Abigail with attitude: UBS's Orcel escapes financial repression

Abigail Hofman
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Most of us carry scars from the excesses of the debt-fuelled casino days. The acceleration, crash and burn of the 2005-09 period led to lost jobs, dwindling pension pots and puny returns on cash savings. But for some the great financial recession has cast few shadows.

I thought about this in early March, when I read that Andrea Orcel, the head of UBS’s investment bank, had received a SFr25 million ($26.4 million) package when he joined the Swiss bank from Bank of America. The headline number has prompted a sharp intake of breath from many commentators, shareholders and employees. This criticism is only partly justified. Orcel’s deal was a buyout of the package he would have received had he stayed with his former employer. It is broken down into SFr6.4 million of deferred cash and...