

With the opening of a new office in the Dubai's International Financial Centre, UBS accelerates its expansion in the Middle East.

UBS launches an alternative investment management business, Dillon Read Capital Management, New York.

UBS acquires leading Brazilian investment bank Banco Pactual S.A.

UBS launches a climate change strategy with the goal of reducing the firm's CO2 emissions by 40% below their 2004 level.

The UBS Bank Museum in Basel is opened showing the firm's history with information technology since 1953.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., announces that he will give US$37.4 billion, or 85% of his wealth, to philanthropic organizations.

Indian company Mittal Steel merges with Luxembourg company Arcelor thus creating the largest steel producer globally.

Naguib Mahfouz

Death of the Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz, who in 1988 became the first (and to date only) Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

2007

Between the third quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2009, UBS writes down more than 50 billion Swiss francs. Most of these write-downs have to be made as a result of the global financial market crisis, which had its origins in the structured financial product business linked to the US residential real estate market.

After substantial losses in the mortgage-backed-security business, UBS closes Dillon Read Capital Management.

Key long-term investors, including the Government of Singapore's Investment Corporation Pte Ltd (GIC) and an undisclosed investor in the Middle East, subscribe to a 13 billion CHF issue.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and later the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) inform UBS that they have opened investigations into the bank's activities regarding alleged irregularities in its US cross-border business.

UBS opens its onshore wealth management business in Moscow.

Mexico's Finance Secretariat grants UBS a license to provide banking services.

Subprime crisis

USA falling home prices

The subprime crisis unfolds in the United States. Rising interest rates and falling home prices devaluate mortgage-backed-securities and drive investment banks and hedge funds into insolvency. Defaults and losses on other loan types also increase significantly as the crisis expands from the housing market to other parts of the economy sending shock waves through the financial community and leads to the resignation of a number of financial sector executives.

Bulgaria and Romania join the EU

Celebrations for Romania's accesion to the EU

With Bulgaria and Romania joining the EU, membership grows to 27 countries.

Harry Potter

Joanne K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling's 7th and final novel in her series about Harry Potter, a student wizard, achieves an all-time one-day record upon its release in the U.S. totaling 8.3 million sold copies in the first 24 hours.