A world traveler and a "Zürcher" by choice

After living in no fewer than 13 different cities across the globe, Kirt Gardner now calls Zurich his home.

Kirt Gardner has been Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at UBS since January 2016. After living in no fewer than 13 different cities across the US, Latin America, Asia and Europe, he now calls Zurich his home.

Kirt has worked for decades in the financial services industry. Originally from the US, he joined UBS almost four years ago in Zurich, where he relishes the opportunity to walk to work for the first time in his career. “Zurich is a wonderful city, very cosmopolitan, with a very high standard of living,” he says.

In January 2016, Kirt was appointed UBS Group CFO. “It is a privilege to be the Group CFO of what, in my opinion, is the best bank in Europe, and one of the premier banks in the world. That is one of the reasons why I came to UBS,” he readily confides. Coming from a man who has held senior management positions at several international financial institutions, this is a strong statement.

After arriving in Switzerland, Kirt quickly noticed the difference in the local work style. “Business dealings in New York are much more direct in nature than here,” he says, while praising Switzerland’s work culture. He characterizes UBS as being more consensus-based than the banks he previously worked at. He also acknowledges UBS’s high quality standards.

Kirt's past experience in sports may have helped shape his professional role today. He played American football and rugby competitively for years. His position in rugby, known as number 8, is a crucial link between the team’s backs and forwards, a playmaker responsible for both strategy and execution. Although now retired from the sport, he blocks out a weekly time slot to go to the gym or play tennis.

From CFO to CFO
As Group CFO at UBS, Kirt has gained increased responsibilities and new perspectives compared with his previous roles. Today he is more involved with investors and other stakeholders, in external communications, meetings with regulators and everything down to media presentations and interviews – not to mention interaction with the Board of Directors. “Sergio Ermotti and I are probably the Group Executive Board members who talk the most with the individual Board of Directors members,” he says.

High targets
Kirt has big plans for UBS's Group Finance function. He wants to re-energize the function, concentrating on three strategic objectives: increasing shareholder value, continuously improving the organization and investing in employees to make Group Finance a preferred place to work. The plan is clear: to lead UBS toward achieving its objectives, drive change and strengthen our culture. And for Kirt, a strong and clearly defined corporate culture is a key success factor. “Growing our culture of integrity, collaboration and healthy challenge is crucially important for UBS,” he says.

About Kirt Gardner

Kirt became a member of the UBS Group Executive Board and was appointed Group Chief Financial Officer of UBS Group AG and UBS AG in January 2016. He was Wealth Management CFO from 2013 to 2015.

Prior to joining UBS, he held a number of senior management positions at Citigroup,
including CFO and Head of Strategy, Global Transaction Services. He was previously Global Head of Financial Services Strategy for BearingPoint, working in Asia and New York for four years. From 1994 to 2000, he was Managing Director at Barents Group, working in the US, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Kirt holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Williams College, a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School of Business.

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