The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Mathis Cabiallavetta: The tragic hero of UBS

Is Mathis Cabiallavetta the Othello of the financial markets - a man who loved "not wisely but too well"? Dirk Schütz, author of the first history of the SBC/UBS merger, (Der Fall der UBS published by Bilanz), certainly blames Cab's loyalty for the quality of people he collected round him as he rose to the top of UBS.

"How else can you explain why he entrusted his trading division, the only one in the bank to take on life-threatening risks, to his climbing chum Werner Bonadurer, who admittedly got further than him in ice hockey but had no trading experience?" Risk control was left to his "long-standing workmate" Werner Zimmermann. And his CFO was Felix Fischer, "honest and industrious, but no academic and almost without foreign experience".

Schütz relates how and why UBS fell into the arms of SBC last December. Poor risk control of Ramy Goldstein's equity derivatives division is confirmed as a major cause. Zimmermann and UBS's risk systems couldn't cope, so Cab hired Andrew Wright from Morgan Stanley in 1993 as a separate risk controller, but unfortunately didn't heed his persistent warnings. That would have meant firing Zimmermann. Wright was ignored by Bonadurer too and left in March 1997.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree