Peter Kurer will not stand for re-election as Chairman of the UBS Board of Directors - Kaspar Villiger is nominated for election as Chairman of the UBS Board of Directors
Peter Kurer, Chairman of the UBS Board of Directors, has decided not to stand for re-election at its Annual General Meeting on 15 April 2009. The UBS Board of Directors is nominating Kaspar Villiger as a candidate for the role of Chairman.
"One year ago I accepted the position of Chairman out of my sense of responsibility for the bank, its shareholders, clients, staff and the communities in which we work," said Peter Kurer, Chairman of the UBS Board of Directors. "At that time, I announced that we had to resolve numerous and challenging issues: the establishment of proper governance to reflect the rapid changes in the financial marketplace; a re-examination of the bank's strategy; the implementation of improved risk control systems; the reduction of risk concentration and the balance sheet; the introduction of responsible and long-term, value-oriented incentive plans; and succession planning designed to enhance the best leadership of the organization going forward. Most of this has been accomplished in a short period of time by working closely with the Group Executive Board and the Board of Directors. Finally, I am particularly proud of having secured someone with the experience and talent of Oswald J. Grübel as Group Chief Executive Officer after Marcel Rohner advised us of his intention to leave the bank. I now think it is time to complete this transition and leave the office at the end of my one-year term."
Sergio Marchionne, Vice Chairman of UBS said, "No one could have reasonably foreseen the extent and speed of deterioration of market conditions affecting the financial services industry. The impact on UBS has been significant and the organization's resilience and endurance has been severely tested. But it has endured, and UBS is coming out of this crisis stronger and better prepared. Peter Kurer deserves a lot of credit and recognition for having helped put UBS back on track. With humility and courage, he accepted this engagement out of a sense of duty and service to the institution. He has worked tirelessly to accomplish all the objectives he had set for himself and for the bank at the beginning of his tenure. The Board of Directors thanks him for all of his efforts and for having guided the organization wisely over the last 12 months."
The Board of Directors proposes Kaspar Villiger to stand for election as Peter Kurer's successor as Chairman at the Annual General Meeting.
From 1989 to 2003 Kaspar Villiger was a member of the Swiss Federal Council, and in the last 8 years, as Finance Minister. During his time in public service, the Federal Council took crucial decisions, such as enacting legislation against money laundering, initiating a supervisory body for financial markets and finalizing the EU Directive on the Taxation of Savings Income, aimed at strengthening the Swiss financial market. These steps are now key ingredients of the competitiveness of the Swiss Confederation.
"Kaspar Villiger has had a distinguished career in public service, where his leadership capabilities and integrity have earned him high respect. In addition, he brings substantial experience as a businessman and as a member of boards of multinational corporations," said Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, chairman of the governance and nominating committee of the Board. "The Board believes that his presence and contribution will send a clear signal and will prove valuable at a time when the bank is working to renew its commitment to all stakeholders to seek to maintain high standards of credibility, reliability, and sustainable performance. We are grateful to Kaspar Villiger for having accepted this challenging position."
Kaspar Villiger said, "I believe these to be exceptional times for UBS and Switzerland, and I recognize the difficulties that still lie ahead. This is precisely why I have accepted to chair the Board of UBS, out of a sense of service to this country and its people. We need to respond to the current challenges by relying on our core values of integrity, hard work and reliability. I believe that I can contribute to the re-establishment of these values. In taking on this task, I am comforted by the fact that the bank has a Board of Directors composed of competent and committed individuals as well as a strong executive leadership, with the newly appointed CEO, Oswald J. Grübel."
If elected, Kaspar Villiger will resign all corporate positions he presently holds in order to devote all of his energy to serving UBS.