Andrea Orcel: special focus
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Andrea Orcel: special focus

The latest news and opinion on the senior banking executive.

The bankers that define the decades: Emilio Botín, Santander June 2019

Orcel remembers working with Botín

Banks must re-embrace public stakeholders

March 2019


From Deutsche Bank to Santander or ING, banks in Europe need to change with the times and accept accountability to a wider public, represented by their governments: as with weak capital, deficient ethics will only entail greater state control.

Banking: What Santander’s failure to appoint Andrea Orcel as CEO means for the industry

January 2019


Spanish-based group will struggle to overcome fall-out of recruitment U-turn, while Orcel’s situation raises broader questions for banks’ hiring and compensation strategies.

Banco Santander: Not the Italian’s Job

January 2019

Banco Santander’s board has botched the appointment of the bank's next CEO in the clumsiest way possible.

Santander: Regaining the initiative

January 2019

Investors will be watching closely for indications of what Andrea Orcel will do as chief executive.

Sideways: Why does ‘Killer’ Karofsky get second billing in UBS’s The Odd Couple?

September 2018

Jon Macaskill profiles the two new co-heads of investment banking at UBS.

Santander brings shock and Orcel

September 25, 2018  A new CEO at the Spanish group was not expected, and neither was the name of the appointee. What will Andrea Orcel bring, and why did chairman Ana Botín turn to him?


Western Europe's best investment bank 2018: UBS

July 11, 2018

Having shrunk or exited from the more capital-intensive markets businesses half a decade ago, UBS’s right-sized model is one others have tried to follow. Its earlier move has afforded stability of strategy and leadership under investment bank president Andrea Orcel. 


Italy Awards for Excellence 2017: Best investment bank - UBS 

July 06, 2017 The urgent need to fix the capital shortages in Italian finance naturally gave an advantage to investment banks with a strong understanding of the complexities of both Italy and banks. One such firm is UBS, whose investment bank president Andrea Orcel is an Italian financial institutions specialist.

An alternative review of the year 2016

December 20, 2016 When Italian lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena requested solutions for its third bail-out last summer, it was no surprise to see UBS’s investment banking chief Andrea Orcel involved in bidding for the business.

Sideways: Ermotti does a Diamond-lite

October 05, 2015

UBS has been displaying worrying signs of hubris recently, as it tries to take public credit for its move to scale back fixed income sales and trading before rivals such as Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank. Its investment bank is run by Andrea Orcel, a corporate financier by background who was instrumental while at Merrill Lynch in putting together one of the most value-destructive deals in history with the ABN Amro takeover, without suffering any significant career downside.

Ana Botin

Santander: Ana Botín’s whirlwind start 

February 05, 2015 In the past two years, UBS has been a regular adviser to Santander. But the relationship between its bankers goes back further. Andrea Orcel, CEO of UBS’s investment bank, was Emilio Botín’s most trusted adviser through a decade or more of dealmaking, when Orcel was a senior investor banker at Merrill Lynch.

Handbags and potatoes – global banks' teamwork

July 15, 2014

There are those who believe the combination of commercial and investment banking activities can be destructive, and particularly to an investment banking franchise. Take Andrea Orcel, chief executive of UBS investment bank and former executive chairman of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Orcel tells us this month: “Commercial banking is similar to Wal-Mart but investment banks should be more like Louis Vuitton. Sure, supermarkets make more money and some are dominant in their markets, but if you get the luxury goods sector right the returns can also be phenomenal.”

Commercial banking is similar to Wal-Mart but investment banks should be more like Louis Vuitton. It is a risk to merge the two without being very careful not to mix the different DNAs. Why would you put designer handbags between potatoes and tomatoes and run these businesses identically?

Andrea Orcel-large

Awards for Excellence 2014: Orcel’s new spin on old-style investment banking

July 10, 2014

Lots of people in the industry will tell you they always wanted to be an investment banker. Few mean it like Andrea Orcel does.

Best global bank 2014: UBS – Model of a modern bank

July 10, 2014 Andrea Orcel joined UBS from BAML in July 2012 as co-head of the investment bank. It is his task to show that UBS can compete in the way Ermotti has outlined – one that does not rely on its trading book, and is run for the purposes of creating profit not revenue. It is early days, but the signs are good.

Macaskill on markets: World Cup of banking

December 19, 2013

In the wake of $50 billion of MBS and credit losses, then a rogue-trading scandal that cost $2.3 billion, CEO Sergio Ermotti was expected to set his team up in a defensive formation that stressed stable wealth management revenues at the expense of investment banking raids down either wing. That made the hiring of star investment banker Andrea Orcel in 2012 all the more puzzling. 

Abigail with attitude: UBS's Orcel escapes financial repression

April 01, 2013 Andrea Orcel, the head of UBS’s investment bank, 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.

UBS stumbles towards a solution

March 26, 2013

The annual report for 2012 released by UBS in March demonstrated that its management continues to flounder, while offering perverse hope that the disaster-prone bank might be stumbling towards a sustainable business model. Order The disclosure in the report that investment bank head Andrea Orcel was paid SFr24.9 million ($26.4 million) to join UBS last year drew widespread condemnation, and rightly so.

