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Obituary: Jürg Zeltner – the first modern private banker

The former UBS private banking chief leaves an impressive legacy across the wealth management industry.


The last decade has seen a great rise in the professionalism of the wealth management industry. And no private banker epitomized that progress more than Jürg Zeltner, the former chief executive of UBS Wealth Management, who has died at the age of 52.

Since taking the reins as the head of UBS WM and in his later role at Luxembourg bank Quintet (formerly KBL), Euromoney has had the privilege of interviewing Zeltner and reporting on his work for more than a decade.

There were multiple professional accolades during his time at the helm of UBS – a role he took in the middle of the global financial crisis. In a period where the reputation of banks was in tatters, Zeltner insisted on greater transparency for clients to re-establish trust, including a move towards fee transparency that influenced the industry.

He was passionate, engaging, talkative, and sometimes a little mischievous – all things that you didn't traditionally associate with private bankers, and all the more impressive because of it - Clive Horwood, Euromoney

Keenly aware of the need to innovate, he initiated billion-dollar investments in technology to create a standard platform that has made UBS the leader in wealth technology that it is today.

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