UBS Requires Andrea Orcel to Wait Until April for New CEO Gig

(Bloomberg) -- Andrea Orcel, the former top dealmaker at UBS Group AG, will have to wait until April to take on his new role as chief executive officer at Banco Santander SA after the Swiss bank decided to enforce his entire six-month garden leave, people familiar with the matter said.

Orcel was expected to make the move early in the first quarter, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. In the Spanish bank’s September announcement it said he’d join in “early 2019,” and a related regulatory filing said his start date would be no earlier than Jan. 1.

UBS Requires Andrea Orcel to Wait Until April for New CEO Gig

Santander officials thought the garden leave could be reduced because the two banks aren’t direct competitors, the people said. UBS has previously waived garden leaves for lower-level executives. William Vereker, who left last year to join U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May as a business envoy, made the switch in less than six months.

UBS board members wanted Orcel to stay, and his departure helped them to accelerate succession planning at the Swiss bank, one person said.

A UBS representative declined to comment. Santander declined to comment on Orcel’s garden leave, and reiterated that he’ll start in early 2019.

Orcel advised generations of Santander leaders, including the late chairman, Emilio Botin, and Ana Botin, who took over from her father as executive chairman in 2014.

A veteran of Bank of America Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co., Orcel joined UBS in 2012 and helped turn around a struggling investment bank. He takes on an entirely new role at Santander, which mostly focuses on retail banking.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.