Reshaping UBS

February 05, 2013

Ermotti and Orcel will argue that in parts of the investment bank – such as foreign exchange or precious metals, or its powerhouse Asian equity franchise – UBS can still compete in the Champions League and hope to attract the best talents and reward them accordingly.

UBS’s axe wielding could prove game changer

December 06, 2012

Orcel’s reputation is that of a deal-maker, not a manager, so I will watch closely to see how things work out at UBS.

UBS slashes jobs in bold investment bank restructuring

October 30, 2012

UBS is cutting 10,000 jobs in its investment bank and is essentially exiting the fixed income business as part of a brutal restructuring to slash costs and refocus on core businesses that include advisory, equities and foreign exchange under Andrea Orcel, who has been appointed chief executive officer of the investment bank.

Movement between UBS and BAML might be messy

May 08, 2012

UBS hired one of Merrill’s top bankers, Andrea Orcel, merely a month ago to be co-head of the investment bank. Since then, Orcel has persuaded several other senior Merrill bankers to join him at UBS: Javier Oficialdegui, Javier Martinez-Piqueras and Emilio Greco.

Wilmot-Sitwell to take senior role at Bank of America

April 25, 2012

UBS investment bank chairman jumps ship to BAML – to take the role that Orcel was offered before he moved to UBS.


Macaskill on markets: Question marks loom over Ermotti’s call to old friend Orcel

April 05, 2012 

UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti has taken a giant step back in the latest attempt to revive the ailing firm by hiring his former Merrill Lynch colleague Andrea Orcel as co-head of investment banking.

Abigail Hofman

April 02, 2012

Bank of America has a problem. In late March, the chairman of banking and markets, Andrea Orcel, departed abruptly to take up a post as co-head of UBS’s investment bank. Commentators were surprised. Orcel had been at Merrill Lynch for two decades. Hailed as one of the top rainmakers of his generation, he had recently concluded the important UniCredit rights issue, on which Merrill acted as the global coordinator.

Abigail with attitude: Digging deeper into Glencore and Xstrata deal

March 05, 2012

Orcel was the banker who bought the UniCredit bacon home to mother Merrill. In other words he won the mandate for the UniCredit rights issue that was launched in January this year. Originally viewed as a looming disaster, the issue turned out to be a welcome money-maker for those involved as the UniCredit share price bounded north shadowing, in a surreal way, the southward trajectory of Italian government bond yields. So congratulations are in order to Orcel.

Abigail Hofman: Excess and the city

June 02, 2010 Orcel was previously Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s executive chairman of global banking and markets, which was a sideways move following the post which he held, before the merger, as Merrill’s head of global origination. Orcel has strong relationships with some of the big European financial institutions so one might have expected new boy Meissner and old hand Orcel to tumble over each other.

Investment banking: BAML shuffles pack for international business

April 30, 2010

Orcel has now been given a second title of president of emerging markets ex-Asia; Asia continues to be run by Brian Brille, BofA’s former head of investment banking. In this newly expanded role, all ex-Asia emerging markets country managers will report to Orcel, who is now supposed to be bringing in business to the wealth management division run by Sallie Krawcheck in addition to expanding the banking and markets business in his new key regions. Many names: Andrea Orcel has a second title of president of emerging markets ex-Asia to add to his first, executive chairman of global banking and markets Some of this will be new territory for Orcel, whom BAML chiefs seem to be doing everything to try to keep on board. 

Best Global M&A House 2008: Merrill Lynch

July 10, 2008

Orcel says: "We changed our M&A philosophy a few years ago. We decided that if Merrill Lynch is to succeed in this business, we needed to create value.

Latin America: Merrill Lynch grows as UBS shrinks

April 04, 2008

Andrea Orcel, global head of origination at Merrill Lynch, tells Euromoney that the bank is determined to emerge from the crisis engulfing the global financial markets in a strong position. "We have a much longer-term view compared with the one we had eight to 10 years ago. Global origination at Merrill Lynch is also a much more profitable and diversified franchise now than it was back then."

Abigail Hofman: The credit crunch tornado - top London financiers 

February 01, 2008

Andrea Orcel (44) – Merrill Lynch’s global head of origination. Orcel might not be perturbed by John Thain’s arrival at Merrill because Orcel is also a Goldman Sachs alumnus. Orcel is a dashing and erudite Italian who was educated at the University of Rome and Insead. He is fluent in four languages and is recognized as one of the best financial institutions specialists in the market. He has a phenomenal work ethos and is constantly travelling to see clients or do deals. Somehow finds time to water and snow ski.

Abigail Hofman: "You’re fired."

November 02, 2007

Being a loser is not much fun. As predicted in this column, Barclays lost the battle for ABN Amro. Andrea Orcel, Merrill’s handsome head of global origination, bet the ranch on winning. He decided to remain on the sidelines when Barclays bid initially. Other bankers were dancing around Barclays’ chief executive, John Varley, like moths to a flame. Orcel’s strategy was high-risk, high-reward. 

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