It was back in May 1971, shortly before his 16th birthday, when Andreas Däscher began his apprenticeship in the currency department at UBS (back then Union Bank of Switzerland). He recalls one inspiring and motivating encounter in particular.
"It was a really busy day and I had to run to another part of the building to clarify an urgent request in another department. Against better knowledge, I decided to take a shortcut, which would take me through the area where the directors' offices were located. This area was restricted and we were told that we were only allowed to access it if we wore a suit jacket. Of course, in my haste I forgot my jacket and so I tried to sneak past the offices.
Just as I passed the office of Dr. Alfred Schäfer, who at that time was the President of the Board of Directors, the door opened and out he stepped. I didn’t know back then, but Dr. Schäfer played a significant role in UBS’s history. Under his leadership UBS’s balance sum increased over a hundred times over and the number of employees went from 500 to 12 000 people. "Boy, what are you doing here?", he said while ushering me into his office. Shocked and embarrassed I sat down, but instead of the expected lecture about my inappropriate attire, he proceeded to ask me about my job and if I enjoyed working for UBS. In the end, he gave me some encouraging advice and sent me back on my way with good luck wishes for my future, but not without the reminder to not forget my jacket the next time.
After 46 years at UBS, starting his career as a cashier and ending it as a team lead for private clients, Andreas Däscher will retire this year. "The encounter with Dr. Schäfer is a memory that I will take with me," he reminisces.