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. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Why UBS needs Marcel Ospel – for now

UBS’s chairman is struggling to hold on but shareholders must resist temptation to remove him at the moment.

The next few weeks are the most important in Marcel Ospel's career. The chairman of UBS is under pressure to follow the examples of Stan O’Neal and Chuck Prince and fall on his sword in the wake of the Swiss bank’s horrendous performance over the past 12 months.

On February 27 he will have to battle with shareholders at an extraordinary meeting. They are increasingly angry about the disasters that have befallen UBS since 2007 – the Dillon Read Capital Management fiasco, the departures of several senior executives, the $14.5 billion of bad debt write-downs and the collapsing share price.

The meeting is being convened to approve the SFr13 billion ($11.3 billion) of investments from Singapore’s GIC and an unnamed Middle East investor. Some UBS investors had already voiced their displeasure at the capital injections, concerned by the source of the funds and the fact that the deal dilutes existing shareholder equity.

Ospel’s own future is not up for formal discussion, although it is bound to be an issue behind the scenes. The 57-year-old has to deliver the performance of a lifetime if he is to have any chance of holding on to his job.

Instead, Ospel’s positions as chairman and as a member of the board of directors, which are up for renewal every three years, will be voted on in April during the bank’s annual meeting.

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