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Is UBS' Wealth Head Set to Depart?

15 December 2017

The man running the largest wealth manager in the world Juerg Zeltner, the head of UBS' $1.3 trillion wealth management business, and a member of the group executive board is preparing to step down, according to a report from news agency "Bloomberg".

Martin Blessing, now president of personal and corporate banking and president UBS Switzerland, will take on Zeltner's role as president wealth management.

At UBS' flagship private bank, Martin Blessing inherits a bank with countless open issues.

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Prior to joining UBS, Blessing had little Swiss banking experience, although he did study at a Swiss university and Switzerland was one of the first markets outside of Germany where Commerzbank expanded its corporate banking business.

"There was already speculation that Blessing wouldn't remain the head of Swiss retail banking forever", Zuercher Kantonalbank analyst Javier Lodeiro said. "It will certainly take a few quarters until Blessing's new accents manifest themselves", he added.

UBS will now turn to former Commerzbank CEO Martin Blessing to replace him as the head of the division. According to Scorpio Partnership's Global Private Banking Benchmark 2017, UBS is the world's largest wealth manager, with more than 2 trillion USA dollars in assets under management in 2016. Mr. Zeltner had been a leading candidate to become the next Chief Executive Officer. Walking across the street to Julius Baer could be Zeltner's salvation.

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Shares in UBS were down 0.17 percent at 18.8 Swiss francs as of 0854 GMT on December 14.

Axel Lehmann, the current chief operating officer, will succeed Blessing as the head of UBS Switzerland.

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Is UBS' Wealth Head Set to Depart?