UBS is one of the world's largest financial firms. Headquartered
in Zurich, Switzerland, UBS has offices in over 50 countries and
employs approximately 60,550 people. UBS provides private,
institutional, and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail
clients in Switzerland, with financial advice and solutions. Its
strategy centers on its wealth management businesses and its
universal bank in Switzerland, complemented by its global asset
management business and its investment bank.
The current version of UBS was formed in 1998 when the Union
Bank of Switzerland merged with the Swiss Bank Corporation, whose
history dated to the 1870s. In 2000, UBS began trading on the NYSE
and bought New York-based PaineWebber for $11.8 billion,
solidifying its U.S. presence. More recently, in 2008 and 2009, it
reorganized itself and shrank considerably, as a result of losses
stemming from the subprime mortgage crisis. The company also
received aid from the Swiss government.
In addition, the firm went through a management shakeup. In
early 2009, CEO Marcel Rohner resigned and Oswald Grübel, an
ex-Credit Suisse executive, took over. Grübel was largely
responsible for Credit Suisse's turnaround, and investors hoped
he'd be able to do the same for UBS. But it wasn't meant to be;
another scandal-involving a rogue UBS trader-resulted in Grübel's
resignation in September 2011. Sergio Ermotti, the head of UBS's
European operations, was named interim CEO and remains the Group
CEO of UBS today.
Since 2012, UBS has grown its wealth management businesses, and
transformed its investment bank to focus on its traditional
strengths in advisory, research, equities, foreign exchange, and
precious metals. It has also improved its capital position while
growing its business and enhancing its competitive positioning. At
the beginning of 2014, Euromoney named UBS the "Best
Global Bank," noting that "the bold decisions taken by a new chief
executive and his management team make [UBS] today a bank that
others seek to emulate." Euromoney again recognized UBS in
2015, naming the firm "Best Global Wealth Manager," underscoring
the bank's position as an industry leader in its core wealth
management businesses and its ability to navigate difficult times.
And in 2016, Global Finance named UBS "the world's number
one investment banking house."